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  • Bringing Your Pricing Committee Together as a Functional Family

    Technology companies seem to have an extraordinary amount of suffering when it comes to making pricing decisions. Everyone has a pricing committee; and no one loves it. Effective pricing policies really do require lot of cross-functional input and viewpoints, but many organizations struggle to establish and maintain a solid process for making decisions. Based on my experiences, both good and bad, here are my recommendations for transforming your pricing committee from the Bundy household to the Cosby’s.  Read More...

  • Recipes for Product Packaging

    In challenging economic times, it’s more important than ever to deliver value to customers – and to capture the most revenue from every customer relationship and selling transaction. I think that’s why I have been called upon to evaluate product packaging on several occasions in the last year. There have been several common themes among these engagements:   Read More...

  • How to Craft Killer Competitive Playbooks

    Competitive strategy has been a recurring theme in my work over the last few years. With the fast pace of market change and a global playing field, B2B software companies need to work smarter than ever to gain the winning edge. Getting good competitive intelligence is a huge part of the equation, but you also need to know how to put that intelligence to work.   Read More...

  • Six Things I Have Learned About Hiring Great Product Marketers

    Product marketing positions are notoriously tough to fill. The job responsibilities are both broad and strategic; essentially, the product marketer is the owner of a business within your business. There’s no single course or curriculum that teaches all of the skills.   Read More...

  • Cool Client Project Featured on MarketingSherpa!

    Does event planning conjure up images of greatness? Probably not. We've done the same things so many times that it can be hard to think creatively.   Read More...

  • The Four Personas of Project-Management-Phobes

    I just finished a really hectic product launch, so project management has been on my mind a lot. When you think of a well-executed marketing campaign, I’m sure that beautiful creative, clever messaging, or quirky tactics are the things that come to mind. But good project management is the secret ingredient that brings all that stuff together in the right place at the right time.   Read More...

  • Content Marketing Lessons: How to Get More from Your Content Creation Efforts

    In my last post, I shared four common content marketing mistakes that I see among B2B companies. In this post, I’ll talk about steps you can take to create more compelling content while maintaining your sanity (and that of your team). Step #1: The shape of your marketing funnel—and its friction points—should serve as the cornerstones of your content marketing strategy.   Read More...

  • Four Content Marketing Mistakes You Don’t Want to Make

    I do quite a bit of content marketing for my clients. That’s good news for me, because in recent research by Curata, 59% of US marketing professionals said they would be spending more on content marketing in 2014 than they had in the past. The bad news is that I sometimes see that money being wasted by the companies I watch in the B2B software industry.   Read More...

  • Seven Rules for Sizzling Product Launches

    A successful product launch is one of the most exciting times in the life of a product marketer. It is highly visible across the organization and the industry; it is one of the few clear milestones in a career that lacks the rhythms of closing sales, releasing products, reporting earnings, etc. It is also one of the most stressful parts of a product  Read More...

  • Dissecting Your Competition Through Investor Communications

    For the competitive analyst, investor disclosure means competitive fodder. Particularly for small, publicly traded companies, earnings calls, quarterly SEC filings (the 10-Q) and annual filings (the 10-K) provide a wealth of information that you can use to beat your competition. In this article, I have provided you with a checklist for your competitive reviews.  Read More...

  • Venturing Into the Chaos of a Published Book

    To many, a published book represents the pinnacle of thought leadership. Expertise and ideas that are put to print are ones that have truly arrived. However, a book is a huge undertaking that consumes significant resources as well as the time of key people in your company. My colleague Nathan Butler, a marketing communications consultant, has led several book projects over the last few years. I have asked him to share his knowledge on this topic.

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  • The 4 C’s of B2B Customer Loyalty

    Too, often, companies selling to business customers gear their operations towards acquiring new customers at the expense of cultivating loyalty in the existing customer base. This bias may be evident in budgeting, marketing practices, pricing, sales incentives and even in how the business presents itself to investors and financial analysts.  Read More...

  • Five Questions to Ask While Naming Your Product Category, and Three More for When You’re Almost Done

    Lately, I have been finding myself helping clients to come up with new names for their product categories. Their solutions may have unique pieces and parts that aren’t available from anyone else; they may want to deepen their differentiation; or they may want to change the emphasis of a product category that has evolved faster than its name has. So when do you decide that your product is in a completely new product category instead of emphasizing how you fit (or differentiate) in existing catego...  Read More...

  • Looking at the Mobility Revolution from the Perspective of a Mobile Mama

    Over the course of the year, I have worked with a number of software and technology providers that are helping companies take advantage of the mobility explosion. I probably don’t have to convince you of the value of mobile websites or smartphone and tablet apps; what I can provide is the perspective of someone who uses the technology while on the go, frequently with two kids in tow. 1.   Read More...

  • Inside Sales: Inside or Outside?

    Many of my clients are concerned with making their inside sales functions more effective. A good inside sales team makes a big difference at the top line – both by building qualified pipeline and closing deals. I wanted to dig into the question of what makes inside sales successful, so I reached out to my friend and former colleague André Anderson.   Read More...

  • How to Create a User Conference That Generates Value

    Nothing compares to a great user conference. I really enjoy getting to know my clients’ customers, sharing in their successes, and seeing the human side of how a particular technology works. User conferences can drive a great deal of value – by supporting sales cycles with existing customers as well as building the foundation for selling to new customers.   Read More...

  • Blah, Blah, Blah Cloud

    You know that a term is being overused when becomes a featured theme in Dilbert. Well, as of January 7, 2011, cloud computing is there. I have spent a fair amount of time thinking about how many times marketers confuse their buyers and make concepts meaningless by overusing the buzzwords du jour.   Read More...

  • Paying Respect to the King of Social Media, Part 4

    This is the last of a series of postings in which I have teamed up with Dave Ewart, my former colleague and Director of Marketing at Cleantech Group, to share some ideas and practical tips you can incorporate into B2B social media strategies. Throughout the series we have emphasized that although social media works differently than other marketing communications channels, it in no way ignores the fundamentals of marketing strategy or of human nature. In our final set of tips, we’ll talk about un...  Read More...

  • Paying Respect to the King of Social Media, Part 3

    Dave Ewart and I are continuing our discussion about thinking through the content challenges of social media. In this posting, we’ll talk about what I have seen as the biggest challenge of all: getting spokespeople to participate and keeping them motivated. I have seen social media strategies start with a bang and then fade quickly as the product champions lost their enthusiasm and got buried in their day jobs.   Read More...

  • Paying Respect to the King of Social Media, Part 2

    In our previous posting, Dave Ewart, Director of Marketing at Cleantech Group, and I shared some ideas around creating conversations in social media channels. In this posting, we’ll share our thoughts about who make the best spokespeople in the social media world.

    First of all, the best spokesperson is actually a person. While consumer brands are successfully interacting with consumers as a company/brand persona, business buyers are much more likely to engage with an individual than a company.   Read More...

  • If Content is King in Social Media, How Do You Pay It Respect?

    Virtually every company in my client base has social media at the top of its 2010 marketing priorities. In a number of cases, I am hearing people say “I just need to put up a fan page on Facebook” or “I’ll start Tweeting on my press releases.” However, 100 tweets and 100 fans don’t add up to a social media strategy. And, like other communications channels, good content is the key to success. In this series of postings, I have teamed up with Dave Ewart, my former colleague and Director of Marketing at Cleantech Group, to share some ideas and practical tips you can incorporate into B2B social media strategies today. As we discussed what has worked for us, we came upon four themes: creating conversations, identifying spokespeople, motivating participation, and understanding the communications flow.   Read More...

  • Market Requirements Documents in an Era of Rapid Change

    How do you make sure that the products you are building solve real needs in your target market and that they are adequately differentiated from the competition? The classic answer is the market requirements document, or MRD. Too often, though, companies skip this critical stage in the product development process. Or, so much time elapses during the product development cycle that the MRD is out of date before a product is available to sell. So what can marketers do to make the MRD more relevant?  Read More...

  • Hallmarks of a Successful Switch Campaign

    The high-tech world has been full of competitive switch campaigns: some legendary, some not even a blip on the radar. Think Oracle versus IBM; Cognos versus Business Objects; Salesforce.com versus Siebel; and many more.  Read More...

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