Shorten your sales cycle with two kinds of insight

Is a long sales cycle a fact of life for you? Nobody makes an impulsive decision to buy from you. You must nurture the people in your pipeline: from suspect to prospect to lead to hot lead to customer to brand enthusiast*. (Don’t neglect that last one; they’re big-time influencers on social media.) The Buyer’s Journey can seem endless, but …

7000 to 1

There are technology tools to help you in every phase of marketing. In fact, almost 7000 of them. Your marketing stack is likely to be unique: choose database A plus email program B, then add analytics tools C … soon, you may be tempted to add Shiny Objects D and E, and things can get very Rube Goldberg* in a hurry. …

The animals go #uncaged!

I was quoted in USA Today, commenting on the branding impact of this redesigned snack package: The article, which you can read here, says the change to #uncage the animals was urged on the maker (Mondelez/Nabisco) by PETA activists. USA Today wanted me to assess whether there would be any resistance to the change from traditionalists. Maybe. Every change to …

How to set your ad budget for the year: the easy way, and other ways.

“How much should we invest in advertising?” is an annual budget struggle. One simple way is to use your category’s average ad-to-sales percentage. Just ask us* to share the tables from the newly-published 42nd edition of an annual study, Advertising Ratios & Budgets. This research is derived from more than 4,300 individual companies in 310 industries. Look up your category …

ihob, Amazon, and other logo smiles

IHOB? A surprising number of people asked me during the past few weeks if I was in any way responsible for the “ihop/ihob name change” controversy. They know I’m in the re-naming business, and asked in the tone of “can you believe they’d be that stupid?” I pleaded not guilty, but I also had to tell them they had fallen …

HBR’s Doomed Management Tip of the Day

I’ve reaffirmed this same New Year’s Resolution for decades: I’d like to grow two inches taller this year. (Hey, it worked for a while into high school.) Since the millennium, however, I’ve experienced results that are, let’s say, somewhat disappointing.)   Which brings me to today’s Harvard Business Review Management Tip of the Day. Most days, it’s a tidy paragraph of …

Marketing analytics starts with … paying attention.

Analytics are useless if they’re not actually, you know, analyzed. “Who visited your website yesterday? Who read your blog?” “We … don’t know.” “Do you have analytics?” “I guess so. Maybe Google analytics?” “Okay, but who paid attention to those numbers this week?” “Um. Uh –” Why pay attention to the numbers? Monitoring user behavior lets you manage your pipeline. …

Is GDPR the new Y2K?

Oh, you remember Y2K. At the stroke of midnight on December 31, 1999, airplanes would fall out of the sky, computers would implode, the moon would turn blood red and you’d forget where you put the car keys. Most of that didn’t happen, BTW. Now we have GDPR, and some people and many businesses can be found on the spectrum …

Could “robots” assist your sales A-team?

Yes. To understand why that’s a not-scary thing, first think about any process where robotic tools have proved invaluable. On an assembly line, for example, welding part A to part B precisely, repeatedly, reliably, with never a rest, complaint or pee break. That’s what made factory robots a crucial investment. But sales robots for B2B? Really? For complex purchases? Yes …