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 …

Do you know #theOtherSEO?

If you invest in SEO, it’s probably because search engine optimization seems so measurable. (And it is.) But hey: you need the other SEO even more: Sales Efficiency Optimization. SEO success is far and away the best first step on the buyer’s journey, but it’s #theOtherSEO that fills the funnel, feeds the bulldog, unclogs the pipeline and rings the cash register. …

How to identify, then crush, your fiercest competitor

Name two of your competitors. You probably missed the fiercest one. Let me explain. Prospects, the people you want to do business with, are already doing business with Other Guys. (Let’s call them the OGs). You can’t magically invent new human beings, so your challenge is to overthrow existing loyalty, to steal customers away from those OGs. It’s never easy. …

Your brand is in one of five buckets

Whether you’re a babysitter, a bakery, or Berkshire-Hathaway, prospects will mentally sort you into one of five buckets. Your brand will be pigeonholed (instantly!) as: New. Different. Better. Cheaper, or Doomed. “Doomed” may seem a bit harsh, but “forgettable”, “ordinary”, “exaggerated” and “bullcrap” all lead to doom eventually.  “New” is good but temporary. A “blue-ocean” position, which combines “new” with zero perceived …

You can’t manage what you don’t measure.

It is easy to measure “sales” for a business Sales, as most people define it, is a simple number. Checks get deposited, contracts get signed, cash registers ring. Easy peasy, do the math. But but but … things get much trickier when you try to measure what leads up to the sale. The ROI of marketing tactics, for example. The …