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No, I Didn’t Get to See Stevie Wonder Live at Dreamforce

Posted on  12 January 11  by 

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CRMWere you at Dreamforce in early December?  If you’re like 30,000 other people (and many MLC members) the answer is yes.  If you’re like me, the answer is… not exactly.  We were busy writing our surveys on customer behavior (B2B members, it’s not too late to get great insight into your customers for free—just email me at <freemank at executiveboard dot com> if you would like more information, or take a look at this document).  As a result, I had to attend virtually.

Thankfully, it is pretty much fully available online, so I’m fully prepared to offer 3 marketing trends observed from Dreamforce – with MLC resources to help you get after them – as well as my opinion about the most interesting salesforce.com announcement for B2B marketers. Read More »

Positive Switching Costs

marketing innovationAs those who’ve attended our recent sessions on radical innovation know, MLC recently completed research into where organizations are falling short in generating market-shifting ideas. Basically, the gist is this: if you want to improve the ideas coming out of your company, you should focus on fewer, better ideas (as opposed to chaotic processes like crowdsourcing) and treat radical innovation as a separate process from incremental, within-category innovation.

But one of the ideas we presented at the meeting turned out to be a little controversial: the concept of switching costs – elements in product design that lock a customer in. We advocated for intelligent inclusion of switching costs into new product development because the speed to market of copycat products is now a third faster than it was in 1985; some element of user lock-in is essential to ensure continued returns after copycats are released. Read More »

Do You Need A Tablet Agency?

internet advertisingJudging by the rate of iPad and other tablet computer penetration at our annual executive retreats last summer and fall, I don’t need to explain the benefits of these little computers (or large cell phones) to our reader. They’re amazing media consumption devices and marketers are hoping against hope that they become a mainstream channel to attract customers.

So, should there be a market for tablet-focused agencies? After all, projections indicate that at least 80 million of these devices will move between now and 2015. You can’t tell me that marketers can resist trying to get to customers through tablets, and we have specialized agencies for every other marketing channel, right? Read More »

Thoughts from CES

Posted on  11 January 11  by 

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digital marketingEver wonder why the Adult Entertainment Expo is held at the same time, and in the same place, as CES?

I had the chance to be at the Consumer Electronics Show this year for the first time in many years.  It was overwhelming:  too many things to look at, and unfortunately too many of the same things (something like 1000 tablets (exaggerated), connected TV’s, 3D everything, a streaming media cacophony). Read More »

5 Great Sales-and Marketing-Themed Movies

Since the inception of the motion picture in the late 1800s, countless films have been created around the globe on almost every subject imaginable. Curious to get a feel for what life was like for 18th century Irish aristocracy? There’s a film for that. In the mood to be thrilled by a story of love, deception, and murder? Look no further. Interested in a film that can shape the way you think about sales and marketing? Well, those subjects are no strangers to the industry either, and the following is a list of a few films we consider “must-see” sales and marketing cinema. Read More »

Tech Tools for Marketers: Evernote

marketing knowledge managementMarketers, if you’ve resolved to become more organized in 2011, take heart: you have a lot of company, including myself.

But “organization” isn’t as simple as buying a planner and calling it a day anymore. Now, plugged-in marketers have unending streams of information – blogs, newspapers, websites, magazines, TV shows, movies, books – vying for their attention. Any one of those bits of information might contain something vital – a hint about a competitor’s product, a key insight into a growing and untapped market, a sales lead – that could turn you into the office hero. Read More »

Mobile Marketing at the Point of Purchase

mobile advertisingThe Wall Street Journal recently reported that Coca-Cola is holding its annual marketing meeting at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas this week. While this may sound surprising at first, it makes more sense when you consider some powerful statistics: 71 million Americans use a mobile device to access the internet every month and, in a recent study, 38% of US shoppers said they used their mobile devices to help make a final decision for an in-store purchase.

This helps explain the recent explosion of mobile marketing: According to eMarketer, mobile advertising spending is expected to top $1 billion in 2011, with the spending being equally distributed across messaging, search and display. Read More »

Emerging Thoughts on One of Africa’s Emerging Markets

global marketing - GhanaBy Whitney Satin

This holiday season, I escaped the snow drifts plaguing much of the East Coast and spent the end of my year in hot and humid Ghana. Ostensibly I was there for a friend’s wedding, but while touring the colorful fishing villages and bustling marketplaces in and around Accra, the marketer in me couldn’t sit still.  Given that “emerging market” seems to be the buzzword for 2011, I thought I’d share a few brief impressions from the pages of my unofficial travelogue: Read More »

2011 Trends To Watch – Google

search engine optimizationIn a tech world that’s characterized by booms and busts (see: MySpace, Friendster, Pets.com) – one of the major constants has been the glue that holds the internet together: Google Search. From its inception in a Silicon Valley garage in 1998, to its 2004 IPO, to its current form as a cloud computing behemoth, Google Search has been the underlying technology that enables cash-cow products like AdWords and GMail.

But in the last few months, tech insiders have noticed something disturbing: Google searches are increasingly returning irrelevant and spammy results. Case in point: check out Google’s results for “iPhone 4 case“. Nearly all of the results on the first two pages link to affiliate marketers – websites that don’t directly sell a product, but instead link to a site that does, getting a cut of the sale in turn. Read More »

Shifting the Purchase Decision

Posted on  27 December 10  by 

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In the coming year, MLC will be exploring how mobile and social media are disrupting consumers’ decision making processes.  Members are telling us that stated purchase intent is less predictive than it used to be, and that more consumers are changing their minds at the last minute.  A recent McKinsey study supports these observations, finding that 40% of consumers change their mind at the point of purchase and end up buying something they hadn’t intended to purchase. We’re going to be testing a few hypotheses around why consumers aren’t following through on intentions and exploring what the best companies are doing to increase follow-through. Read More »