Growth Insights for CEOs

Are You Staying Apace With Lead Generation In 2015?

Posted by Karen Hayward

Six Best Practices To Consider When Choosing a Trusted Partner

In 2015, the sales funnel is under assault. No longer is it adequate to pour a bunch of unqualified leads – business cards, napkin scraps, pink-sheeted phone messages – into the top and to expect a steady stream of sales to drip from the bottom.

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Coffee With Carter – Getting Social

Posted by Karen Hayward

There is so much hype and discussion about social media and blogging, and I often find myself asking the basic and pragmatic questions, like, “How do I know this is going to make sense for my client?” “Where is the revenue I can attribute to the blog?” – well, you know the drill.  As a fractional, consulting CMO for mid-market CEOs, I am very focused on wringing out every last drop of potential revenue from each and every marketing asset or investment – and that includes the blog.  In an effort to learn more about the social journey, I sat down for coffee with social media expert and CEO of LeadTail Carter Hostelley to get some perspective.

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Key Marketing Metrics for Revenue and Profit Growth

Posted by Ameeta Soni

At the essence of any marketing or business program are metrics – the measures that indicate the heights to which revenues will soar – or the depths to which fortunes will plummet -- as a result of your strategic efforts.

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Strong CEO Confidence (Still) Hampered by Talent Shortfall; 3 Ways to Fill Gap

Posted by Pete Hayes

Vistage CEO Confidence Index is Very Strong 
Once again, last quarter, and every quarter since 2003, Vistage International – the leading firm of Peer Advisory Board Groups for CEOs – fielded a survey of its CEO membership on their attitudes and perceptions around the prospects of growth. Dr. Richard Curtin of the University of Michigan analyzes the periodic study. As a business leader you may find it worth watching. Heck, look how predictive these attitudes are to changes in US GDP?

VistageCEOConfidenceIndexQ4-2015

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How to Succeed with Mobile Marketing in 2015

Posted by Ameeta Soni

Engagement in the world around us  once purely the domain of the five senses — today would not be complete without the flurry of taps, swipes and scrolls that we make on a pocket-sized smart device. One does not need a lot of research or statistics to see how non-negotiable our relationship has become with our mobile devices.

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It’s Inc. 5000 Season – Should You Apply?

Posted by Art Saxby

What Does It Take to Make the Inc. 5000?

To make it in the Inc. 5000 list of America’s fastest growing private companies, a business needs to move from being a scrappy startup to a scaling company. First, the company must simply stay alive 5 years and then hit some revenue minimums to make it on the list. The Inc. growth ranking is based on the last 3 of those 5 years minimum of being in business. The full requirements and application are listed on the Inc. 5000 application site. (Note this year’s deadline is April 30th)

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Supercharge Your Sales Funnel With Predictive Analytics

Posted by Ameeta Soni

As I have discussed in my previous blogs, digital marketing tools and technologies are transforming the way businesses connect with prospective and existing customers. Adoption of these technologies is key to maintaining and gaining competitive advantage.

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What Kind of Marketing is the Right Kind of Marketing for My Company?

Posted by Slade Kobran

In today’s digitally empowered world, it’s tempting for businesses to take a “ready-fire-aim” approach to marketing. In some cases, it almost seems that the philosophy is, “throw up a Facebook page, send out a quick eBlast and wait for the customers to come pounding at our door.”

Indeed, the proliferation of tech tools that promise low-cost, effortless marketing can be enticing to people who lead with their gut instead of their head. For an illustration of how many such tools are on the market, click here for a “supergraphic” that highlights just the first several hundred.

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Random Acts of Marketing…Bad for Business

Posted by Charlie Born

Does your company practice what is sometimes called the “Hope Method” of marketing?  That is when you hope you will get new clients, hope people will refer you and hope sales will increase. Most often I see business owners and CEOs practice what I call the “Random Acts of Marketing” method. In executive meetings, the management team laments that the sales team is not meeting expectations. Suddenly the table is filled with marketing experts who begin chanting a litany of marketing ideas (although all too often there isn’t anyone with real marketing expertise in the room).

  • We need a new brochure. 
  • Our branding is killing us.
  • The website is tired.
  • Let’s run some advertisements.
  • We need to do social media.
  • Let’s run a sale.
  • We need to do more trade shows.
  • Let’s do some press releases and get an article about us in a trade publication.

Then after earnest debate, someone in marketing (or someone posing as marketing) is tasked with one or two of these programs. Voila! You have just witnessed the birth of random acts of marketing. 

Given that these tactics are born of pain rather than an integrated strategic marketing plan with measurements, they rarely yield profitable outcomes. When CEOs approach me as a CMO consultant, they often tell me they have tried everything to grow their business (and they probably have) but are not seeing the results they expected. They want to know if “I should do more” of whatever the tactic du jour happens to be for them.  

Being the pragmatist that I am, I usually ask them a series of questions:

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The Difference between CEOs who Manage vs. Lead

Posted by The Chief Outsider

A long-time client surprised me last week. He called to update me on his pursuit of a new position within his company and, in the course of our conversation, said that his CEO “is an extremely talented manager but not much of a leader.” The assessment itself didn’t surprise me. I have known this CEO for over 30 years and agree completely. What did surprise me was hearing my friend make the distinction. We have often talked about the differences between managing and leading. Like most people, however, he generally uses the terms interchangeably and doesn’t really make a distinction day-to-day—just the kind of thing that drives leadership experts like John Kotter crazy.

For over 40 years, Kotter has been on a mission to get people to think about the distinction between management and leadership. Our ongoing transition from a manufacturing-based economy to a service-based economy, however, has made Kotter’s work much more difficult. We still need to understand the difference between management and leadership, but it is increasingly difficult to be an effective CEO without also being a good leader.

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