Growth Insights for CEOs

The No. 1 Question CEOs Must Answer before Setting their Digital Business Strategy

Posted by Beth Somplatsky-Martori

2014 was a bellwether year for the future of technology. It marked the first time Internet access via smartphone surpassed that of traditional PCs or laptops. This seminal event should have served as a screaming, flashing “bat signal” to any company that has not yet fully actualized a digital business strategy. The message – evolve now, or be left behind by more connected competitors and a public with high technological expectations.

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Are You Eating Your Own Dog Food?

Posted by Stijn Hendrikse

How An Old Microsoft Corollary Holds New Significance For Today’s Digital Marketer

When I helped control Bill’s “Gates” many moons ago, as a marketing executive for Microsoft, there was an old nugget of wisdom that I believe offers new relevance for today’s digital marketer.

To ensure the quality of its products – particularly in the “go-go” days of the 1980s, when Microsoft was relatively unchallenged in the marketplace for PC software – executives and employees alike were told to “eat their own dog food.”

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Pricing Optimization: How Best To Do It?

Posted by Atul Minocha

In a business environment characterized by recovery from a severe recession, seven years of tepid growth, high unemployment and underemployment, and the explosion of ecommerce (with the lowest price always just a click away), it’s no surprise that optimizing pricing to maximize revenues and/or profits is a critical issue for many businesses. But how does a business know when it can safely raise prices without losing market share? Is market share the right goal, or should it be bottom-line profit? Either way, what pricing optimization information do you need to achieve the chosen goal? If you are asking these questions, you are not alone.  Only 15% of all businesses do any kind of systematic pricing study.

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Short-Term Insights For Long-Term Growth: Seven Reasons To Consider A Chief Outsider

Posted by Janet Brey

To gain competitive advantage, enter a new market or accelerate sales, companies often look to hire (or replace) senior level marketing talent. Finding the right person can take time a lot of time in terms of resources – search, interviews, salary negotiations and onboarding. Once hired, it can take some time for a new executive to get up to speed and start to deliver a positive ROI to the company. 

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Are you Content with Your Content Development Process? Five Steps to Add Impact and Results

Posted by Stijn Hendrikse

Thanks to the rise in content marketing, I have recently learned a lot about myself. I know what state I should live in; I know who should be my ideal soul mate. I recently learned how to fold my T-shirts in three seconds; I now know five ways to eliminate the ring from my bathtub; and I realize that in all of my years, I have been peeling my bananas incorrectly.

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Goodbye Annual Review. Hello Feedback.

Posted by The Chief Outsider

Many leaders have grown up in the command- and-control leadership culture that originated with the military. Employees in this culture are expected to show up on time, work hard, be engaged, and exhibit great loyalty for the company.

Millennials are responding negatively to this command-and-control environment. Many choose to abruptly leave their jobs rather than work in this type of culture for an autocratic boss. They want a different kind of experience, one that is more collaborative, respects their need for work/life balance, and understands their priorities. I grew up in a culture where I lived to work. A millennial recently told me that she worked to live- quite a contrast.

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Why You Should Spend More Time Evaluating Your Pricing

Posted by Beth Somplatsky-Martori

In the end, there are three avenues to increasing your profit margins: cost, sales volume and price. In our experience, companies tend to focus on the first two, costs and sales, at the expense of the third, price. There are good reasons for this: any company that is competitive over the long term is very good at managing costs, continually measuring and reducing costs over time, and they have invested in elaborate processes and technologies just to stay in the game. Similarly, companies know their sales histories and are comfortable forecasting sales revenue, with a fair degree of precision, with mathematical models that have withstood the test of time.

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How to Leverage Visioning to Drive Value

Posted by Tom McCrary

There was a recent exchange on Twitter between Tom Peters and others debating Vision vs. Excellence. Rather than thinking about this as an either/or proposition, a third path – Vision with Excellence – creates the greatest value.  As stated in a Japanese proverb – “Vision without action is a daydream.  Action without vision is a nightmare.”

Having a clear Vision of the future you want to create, taking the necessary steps to activate it and exhibiting the behaviors needed to make things happen are a powerful formula for driving growth and prosperity for your business.  The following are steps that you can take to leverage visioning to drive value in your organization.

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Nine Reasons – Plus One -- To Hire an “Executive-as-a-Service”

Posted by Janet Brey

In my previous blog, I identified some of signs of “Business Malaise” that could signal a growing disconnect between the business vision and the company’s growth goals. And as noted, when you consider the competitive pressures wrought by the hyper-charged business universe, early indicators of corporate distress are best addressed sooner than later.

Many small and mid-sized companies face this situation – desperately in need of skilled marketing expertise – but believing that they lack the resources to procure it. That is why I am devoting this post to explore a new option – the Marketing Executive-as-a-Service. 

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Social Media Marketing: Avoiding the Numbers Game

Posted by The Chief Outsider

Social media plays such a pervasive role in our culture that it’s only natural that CEOs want to use it to their advantage. But much of the time, the approaches used by their companies are ill-defined, half-hearted, and saddled with selling. Social media advocates often tout metrics that demonstrate audience growth and web traffic, but the real goal is engagement that can lead to sales. How you get there may surprise you.

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