Growth Insights for CEOs

Why Millennial Talent Seems to Be Always Looking for the Next Best Thing

Posted by The Chief Outsider

Every generation seems destined to be the most misunderstood generation. This was true for Baby Boomers, Gen X and is especially applicable when attempting to understand the motivations and values of the Millennial generation (also referred to as Gen Y). We’ve likely read about how Millennials grew up on technology and are dependent upon it. We could easily argue with them about their worldviews. While Millennials may be cast as the most misunderstood generation, they’re quickly becoming the most studied and researched generation. Yet despite all the insights we’ve gained, it’s interesting that most Baby Boomers infer they simply don’t understand a Millennial’s perspective on life and work.

On the surface, Millennials may come across as being irresponsible, entitled, disengaged, arrogant, idealistic and overly confident. While some of these may be appropriate, from a practical perspective, Millennials tend to be competent, bright and highly focused. The chasm between the generations being, Millennials hold a significantly different worldview about life, their careers and what they expect from their employers.

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PR – Your Secret Weapon

Posted by Karen Hayward

"Public Relations is uniquely able to close the marketing credibility gap."

That is why it is the secret weapon of integrated marketing."

Public relations is particularly effective for building brand equity. It has the power to heighten brand awareness, brand loyalty, perceived quality and other brand associations that differentiate your brand from other products.

“Public Relations delivers brand credibility that advertising can’t provide,” said Susan Lehman, president of Rockpoint Public Relations. “Well-done PR programs utilize proof points and third-party references that confirm and elevate brand equity, enabling companies to validate key messages, value propositions and customer ROI.”

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8 Marketing Multipliers to Spring Forward with this Fall!

Posted by Barbara Fowler

Marketing has changed...and will move at an even more rapid pace in the future, so check out these tips to improve your marketing muscle! 

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

Posted by Pete Hayes

Vistage CEO Confidence Index is Steady and Strong
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?

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Aligning Your Stars

Posted by Karen Hayward

The Recipe for Revenue Success: Sales and Marketing Alignment

As someone who loves to cook, today I am sharing a tried and true recipe for a successful lead generation program. I marvel at the fact that CEOs continue to be disappointed by their marketing outcomes. In fact, 70 percent cite that Marketing isn’t delivering for them as expected. Art Saxby, Chief Outsiders CEO, has expertly covered the difference between Sales and Marketing in his recent blog so we have clarity between the two functions and expectations.

This standout recipe calls for Marketing and Sales to be in perfect harmony. To achieve this requires collaboration and agreement on a number of definitions, targets and metrics—and leadership from the CEO. I was recently speaking to a highly experienced, top industry performing Sales Representative who told me, “I never got a decent lead from a marketing team EVER – I had to develop all of my own opportunities. Yes, I got dozens of business cards – but they weren’t close to what I would consider a lead.” This is a fairly common theme I often hear from sales executives. The marketing team delivered against their “Lead targets,” which were the names scanned off suspects walking by the company booth at a trade show. So what’s the solution? Fundamental Marketing and Sales leader dialogue and agreement is the difference between success and failure. Marketing needs to be seamlessly filling the top part of any sales funnel and Sales needs to be executing the follow-up engagement.

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Follow the Voice of the Customer to Greater Sales

Posted by Karen Hayward

The intersection of sales, product or service marketing and its operational execution is usually incredibly complex in the B2B world. It is not static, often morphing multiple times even in a single sales cycle or customer relationship. Successful navigation requires seeing through your client’s eyes. I often ask myself, why do many CEOs and executives (sales executives excluded) shy away from engaging directly with customers to learn about their experience, whether first hand or from enterprise feedback mechanisms?

There is no better leader for an organization to follow than the collective voices of their customers. Time and time again, I see where simply following their direction can open up entirely new service or product offerings that drive share of wallet, can increase customer profitability and loyalty, and potentially block an encroaching competitor. And it costs 6-7 times more to acquire a new customer than retain an existing one, according to Bain & Company. 

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What’s Better Than a 400-Pound Wooden Yo-Yo?

Posted by Mark Lange

Marketers for Benjamin Moore Paints, intent on promoting their ArborCoat Stain that “makes old wood look like new,” recently built the world’s largest yo-yo out of old deck wood. 

This man-sized toy, measuring six feet in diameter and weighing nearly 400 pounds, sets a new standard for spin.

The team carted it out to the desert and dropped it from a 100-foot crane. Like too many marketing campaigns, it went up and down a few times, and then came to a complete stop, hanging out there inertly. 

Whether you see this guy trick as a lovably retro attention-getter or a stain on the profession of marketing, there’s no doubt it was calculated to amuse. But will it monetize? Who in Benjamin Moore marketing could know whether it would be an effective marketing strategy, before deciding to drop hundreds of pounds of cash to find out? 

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Growth Wanted: Essential Long-Term Strategy

Posted by Karen Hayward

As the B2B world of revenue generation continues to experience longer sales cycles, it is getting harder to keep your market momentum–let alone grow. There are more stakeholders involved in buying decisions, and the pace of change in the market is accelerating. Three years ago, the average number of stakeholders involved in the buying process at the typical midsized organization was four. Kathleen Schaub, vice president of the CMO Advisory Service at IDC, says that number has increased to six or more. Large enterprises experienced the same shift as their medium-sized brethren, although not as pronounced, while small organizations stayed about the same.

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The next digital divide is brewing. How clear is your 2020 Vision?

Posted by Yvonne Brown

A study by IBM entitled Digital reinvention: Preparing for a very different tomorrow discusses how digitization technologies such as analytics, social media, mobility and cloud enablement that have been in place for several years, have reached the point where they are maturing and evolving at warp speed. This means that competitiveness in today’s environment requires redefining and reinventing the organization’s vision to leverage the opportunities and the value created by these technologies.

Yet, without a thorough understanding of how digitization will disrupt their organization, CEOs can’t develop a clear strategic vision.

Advanced analytics provide the opportunity to integrate external and internal data to gain deep intelligence that allows businesses to predict the future with significantly more accuracy and personalize solutions at an entirely new level. How will analytics impact your competitiveness?

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CEOs: Beware of Micromanaging

Posted by The Chief Outsider

A marketing consultant I know posted on his Facebook page today: “Always wonder why some CEOs would rather diddle with things on a web page or other marketing minutia than deal with really important business strategy issues or building a company team.” While I know this was more an expression of his current frustration with a client than a real question, it got me thinking—and I suspect the answer may be relatively simple: Entrepreneurs stay in startup mode too long.

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