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Growth Insights for CEOs

Driving Marketing Post M&A

Posted by Janet Brey

M&A continues to be a preferred growth strategy for many executives according to KPMG’s 10th Annual Study of the M&A Outlook. The key trends driving M&A activity vary by industry sector but the primary challenge is consistent across the board - valuation disparity between the buyer and seller.[i] As a result, most of the effort is on financial evaluations during due diligence, and other areas, like human resources, can be postponed or overlooked.

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Attention, Company Founders: Keys to Avoiding Colossal Marketing Flops

Posted by Sharon Spooler

They’re some of the worst American marketing flops of all time: Smith & Wesson Mountain Bikes, Cosmopolitan Yogurt, and Coors Rocky Mountain Water. These three powerhouses are some of the most well-known brands on the planet – and yet they still hit the skids when their seemingly unique and interesting idea failed to meet customer expectations and gain traction in the market.

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The Art of the Sale: How to Conquer Your Prospect’s Objections and Close the Deal

Posted by Karen Hayward

The face of sales has certainly changed, hasn’t it? When I started my career, the best sales reps were traditionally hired by large companies, and trained to execute a strategic sales process, using a specific methodology. Like soldiers in a battalion, each sales rep knew their role, was aware of the various possible strategies, and was armed for each deal with the scripts and insights necessary to succeed.

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What do I do with my Marketing Intern?

Posted by Stijn Hendrikse

Internships are an important part of today's marketing teams. They provide recent college graduates a chance to combat the catch-22 of needing experience to get a job that will give them experience, while employers can select from the cream of the crop, see how a potential employee will fare in a real-life setting, and even create a pool of interns to pull from in the future. However, the key to a successful marketing internship is to make sure their time spent remains a win-win situation for everyone.

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Real Vision: Your Brand from the Customer and Competitor View Provides Real Insight for Growth Strategy

Posted by Deborah Fell

I recently watched a news story on photographer Vincent Laforet, who finds his best subjects at 8,000 feet in the air. In fact, the thrill seeker has spent several hundred hours of his career suspended in a harness at the edge of a helicopter, snapping beautiful aerial shots of bustling metropolises like New York and Las Vegas.

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The Curse of Knowledge…Can you escape it?

Posted by Michael Morrison

Most everyone involved in creating and selling a product or service is probably familiar with the distinctions between features and benefits.


  • Features = 20-Volt Cordless Compact Drill features a slim and ergonomic handle to provide an excellent balance and superb control during use. This tool delivers variable speeds of 0 – 600 RPM and 0 – 2,000 RPM for a range of drilling applications, and a compact and lightweight design. 2 fast-charging, lithium-ion batteries are included along with a charger, kit box, belt hook and on-board bit holder.
  • Benefits = A hole.
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The Rotten Truth about Low-Hanging Fruit in Business – and How to Guide Your Team to Success

Posted by Deborah Fell

Consider the American apple grower, who seeks the sweetest, most desired apples from the top of his towering fruit trees. To reach them, he climbs a large commercial ladder to the very top, and works downward, dumping his fruit in a big, burlap bag around his neck and shoulder. If he were to pick the low-hanging apples first, that means he’d be working his way up the ladder with an increasingly heavy load – quite an inverted way to run an orchard business!

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What Does a Fractional CMO Actually Do?

Posted by Pete Hayes

The idea of a mid-sized company hiring a fractional executive is not new. Virtual CFOs, for example – pioneered by companies like Tatum and vcfo – have been around for decades. They can bring incredible value to companies where having a full-time CFO wouldn’t make sense, either fiscally or even practically due to the typical scope of challenges needing attention. Yet, as one private equity principal once shared with me, “I know what I’m going to get with a fractional CFO. But I don’t have that same level of clarity if I hire a fractional CMO.” It’s no wonder. Marketing, as a discipline or an activity, has a wide range of definitions. For example, most of us consider “marketing” as the activities we deploy to take our products and services to market, or attract customers to our business or offerings. Or in short, marketing is largely promotional activity. Yet consider someone who gets their MBA in Marketing. A syllabus from The University of Texas shows most of the coursework is focused on disciplines not directly related to promotion. So what gives?

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How Do You Become the King of Content?

Posted by Stijn Hendrikse

By now modern marketers should know the power of content. Content is everything. Producing unique and innovative content is a vital piece of the marketing pie. So if content is king, how do you become the King of Content? It does not happen overnight. It’s a process. A process that is based largely on “trial and error”. To create meaningful content, you must start by answering the following questions:

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Will Both You, and Your Business, Be Ready to Sell?

Posted by The Chief Outsider

In a song dedicated to his son, John Lennon wrote “Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans.” Although his message could be (and has been) interpreted in many ways, he seems to be saying, “Don’t let distractions keep you from what’s important.

Every business owner has at some point looked into the mirror and asked some version of the question: “What’s next?” It’s a daunting question—particularly in the context of exit or succession planning. Exit implies an end to what is familiar, and succession also suggests paths entailing things outside your control. Fundamentally, the next steps come down to your being prepared to undertake real changes—ones that involve you, your lifestyle, and your business.

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