Growth Insights for CEOs

Sales vs. Marketing: Chicken or Egg First?

Posted by John Lenzen

What comes first, adding a sales person or having ready prospects and opportunities to pursue?

I once worked for a company where Sales held all the power – more than product development or finance and certainly more than marketing.  I recall a discussion with a long-time senior executive about the amount of marketing investment required for the company to profitably grow.  She commented that the company had a tried and true method of driving growth. “We don’t need to invest in marketing.  For every sales person we add, then revenue will grow!”, she proudly exclaimed.  This had indeed been true at one time in the company’s history, but along with that revenue growth came increased expenses and decreasing sales productivity.  The company eventually went through an inevitable and painful exercise of downsizing a much too large sales force.

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Shift Your Brand Perception – Tips for Getting Your Positioning to ‘Stick’

Posted by John Lenzen

After reading my previous posts, you’re almost on your way to productively and energetically leveraging your brand’s perception to drive company growth and profitability.  Our previous topics of focus covered the specific impact that brand perception can have on the bottom line, the need for clear positioning as the foundation for communicating about your company, and some keys to arming others with that positioning so they can get your story into the market.

Now, I’ll review the most important tips on what it takes to get your positioning to stick – to successfully change brand perception to accelerate growth and profitability.

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Shift Your Brand Perception – Rally Others to Tell Your Story

Posted by John Lenzen

After reading my previous posts, you’re almost on your way to productively and energetically leveraging your brand’s perception to drive company growth and profitability.  Our previous topics of focus covered the specific impact that brand perception can have on the bottom line and the need for clear positioning as the foundation for communicating about your company.

It’s now time to examine effective ways to arm others with that refined market positioning. By understanding your story, employees, customers and other influencers will help you communicate this information to your marketplace. This strategy takes some of the pressure off your sales team. It also makes it easier to proliferate your vision, as well as the value of your product and service offerings.

One of the biggest challenges small to mid-size companies face is promoting their company with limited resources.  Not everyone has massive advertising budgets to flood the market, so you need to work smarter to get the most out of your marketing spend.  One way to do that is to more effectively leverage your employee base and others who have influence in your industry.  It’s much more powerful when others can tell the story for you. 

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Shift Your Brand Perception - Start with Getting Your Positioning Right

Posted by John Lenzen

In my previous post, we reviewed how brand perception specifically impacts company growth and profitability. Now we’ll cover the keys to building the foundation for communicating about your company.  

When companies start out, they usually have a very clear understanding of who their customer is, the problem they are solving, and possibly, how they are different.  This is typically because they have a single product for a single market segment where they’ve achieved some level of success.   But over time, as companies and markets evolve:

  • The competition becomes more intense, either through matching capabilities, building new capabilities or new competitors appearing.
  • Customer needs and priorities change. What was important to a customer 3 years ago may not be as important today.
  • The company enters new market segments or geographies. There may be subtleties between industries, regions and countries in terms of priorities and pain points.
  • The company broadens its portfolio of offerings. As more products are developed and more problems addressed, there might be new buyers and other selling dynamics.
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Need Higher Revenue Growth and Profitability? Start with your Company’s Image

Posted by John Lenzen

There are tens of millions of small businesses and corporations in the United States today. A deluge of brands, all with their own marketing campaigns, makes it more overwhelming than ever for potential customers to choose the right products or services for their needs. No matter how many advertisements or social media posts your target customers see, their willingness to select your company depends on how well they conceptualize, understand, and trust your brand, its offerings, and employees.

It probably seems obvious that your organization’s image and perception is critical. Too often, however, companies fail to understand the distinct impact that weak brand perception can have on their bottom line.  As a result, they may under-invest in developing and managing their brand, even as the consumer decision journey has changed so profoundly.

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