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An Optimist, a Pessimist and a Marketer walk into a bar…

There are two key ways to differentiate yourself to grow in a crowded market: 1) refine your target market definition, and 2) improve your positioning. To read more about how to 'change the glass' see Sharpen Your Target Market to Build a Better Demand Generation Machine and How To Grow In A Crowded Market. I like to illustrate this with my take on an old joke: “While the optimist and [...]

The Secret to Building A World-Class Sales and Marketing Team

When asked to recommend candidates by executives that are looking to build or expand their sales and marketing team, the first step I take is to determine the organization’s priorities. A question that often comes up is whether experience, in either a vertical industry or horizontal technology, should trump cultural fit, current skills and potential? In this post, I'll first take a look at whether this approach works, before [...]

How To Position Your Startup To Grow In A Crowded Market

If the market for your product or service is taking off, you're likely experiencing an influx of new entrants. Customers, potential employees and investors—who in the early days didn't understand your product or were skeptical it would succeed—now tell you that "everyone's doing that" and want to know "what's different about you?" There are two key ways to differentiate yourself to grow in a crowded market. [...]

5 Steps to Tune Up Your Revenue Engine and Increase B2B Sales

Whether you're in a start-up that's recently confirmed your product/market fit or in an established company that's ready to act on a new growth opportunity, to increase B2B sales you should periodically assess and tune your revenue engine. To make sure your sales and marketing processes are ready to help you accelerate your business, here are 5 steps you should take (or re-take) before you push the [...]

Sharpen Your Target Market to Build a Better Demand Generation Machine

Target Market: A specific group of consumers at which a company aims its products and services. Your target customers are those who are most likely to buy from you. Resist the temptation to be too general in the hopes of getting a larger slice of the market. That's like firing 10 bullets in random directions instead of aiming just one dead center of the mark--expensive and [...]

Start-up CEOs: When Should You Hire Your First CMO / VP Marketing?

I’m surprised by how many B2B start-up CEOs are still building their companies the old fashioned way:  First, they assemble a product team and build the product in stealth mode. Then, they hire a hot-shot direct salesperson to go out and sell it. They plan to build their marketing team after their revenue starts ramping and eventually hire a CMO / VP Marketing when they [...]

Micro-Segmentation in the Age of Big Data

One of the essential topics taught in introductory marketing courses is the concept of market segmentation, which is the division of a market into groups of consumers that share one or more characteristics. Although most marketers understand the value of segmentation as a means to better target their efforts, many are daunted by the task of applying segmentation in an age of Big Data, where [...]

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Employ Predictive Analytics To Improve Sales and Marketing Alignment

Measurement is a key discipline for any modern marketer. Metrics that measure inbound, outbound, brand and other performance are all critical for understanding marketing effectiveness and its impact on sales. Yet, a Fournaise Marketing Group survey reported that 73% of CEOs think marketers lack business credibility, since they can't prove they generate business growth. So, how can CMOs leverage new tools, such as predictive analytics, to measure [...]