Tag Archives: planning

Attributes That Employers Study for Their Marketing Hires

25 Apr

What attributes do employers most value when considering candidates for marketing positions? Certainly, there are many possible answers to this question depending on the company, the specific job, and other criteria.

Nonetheless, here is an interesting delineation of factors that employers consider, as suggested by Geoffrey James for Inc.:

“Hiring great marketers can be challenging, though. Some marketers are great at appearing to be useful when they’re really accomplishing next to nothing. And, in my experience, some of the worst marketers have MBAs or years of experience. With that in mind, here’s what [employers should] look for in a marketing candidate.”

  1. A person who understands that marketing is a service. The first question to ask any candidate for a marketing job: ‘Define marketing.’ The answers will fall into three categories: (a) ‘Say whut?’ You’d be surprised how many marketers (including people with MBAs) don’t have a working definition of what they do, or plan to do, for a living. (b) ‘Marketing is strategic.’ Some marketers define marketing too broadly. Candidates who hold such bloated notions tend to squander their energy in too many directions. (c) ‘Marketing is a service.’ A top marketing candidate will tend to define marketing as a service that helps sales do its job more easily.”
  2. A person who likes being measured. Strong marketing groups (and the candidates you’d want to hire in them) are all about quantitative measurement. They’re familiar with marketing metrics (like conversion rates) and more than willing to have their work  judged on the basis of verifiable numbers.Weak marketing groups focus on activities, regardless of whether those activities generate sales opportunities or help salespeople close them. Such activities include brochures that nobody reads, fancy ads that generate zero sales leads, trade shows that are networking parties for the marketers, and more.
  3. A person who can write concisely.  We live in a constant state of information overload. Thus, the only marketing messages that are heard and remembered are short, vivid, and original. Unfortunately, some marketers are prone to use $5 words when 50¢ words would do the job better; biz-blab like ‘reach out,’ ‘circle back,’ and ‘pick your brain’; and clichés like ‘disruptive innovation,’ ‘industry-leading,’ and ‘state of the art.’ These sins can be deadly to marketers who must communicate with customers who are notoriously unwilling to wade through thick business prose.”
  4. A person who’s had some experience selling.  Great marketers have a deep respect for the job of selling. They realize that marketing is only meaningful if it helps salespeople do their job, which is much more important than any marketing task. You needn’t hold out for someone who’s sold for a living (although that would be ideal), but it is important that a marketing candidate know what it’s like to actually sell.”

Click the image to read more.

                   CREDIT: Getty Images

 

FREE Marketing Planning Tools!

17 Apr

Systematic, integrated, goal-oriented marketing plans are vital for long-run success. For example, see “Developing a Marketing Plan”.

Here are a number of marketing plan templates and sample marketing plans that provide good insights on how to better develop and enact marketing plans. Click on the links to access these templates and sample plans.

 
Here is the in-depth planning tool from Marketing Plan Now.

 

What’s the Most Expensive City in Which to Live?

29 Mar

Believe it or not, worldwide there are many cities that are more expensive than New York City and San Francisco — or any other U.S. city — in which to live. The most expensive U.S. city (New York) only ranks as the ninth most expensive.

The Economist Intelligence Unit recently published “Worldwide Cost of Living 2017: A ranking of the world’s major cities”:

“Singapore retains its title as the world’s most expensive city for a fourth consecutive year in a top ten that may have a familiar feel to it. Not only has Singapore stayed top but Hong Kong remains second, closely followed by Zurich. The latest survey has also seen a return to the top ten most expensive cities for Tokyo and Osaka. The Japanese capital, which was the world’s most expensive city until 2012, has moved seven places up the ranking owing to a sustained recovery in the strength of the Japanese yen.With Japanese cities returning to the fold, Asia now accounts for half of the ten most expensive cities ranked. Western Europe accounts for a further four cities, while New York City is the lone North American representative. The Big Apple, which rose to seventh place last year, has fallen to ninth owing to a slight weakening of the U.S. dollar, which has also affected the position of other US cities. For New York, this still represents a comparatively sharp increase in the relative cost of living compared with five years ago, when New York was ranked 46th.”

 
Here are the 10 most expensive cities in the world as charted by Statisa.
 

 

Skills That Entrepreneurs Need

14 Mar

Being an entrepreneur is not easy. It requires creativity, patience, a willingness to take risks, expertise, endurance, and a whole lot more.

According to Growth Hackers’ co-founder and CEO Jonathan Aufray:

“An entrepreneur must be audacious, calculating, enthusiastic, and passionate. Creativity and managerial capabilities are also important to the success of an entrepreneur. An entrepreneur needs to be a talented multi-disciplinary individual, a bit like the growth hacker job description, which is very complex, the entrepreneur job description is even more complicated.”

“Contrary to popular opinion, entrepreneurial skills and qualities can be learned, practiced, and developed. You must, however, make a conscious decision to nurture these qualities and skills. Once you begin to make a conscious effort to acquire these skills, particularly skills in the area where you are deficient, you would have repositioned yourself for tremendous accomplishments as an entrepreneur in the business world.”

Aufray has identified 29 skills as important for successful entrepreneurship. Here are ten of them:

  1. Personal capabilities
  2. Image building
  3. Effective communication
  4. Ability to negotiate
  5. Ability to lead
  6. Ability to sell
  7. Ability to concentrate (focus)
  8. Customer relations
  9. Preparedness to learn
  10. Inquisitiveness

 
Click the image for a full discussion of the above 10 skills and to see Aufray’s whole list of 29 entrepreneurial skills.
 

 

It Was Only a Matter of Time!

10 Mar

For several years now, Americans have been consuming more bottled water and less soda. Now, for the first time, the sales of bottled water exceed those of soda in the United States.

As reported by SCMP:

“Bottled water has been enjoying growth for years, while sales of traditional sodas have declined. Research and consulting firm Beverage Marketing Corp. (BMC) says Americans drank an average of 39.3 gallons of bottled water in 2016, and 38.5 gallons of carbonated soft drinks. In 2015, bottled water was at 36.5 gallons while soda was at 39 gallons.”

“Other industry trackers define drink categories differently, so may see the cross at different times. Beverage Marketing includes sparkling waters in bottled waters and excludes energy drinks in sodas. The reverse is true for another tracker, Beverage Digest, which projects bottled water will surpass soda this year [2017].”

The Shelby Report notes:

“’Bottled water effectively reshaped the beverage marketplace,’ said BMC Chairman and CEO Michael C. Bellas. ‘When Perrier first entered the country in the 1970s, few would have predicted the heights to which bottled water would eventually climb. Where once it would have been unimaginable to see Americans walking down the street carrying plastic bottles of water, or driving around with them in their cars’ cup holders, now that’s the norm. With the exception of two relatively small declines in 2008 and 2009 — when most beverage categories contracted — bottled water volume grew every year from 1977 to 2016. This period included 17 double-digit annual volume growth spurts. Since resuming growth in 2010, bottled water volume has consistently enlarged at solid single-digit percentage rates.’”

 

Fortunately for both Coca-Cola Co. and PepsiCo, they both have popular brands of non-carbonated bottled water, including Dasani, Vitaminwater, and Smartwater from Coca-Cola and Aquafina, Lifewater, and LIFEWTR.

A case of Dasani bottled water. Photo by AFP

 

What Type of Autonomous Car Is for YOU?

6 Mar

As we get closer and closer to the commercial launch of autonomous (self-driving) cars, one key factor has not been addressed enough: What is an autonomous car — because one type of car does not fit all? The answer is not simply “a car that takes over all/most driving functions for you.” The possible configurations of cars complicates things for both manufacturers and potential customers!

Here is a very good list of the types of autonomous driving experiences, from Lauren Flanigan (writing for The American Genius) that are ahead. Which type is best for YOU?

“From self-parking to collision avoidance, there are an array of different features that will be made available to consumers. But before you start saving for your next dream, take a look at which kind is best for you and your futuristic needs.”

Level 0 (zero automation) — “Your car is most likely a zero automation car. A human driver is required to operate and fully control the vehicle.”

Level 1 (driver assisted/function specific) — “These cars are for those who don’t trust automobiles with their lives. They still require a driver to operate the vehicle, but act as an aid to the driver, providing [specific] intelligent features.”

Level 2 (partial automation/combined autonomous functions) — “At this level, a self-driving automobile can perform two or more simultaneous tasks like steering, lane keeping, and speed maintenance while in cruise control mode.”

Level 3 (conditional automation/limited self-driving) — “The car assumes more than just partial control, and acts instead as a co-pilot. Although the driver can relinquish a lot of tasks to the car, the driver must to be ready at all times to resume control.”

Level 4 (high automation) — “These cars can perform all safety-critical driving functions while monitoring environments in defined-use cases without human intervention. Drivers enter the destination and navigation details and the car does the rest.”

Level 5 (fully autonomous) — “This car does not require any effort or driving on behalf of the human owner. There is no driving equipment in the car, which is designed to resemble comfortable environments like lounges and offices. The vehicle is in full control.”

 
Click the image to read more.


 

Be Careful in Making Promises to Customers

2 Mar

In the current highly competitive global marketplace, marketers face a difficult balancing act. On the one, they must promote their goods or services as superior to other firms’ offerings. On the other hand, if customers become unhappy because they buy something that does not meet their expectations, they may be lost to the overpromising firm forever. What we should do? Here’s one perspective from a company dealing with high-value clients.

As Joshua Hebert (CEO of Magellan Jets) writes for Fortune magazine:

“We know that everyone stumbles, and when that happens, the most important thing to do is minimize the damage and turn the mistakes into a positive. One of our most memorable setbacks was with a private travel customer who wanted us to help out when one of our competitors let her down. This was no small deal — one of the top celebrities in the world had a mechanical issue with her jet, and needed us to get her from London to New York overnight. What we did next wasn’t the best idea: We promised the world. Although we didn’t quite have everything lined up, we said we could make it happen on a moment’s notice. When we put the pieces together for the flight, we found the pilots would have too much time in the air that day. That would violated safety standards, so we had to tell them we could not complete the flight.”

“Here are a few things to keep in mind when big mistakes feel like the end of the world. Don’t delay bad news. If you don’t let people know about an issue, you’re hurting them and potentially creating an even bigger problem. Trust yourself When you make a mistake and say, ‘Here’s what I’m willing to do to fix it, and here’s what I’m not willing to do,’ it lets people know what’s most important to you. Being honest and only committing to submit high-quality work are examples of standards to stick by, even in tough situations. Institutionalize your lessons. It’s important to prevent mistakes from reoccurring. After the celebrity incident, we added a new flight support element to our team. Now, when “ASAP” trips are booked, we call customers every 15 minutes within a few hours of the flight for updates on their upcoming flight. Even if there is nothing to report, we touch base so there is no miscommunication.”

 

Click the image to learn about Magellan Jets.

 

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