Friday, June 16, 2006

Wow, a premonition

This post sums up my recent marketing meeting / review to a T!

I was told that I need to stop writing anything personal or conversational.  Everything needs to not say "we" or "I" but use the company name.  Yeah, that's good, because with a product that people don't want...we need to eliminate the personal relationship aspect of the business.

Stop asking our clients and employees what they want and why this is important.

Stop writing drafts of things that go out.  Write one, check the spelling and send it.

Trying to figure out a corporate message?  That's out too. 

Flood the prospects with information about us and what we do. 

The concept of lead generation and offering valuable information...lost on them.

So, it's back to the jobsearch market.  I am polishing my resume and putting some things together.  Will be putting up a squidoo site with links to some samples and fleshing out resume information.

All I want is something that I can believe in...have passion about...grow with...is that so much to ask???

Monday, June 05, 2006

...but, it's cheaper!

If I sit in one more marketing meeting and hear, "Just email it to them...it's cheaper," I think I may explode.

Friday, June 02, 2006

I'm Starting To Get It!

This concept of the Long Tail hit home with me.

You see, I haven't really "gotten it" with everyone talking about the whole concept.  I read the manifesto, but couldn't get past the entertainment portion of it. 

But today I was considering why I subscribe to Netflix or Yahoo music and it dawned on me...the Long Tail!

I think the market for giving people LOTS of options is amazing with services like these.  And with pricing structures that reward curiosity and experimentation...it's a great concept and some creative people will do very well with it.


Thursday, June 01, 2006

If You Only Read!

There are days when I wish that people read this blog.

Sure, some of what I dump here is for "when word gets out and I overtake Scoble in readership...then people can look back!"  (Hey, power of a positive attitude, right?)

Anyway, I know I've been bitching a lot lately about my current situation...sorry.  But, as someone who's trying to find his place in the world of marketing..when it doesn't go well it's frustrating.

I had a meeting the other day with the owners of the company in which I had my ass handed to me.  They said that they don't have a good feeling about what I'm doing.  Looking back, I truly can't believe some of the things they said, what do you think?

"The asking our customers what their worries are and asking people around here about their opinions has to stop.  That's all theory and it's a waste of time."

"Don't spend so much time re-writing a letter.  Just write it professionally and send it out.  Shouldn't take any more than two hours."

"Marketing is getting a sale in the door."

"We don't need an opinion.  Just tell people the facts."

And on...and on.

It's frustrating to watch a company with a good reputation and hard-working employees shoot themselves in the foot so bad.  In an industry where many of the services we perform are dictated by regulations...so everyone does them the same way, opinion is ALL we have to differentiate ourselves.

Anyway, enough of my whining.  It's time to look for something I can get behind.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

"Made in America"

I heard something funny the other night.

I was walking through Wal Mart while my wife was looking for some flowers/shrubs to plant at our house.  I was going to look at a magazine and heard a man talking to his mother (I assumed) and they had picked up a copy of Sam Walton's "Made in America."  Sarcastically, they said to each other, "Ha, made in China is more like it."  Like they were pissed off.

Hey, McFly, you're shopping at WAL MART!

It's funny how people can criticize business practices but have no problem taking advantage of cheap prices.

It's like all these celebrities complaining about "big business" and republicans and rich people and singing their sob stories about the poor throughout the world and how we need to take care of people and it's all the republicans' fault.  Guess what.  Maybe if you didn't make $20 million to act in a damn movie (and many times not a very good one!) some of that money would be around.

Or the complaints about tax cuts.  Hey, you don't have to take the cut.  Send all your money to the government if they will use it so much more wisely.

Sorry...got off on a rant.  I just get so frustrated when people take advantage of a company's/country's benefits and criticize the methods.  Do they do everything perfect?  Of course not.  But don't vilify them on one hand and turn around and benefit from what they provide.

Monday, May 22, 2006

Can't We All Just Get Along?

Ever since I read this post by Tom Asacker, I've been thinking about the roles of sales and marketing.

I've been rolling around in my head the roles of each and how they can work together.  I think that a bit of the problem can be seen in Tom's post.  Too often, marketers and sales people see each other as...well, not the enemy, but pretty close.  One blames the other and then everyone loses. 

The reality is, neither would be worth much without the other. 

If it was left to marketing...everyone would have lots of information, but few would buy.  If it were left only to sales...people would probably buy things they don't know much about.

In my organization, I'm the marketer and the salesman.  Now, I don't necessarily recommend this either, but I think that these two key business functions need to see each other as allies and work together to achieve the goals of both.  It's up to marketers to identify and forward qualified leads and up to sales to take into account the work that was necessary to get those leads and act accordingly.

I think that the successful organizations going forward are the ones that are able to bridge the gap between sales and marketing.



Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Selling the Invisible...Literally

So, as the saga continues, I am being told to convert from focusing on marketing to sales...even though we've had shoddy marketing efforts at best due to the view of marketing around here.

One of the markets we're targeting is contractors for asbestos inspections, mold assessments and other environmental services associated with construction. 

Here's the problem.

What do I sell?  Basically, we want them to call us when they have an issue, but we just have to wait until that situation presents itself...so that's marketing.  How do I sell the, "Call us if you need anything."

I would love to offer information, white papers, tips, etc to these people so when they do have an issue, they call.  But, the owners are scared to give away information because, "That's what we want them to pay us for."  In addition, they just say, "No one will read that."

So, why don't we offer something they will read?

It's frustrating to have marketing seen as "send out a letter," or even worse, "send a mass email."