Are you solving the right problem?


Are you solving the right problem? It’s a question few stop to ask before diving in head first in an attempt to demonstrate action and produce results.

The trouble with that approach is that the surface problem is many times not the real problem. You can spend considerable resources addressing what you think needs to be fixed, only to find that you get the same outcomes (or worse!).

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Five ways to take action after outreach

A team fine-tuning their marketing

Last month, we extolled the virtues of customer outreach—why you should do it and how you can go about it. So now you have all this delicious feedback from your customers, but your job is not complete. To get any value at all from your hard-won insights, you must apply what you’ve learned.

Unfortunately, that’s where a lot of people get stuck. They think they don’t have time to make changes in their organization, they’re not sure where to begin, or things aren’t broken enough (yet) to make these opportunities a high priority. But as the saying goes, you can’t keep doing the same thing and expect different results!

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You ask. You win.

Customers interacting with surveys and research objects

You and I could hypothesize until the cows come home about how your brand or your marketing could be better. We’d come up with plenty of potentially great ideas, but without knowing what’s in the heart and mind of your customer, we’d be building a plan grounded on hunches more than hard facts.

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Is this why your project is stuck?

Last month, I wrote about uncertainty being the new normal in our world of work, and how we can embrace that uncertainty and use it as a way to move forward.

So many of my clients are dealing with uncertainty on a daily basis—and it’s more prevalent now than I’ve ever known it to be. But they’re so close to it they don’t always see it for what it is. All they know is they’ve identified a problem and see marketing as the cure. But they need someone who will do more than blindly fill that prescription. Before anything else, they need an accurate diagnosis.  

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Uncertainty—Is it the new normal?

I’m a planner. I like to know what’s going to happen, when, where and how. If you’re familiar with the classic personality types, you can imagine how an environment with no room for that level of certainty could put someone like me (equal parts Type A and Type C) into a tailspin.

Maybe you’ve felt this uncertainty in your work world, too. Maybe direction isn’t clear. Maybe leadership is in flux. Maybe the landscape is changing so quickly that your 12-month plan doesn’t stand a chance of making it past the first six weeks without revision. I have to think it’s not just me. My inbox has seen more than a couple of news bits lately about “corporate chaos” and the air of uncertainty being the new normal. Continue reading

Skip this step at your own expense

ever made one of these marketing mistakes?

  • Developing a brand with no distinct position in the marketplace
  • Creating content that doesn’t truly speak to customer needs and wants
  • Buying into marketing products or services that don’t help you meet your goals

These are just a few of the expensive mistakes that happen when you skip the strategy step of the marketing process. Continue reading