August 15, 2014

7-Rapid Fire Positioning Tips

Every company should be able to articulate their positioning in 1-minute or less. Unfortunately, very few can. Even worse is when company’s ramble on without piquing anyone’s interest. When I recently judged a dozen 1-minute pitches at an investment forum, it became crystal-clear what works—and what doesn’t. Even if you think you’ve got your company positioning fine-tuned to perfection, give these 7-tips a quick read to test your positioning to see if you’re missing anything. If not, congratulations! If so, integrate these ideas to ensure that your story is working. Read the article: fruits-in-vase-1444656-1-m

May 31, 2014

Marketing Tradeoffs vs. The Cost of “More, More, More”

icebergAs a Chief Marketing Officer for hire, I hear a single four-lettered word echoed repeatedly by clients. It is the universal plea for “more”. To the uninitiated, when a company requests more and more from marketing, it might seem like a good thing. After all, a demand for more means marketing has value. The problems arise when the mandate is not reconciled with the trade-offs needed to reconcile the people, time and budget resources required to deliver “more”.

Here is a common scenario. An event transpires. Perhaps the company is being out-flanked by the competition. Urgent discussion ensues around the need for more marketing. Lickety-split, a burst of marketing activity is unleashed. The marketing team scrambles to launch new programs. With any luck, short-term success follows.

Unfortunately, the key question almost everyone forgets to ask is this: At the cost of what? Marketing has a cost beyond simple expense. Read more, to discover what to watch for.

March 14, 2014

Emotional Benefits Should be the Cornerstone of Your Brand

It is rare to hefeelingsar a prospect state an emotional benefit about your product, but the Holy Grail of marketing is yours if you can unearth them.

Connecting your product to a buyer’s emotions will help you sell more. However, it requires understanding your brand essence—the feelings your brand evokes. The first step is to ask: How does your brand make customers feel and what is the benefit of that emotion?

Learn how to define your brand essence.

January 24, 2014

What is a CMO?

mktgRadical shifts in marketing cause unprecedented confusion

We are watching first hand as traditional marketing such as branding, promotion and product management attempts to mesh with new social channels, digital disciplines and big data analytics with new reporting. As a “CMO-to-go”, I see firsthand the profound confusion this is having across the corporate landscape. Many CEO’s are asking—what is the real role of my CMO? Where do business decisions end and marketing begin? How should the marketing function be structured and aligned across the company?

If you’re looking for the answers start with this article.

Better yet, talk to us about doing a CMO assessment for your organization. We ready to help you define the CMO role you need so that your business can achieve the objectives you want.

December 15, 2013

You can write your way to more sales

A strange thing happened on the way to 2013. It seems every business discovered content marketing.  According to the Content Marketing Institute, 90% of organizations are marketing with content. Personally, I think it is a great.  Similar to the “rise of the geeks” in business, in marketing circles, it’s now the “rise of the journalist” era. The only issue is that not everyone understands the art of using content marketing to drive more sales. Check out these three failsafe tips:


November 11, 2013

What is a “drive by” marketing audit and why do you need it?

The short answer: It’s the fastest way to make sure your marketing resonates with buyers.

As a marketer or CEO, when was the last time you shopped for your offering online just like a prospect? If it’s been a while, you’ll want to read this article

 I’ve figured out a short, 4-step process that is fast, easy and will reveal how you need to modify your marketing to make sure your company stands out and engages your prospects.

November 11, 2013

Recently Success Magazine called and asked—

What advice do you give clients that need to name their business?

NYC-based reporter Emma Johnson was working on a piece to help business owners understand the naming process. As a Chief Marketing Officer, I get this question a lot. That’s why I developed a foolproof process and was happy to share the secrets. If you’re interested in learning how to do it yourself, read the interview with tips and examples right now

August 11, 2013

Connect with your customer first, then sell

What is the difference between marketing that does or doesn’t work? It may seem hit or miss to the untrained eye. However, at closer inspection, the reasons become more obvious.

“Hook, don’t sell”, cites a recent MIT study and showcases examples from Starbucks, Cisco Systems and a memorable northwest TV ad campaign, to help readers avoid marketing that lands like a “thud”.

Thank you to Isen & Company intern Burke Gibson for his contributions to this piece.

June 29, 2013

Can Marketing Ever Be Too Smart?

You bet. Although smart, strategic thinking is valued in every business, sometimes an over emphasis on “being smart” can actually derail good marketing. Overthinking is often the culprit. It crops up in a variety of common situations: Analysis at the wrong time, working with perfectionists and not being clear about how groups will make decisions. Learn more about the four indicators that your marketing is at risk of slipping off course because of overthinking.

May 20, 2013

Has your ego invaded your marketing?

Picture this–you’re at an event and suddenly you’re trapped by “Chatty Cathy” who  drones on and on about herself. Bored to tears, you can hardly think of an escape plan fast enough. This happens in marketing too. Your “guest” downloads a brochure or visits your website, only to experience an onslaught of company blah, blah, blah.  Unfortunately their escape plan is easy. One click and its off to your competitors site. That’s the trap of egocentric marketing. However, if you’re smart there are three clever ways to avoid it. Learn more: