Sales

Content vs. Discontent

A recent survey on “The role of content strategy” conducted by the Economist Intelligence Unit in association with Peppercomm indicates that all is not well in the content world. The survey found that two-thirds (67%) of global decision makers judge the success of content on its distinctiveness while 71% of the content-supplying marketers judge success purely on sales. The reasons for this mis-match, this dis-content, are understandable enough … but it doesn’t alter the fact that things need to change. It’s not as if there haven’t already been several alerts to this problem. Back in 2006, in their book “Customer Message Management”, Tim Reisterer and Diane Emo made the point that “Up to 90 percent of the marketing messages and materials created for sales support is unused, or is used inapp...

Are you brave enough?

It is one thing to say that the Customer is at the heart of any business but quite another to fully embrace the idea. A couple of stories from the not-too-distant past help illustrate the point. First, ask yourself these questions: To build business with a client or prospect what do you need to know about their business? What are your ‘benefits’? What are your ‘strengths’? What do you need to know about the competition – yours and those of your prospect? Now, here’s the first story. A large, rosewood, mirror-polished table dominates the boardroom; around it, 20 or so black-leather chairs. Half a dozen dinner-plate sized ashtrays signal that we are in a time gone by (the mid-1980s), as does the battery of Kodak Carousel projectors facing a screen. For a day and a half, the client executives...

Which came first, the Product or the Customer Outcome?

It is along towards ten o’clock one April evening in 1990, and I am sitting in a restaurant in west London with my friend John Frazer-Robinson – JFR for short. We went there for lunch and are now nine hours in to a lively conversation about the future of sales and marketing. (Total Quality Marketing[i] was published in 1991.) One of the topics we discuss is his theory of three generations of selling. I am immediately fascinated. It’s the genesis of an obsession with Customer Value Management that has stayed with me to this day. Value Creation All buying decisions (all decisions, in fact) are based upon Value judgements, where ‘value’ is an individual’s or group’s assessment of what something is worth, weighing the benefits of whatever is on offer against the costs of accessing those benefi...

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