The Two Marketing Metrics Every Business Should Measure

1/22/2016 posted in Business, Sales, Marketing, Strategy

Marketing is a gamble. Possibly not what you’d expect to hear from a marketing company, but bear with us.

Your marketing budget is your stake, the tables and slots at the casino are your marketing channels, and new customers - falling into your lap like golden coins from a slot machine – are your prize. A professional gambler will not be seduced by the flashing lights, the big headline numbers and the dealer’s spiel, because professional gambling is not glamour, it is mathematics – it is less about unknown risk and more about predictable return. Professional marketing is no different.

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The Value Proposition: How To Engage For Growth

11/13/2015 posted in Business, Marketing, Strategy

Vistage Speaker Roger Martin-Fagg says: “A business will be growing its sales because customers, consumers and clients purchase on the basis of superior or differentiated value. And you need to be sure what the drivers of satisfaction are.”

“The value proposition is a clear statement of what value you offer, to whom - and in what way. It is different from a mission statement because it focuses on differentiation, or the compelling reason why customers should choose you and not your competitor.”

 A value proposition helps define value for money, when people buy from you they do so because you offer value. That value could be price, attitude of employees, ease of purchase, convenience, clarity of offer, your distinguished capability, delivery time, post sales support, local supplier, finance and so on. The value you offer is your value proposition.

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What Most Marketers Miss, Part 2

10/23/2015 posted in Business, Getting Ahead, Marketing

Last time we looked at some case studies on how global brands use Predatory Marketing. This time it’s your turn. In this final article of the Predatory Marketing series we give you the 5-step process for evaluating your market and creating a Predatory Marketing campaign.

Let’s start with a quick recap. Predatory Marketing says to strike at the weaknesses that arise out of your competitors' greatest strengths; you're no longer competing on parity messages or differentiators that don't have a lot of value in them. It also makes responding a great challenge for your competitors.

We use Predatory Marketing to cut through the marketing noise and take back market share.

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What Most Marketers Miss, Part 1

10/2/2015 posted in Business, Getting Ahead, Marketing

We don’t know if you’ve noticed but there is a lot of advertising and marketing fluff out there. Nielsen data tells us that you’ve actually encountered about 3000 branded messages today alone. Can you remember them all? On the back of the bus, landed in your inbox, on the equipment in front of you – somewhere in the world, a marketer was hoping you would notice these branded messages.

Chances are you only noticed ten of these branded messages and five of those rubbed you the wrong way. So why is that?

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Are you a little bit Nokia?

9/11/2015 posted in Business, Getting Ahead, Sales, Marketing, Strategy, Change Management

I remember, not that long ago, if you were flying just about anywhere in the world, after landing there would be an outbreak of Nokia ringtones going off around the plane as everyone turned their phones back on. And now? Never.

As a young engineer I remember being proud to be the new owner of an Aristo sliderule. It was the very best you could get – the Rolls Royce. Where are Aristo now? Gone.

The Cutty Sark tea clipper in its day was one of the fastest commercial sailing ships ever built – the envy of all. Then steam was invented and these new fangled steam ships didn’t need to tack into the wind and hence could cut hours from the Far East route. There have been no commercial sailing ships built since.

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5 Top Tips For Mastering B2B Social Media

8/28/2015 posted in Business, Getting Ahead, Marketing

Did you know that 23% of UK B2B businesses rate poor organisational understanding of social media as one of the top challenges they face this year? As the world is becoming more technologically savvy and the ‘social media generation’ are finding themselves in key roles within businesses, this is shocking to me. Social media is a very powerful tool within the initial attraction stage of the buyer’s journey, and it’s only growing stronger.

With a small amount of time and effort, you can transform your business’ social media footprint from poor or non-existent to effective and compelling.

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Marketing for CEOs and the 4 Not-so-Great Expectations!

7/31/2015 posted in Business, Speakers, Life At The Top, Being a new CEO, Marketing

It never ceases to surprise us when CEOs confide that they don’t have stellar expectations of what marketing can do for their business. “Sure it can make a difference”, they say, “A smart website and some nice newsletters”. All too rarely do we meet a CEO who tells us they expect their marketing to deliver truly transformational, high impact strategic results.

Many have a preconceived, purely tactical view of marketing. “We got last week’s receptionist to make a few changes to the website”. They don’t understand what strategic marketing is and so are unable to set the strategic tone for how they want their business strategy (for those which have one!) to be supported.

And by high impact strategic results - what do we mean? There are a few questions you should be asking of your business.

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95% of Companies Get Their Value Proposition Wrong - How Does Yours Compare?

11/27/2014 posted in Business, Getting Ahead, Sales, Marketing, Strategy


95% of all companies do not even know what their competitive advantages are. Much less are able to communicate a clear reason for why customers should choose their product or service. Vistage Speaker Jaynie Smith states that "this isn't just true for small to medium sized businesses" - large companies also have it wrong. The trouble is that most business leaders are carrying on with business as usual, not realising that they are doing themselves, their staff and their customers a disservice. So, it is likely that you are too!

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26% of SMEs Use Social Media Just Because Their Competitors Do!

10/22/2014 posted in Marketing

Practically every company uses social media, but some business leaders are using it for no good reason at all.

According to Social Media Examiner, 97% of companies are using social media to market our products and / or services, with 92% stating that it is important to their business.  But, there are still businesses out there with no clear purpose for their social media output, and for me this is a problem. With 26% of MDs of SMEs claiming that they use social media just because their competitors do, I dread to think what their efforts are like.

If you don’t have a valid reason for it then why do you bother at all?

There are tremendous opportunities with social media but one thing that Vistage helps MDs understand is that if you’re going to do something properly then you should set clear objectives for it and measure against them. Simply put, investments being made in social media (be they staff time, agency fees or system costs) are no different to any other business investments in this respect.

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Save Your Breath: Why Verbal Education Only Does Half the Job

9/23/2014 posted in Business, Sales, Marketing

If you’re in business, chances are you spend a good portion of your day delivering verbal education. You may not know what that means, but it doesn’t mean that you don’t do it. Any time you communicate instructions or information verbally – that is, any time you answer a client’s question, provide them with advice, or explain a product or service – you’re teaching them. This fantastic service is what makes you “you” – but it’s also a huge waste of time. So, what should SMEs really be doing?
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