Art of War- Competitive Intelligence As An Offensive Weapon

competitive intelligence for marketers

Article first appeared in Technorati here. Competition. The very word can often strike fear in the hearts of many a business owner or executive. They get reviled, extolled, crushed, attacked, copied, grudgingly praised and even sometimes acquired. Too seldom does it get broken down, analyzed, and synthesized into something useful and leveraged as an opportunity. Often when we decide to take a look at our competitors we start out with a loose framework based on our own brand and then start comparing and contrasting. We start with us vs. them. And usually stop there as well. A circle of one-to-oneness.  A solid competitive analysis should encompass these three key viewpoints: Us vs. Us Us vs. Them (all of them and each of them) Us vs. Those (those dream brands who we want to be when we grow up) There are many frameworks you can use for both general and industry specific competitive analysis. If you are knowledgeable about your industry you will be able to cut through a lot of the dross of the Internet by going right to your target competitors; at least the ones you already know about. However it is nearly impossible to avoid either being ‘pigeon-holed’ Continue reading Art of War- Competitive Intelligence As An Offensive Weapon

Engaged Employees Build Engaged Customers – Technorati Feature

Engaged Employees Build Engaged Customers (Article first published on as Engaged Employees Build Engaged Customers – How Does Addvocate Help You Engage?) Engaged employees are one of an organization’s biggest assets. So what is an engaged employee? Engaged employees produce twice as much work product in the same time as unengaged employees. 40%-80% of customer satisfaction is directly affected by employee attitudes, according to the National Business Research Institute. Great brands such as Southwest Airlines, Apple and IBM have achieved their success in part by focusing on employees first, and customers second. They put great effort into building employee engagement. They empower their teams to be proactive and solution oriented. When employees are engaged they tend to also be happy and they do what all people do: they actively tell other people about what they are interested in. Engaged employees become brand advocates and reach out to and build engaged customers, and they are using social media tools to do this in ever increasing numbers. And customers are listening. With the ubiquity of social media an organization’s brand is being affected and influenced more than ever by what customers are saying about the brand. (not what the brand is saying about Continue reading Engaged Employees Build Engaged Customers – Technorati Feature

5 Key Takeaways from the Lifecycle Messaging Conference #LCMC13

Simms jenkins mobile email

Article first published as 5 Key Takeaways from Lifecycle Messaging Conference on Technorati. The Lifecycle Messaging Conference was held held October 9-11, 2013, in San Diego, California at the Omni San Diego Hotel, located in the heart of San Diego’s historic Gaslamp District. The focus of the 2-day conference was helping companies implement advanced lifecycle messaging programs to bring their email marketing program into the modern world. Summed up in the tagline: “Email Marketing in an Omni-Channel World.” Conference sponsors and host Blue Hornet is an enterprise email service provider and part of Digital River, Inc. (NASDAQ: DRIV). There were remarkable keynotes by noted authors and marketers Mitch Joel – Author of CTRL, ALT DELETE, Jay Baer, author of Youtility and Simms Jenkins author of The New Inbox.  The conference focused on email marketing, but invoked all of the tools and platforms of digital marketing including mobile, social media, SEO, SEM, paid media, ecommerce and more. Topics presented and discussed surrounded the challenges, issues and power of email marketing to drive KPI’s and ROI.  As a person no longer directly involved in email marketing, I was struck by a few key takeaways that transcended any single presentation or message. These themes Continue reading 5 Key Takeaways from the Lifecycle Messaging Conference #LCMC13