B2B Featured Tactic: VITO-esque Campaign

B2B Featured Tactic: VITO-esque Campaign
Way back when I was working with one of my very first B2B clients, the CEO’s agency introduced me to the concept of a VITO (Very Important Top Officer) campaign. It was a great addition to my marketing arsenal, and I pull it out when I have a client who is targeting a manageable number of senior-level individuals. VITO is a direct...

Looking Your Best On Camera

Looking Your Best On Camera
If you’re like a lot of my clients, you know that looking your best is important when you’re being videoed or photographed. But you may not know how to bring your “best you” on camera. You may have even heard the horror stories of the people who looked like floating heads on film because their clothing blended into the...

The Difference Between Strategies and Tactics

The Difference Between Strategies and Tactics
Many people seem to have a hard time differentiating between strategies and tactics. Here’s a video from one of our Marketing Strategy workshops that lays out our handy rule of thumb and some real world examples.  

Measuring Your Brand’s Word of Mouth Potential: Net Promoter Score

Measuring Your Brand’s Word of Mouth Potential: Net Promoter Score
Last week I was contacted by two colleagues who had questions about using the Net Promoter Score (NPS) metric. NPS measures customer loyalty, and it came to prominence in a 2003 Harvard Business Review article, The One Number You Need to Grow, by Frederick Reichheld and Bain & Company. Reichheld’s assertion in the article was that it is...

Book Launch! Marketing Your Book By Working Your Network

Book Launch! Marketing Your Book By Working Your Network
Occasionally I get asked for recommendations for marketing a book. This email, from my business school friend Sheryl O’Laughlin, is a great example of leveraging social media and your connections to spread the word about a book or anything else you’re personally passionate about. It was written by Sheryl to spread the word about her...

Have I Got an Opportunity For You! Evaluating an Unsolicited Tactical Opportunity

Have I Got an Opportunity For You! Evaluating an Unsolicited Tactical Opportunity
If you’re like me and the companies I work with, you probably get unsolicited emails pitching goods and services every day. Some are worthy of your consideration, but most aren’t. I’ve seen clients asked to sponsor Bears radio because they’re headquartered in Chicago or to pay to participate in a holiday promotion on an obscure culinary cable...

The News Section of Your Website Makes Me Sad

The News Section of Your Website Makes Me Sad
Is there anything sadder than a “Press” section on a website that’s filled with nothing but unrequited press releases? The good news about this is that many people have clearly gotten the message that public relations is a great tactic if one of your core marketing strategies is Generate Awareness. The bad news is that a sizable...

The Care and Feeding of Your Brand Ambassadors

The Care and Feeding of Your Brand Ambassadors
One of the Techstars companies I mentored this summer, Pak’d, delivers healthy custom lunches to your door. Targeted at moms, Pak’d has had a lot of success using a “Mombassador” program in the Chicago area as part of its launch. I was recently having lunch with Rebecca, one of the co-founders, when she asked me for advice about managing and...

Five Favorite Marketing Hacks

Five Favorite Marketing Hacks
There’s no greater marketing challenge for a startup than a budget that is almost non-existent. Whenever I work with entrepreneurs who are in a low to no-budget situation, one of the first things I ask them is: How much skin are you willing to put in the game? Because in the entrepreneurial world, passion and scrappiness are going to be...

Learning About Your Customers For Free

Learning About Your Customers For Free
I had coffee a few weeks ago with an investor. One of his portfolio companies is having some growth problems and he’s been thinking that maybe they need to spend money on marketing help. The company is a farm-to-market retail store in a somewhat obscure location without much customer foot traffic. Because the company is small, can’t...