Argentum Blog

Argentum's blog, Marketing Op-Ed, highlights interesting, real-world examples of marketing with a little bit (okay, a lot) of opinion thrown in.  It's written by Susan Silver, President of Argentum Strategy Group, with the occasional guest blogger added to the mix.

Look at Your Competitive Set in a New Way

Look at Your Competitive Set in a New Way
A recent Harvard Business Review article, Cultural Innovation, by Douglas Holt, resonated with me on multiple levels. First, it’s about rethinking your category and its underlying unmet needs, Second, it’s all about understanding the entrenched schemas in your category and identifying hidden dissatisfiers to break them, which is the foundation...

A Fresh Look at How B2B Customers Buy

A Fresh Look at How B2B Customers Buy
The last few years have seen a flurry of new Argentum clients in the distribution space. Distributor differentiation is especially challenging since distributors typically carry the same products at the same prices as their competitors. As a result, these distributors have been some of my most interesting clients to position. One of these...

Throwdown: So You Think YOUR Service is Differentiated?

Throwdown: So You Think YOUR Service is Differentiated?
Whenever we teach Positioning, someone invariably wants their Point of Difference to be “Exceptional service.” Generally, this is way too generic to be genuinely differentiating. But a remanufactured toner cartridge company we worked with a few years ago was the exception to this rule.  Watch this quick video case study. 

It’s Time for a Marketing Audit!

It’s Time for a Marketing Audit!
When was the last time you did a marketing audit? If it’s been over a year (if ever) then now is a great time to tackle this important piece of marketing hygiene. This is especially true if the current world situation has slowed your company’s usually hectic marketing pace. Conducting a marketing audit helps you take a good, hard, objective look...

From Positioning to Packaging

From Positioning to Packaging
Situation After buying Amylu Foods in early 2018, the new owner put developing a new logo and revitalizing the packaging high on the brand’s marketing to-do list for the company’s flagship chicken sausage business. Argentum Actions Conducted customer and consumer research to identify core brand equities. Leveraged the research and the...

How to Lose a Lead in Ten Seconds: When Email Marketing Goes Horribly Wrong

How to Lose a Lead in Ten Seconds: When Email Marketing Goes Horribly Wrong
I received an interesting email in the Argentum inbox a few months ago. The subject line was “Invitation For Coffee For Susan Silver.” I almost didn’t open it because I wasn’t even sure what that means. But the marketer in me was curious, and I had some time to kill while I waited for someone, so I opened up the email and...

Is Your Point of Difference a Buried Treasure?

Is Your Point of Difference a Buried Treasure?
Point of Difference (POD) is the proverbial “Big Kahuna” in your positioning statement. It’s the one piece of the statement that should be as distinctive, special and remarkable as possible, without descending into hyperbole, flights of fancy, or even truth-stretching. Not surprisingly, this can also mean that the POD is the...

Let’s Play: What’s Wrong With This Survey

Let’s Play: What’s Wrong With This Survey
An early-stage investor in Chickety Split, a healthy ready-to-eat food product that you can buy in grocery stores, recently asked me to take a look at a survey that the founder, Fred, is preparing to send out. The investor, Harry, explained that he was seeking my advice because he expected that the survey would result in a disappointing outcome...

So You Have a Positioning Statement, Now What? Messaging Matrix.

So You Have a Positioning Statement, Now What? Messaging Matrix.
A few years ago, I was working with the CEO of a fast-growing Bay Area technology start-up. After a recent promotion from CMO, he wanted my help with the company’s messaging since he no longer had the time to lead that project himself. While he wanted to focus solely on messaging, I knew that grounding that messaging in a foundation of...

So You Have a Positioning Statement – Now What? Elevator Pitches.

So You Have a Positioning Statement – Now What? Elevator Pitches.
For fledgling marketers, it’s not always clear how to use a positioning statement beyond on-boarding and grounding creative partners. The good news is that it’s actually a tool that can be used to enhance all of your sales and marketing efforts, not just the classic creative ones like ads and collateral. A great example is using your...