Commentary

The effects of the Internet continue to astound me. As simple an asset as a killer web site name – and knowing what to do with it - can turn a nothing business into eight-figures in no time.

Serial entrepreneur Jesse Stein bought the name SportsMemorabilia-dot-com in 2006 for twelve-thousand-five-hundred dollars. At the time, the site was doing business of a few hundred dollars a month.

archer>malmo

True marketing is a process of maximizing a company’s assets. It begins with identifying the company’s assets, and that’s not always as obvious as you might think.

The genius chief marketing officer at Delta Airlines was the first to identify Delta’s customers as an asset two years ago. The result included new sales opportunities that have accounted for over $1.5 billion in new revenue.

You can go through a similar marketing process in your own behalf, and you begin the very same way.

ganko / fotolia.com

Shopping in Memphis is hard. Recently in a large supermarket, a shopper of close acquaintance discovered that the shelves were bare of skim milk. She found an employee and asked if they had any more. He went the storage area, then returned after several minutes to say that they were still looking.

I'm not sure which is worse: that they had no skim milk in the store, or that they had it, but did not know where it was.

Also recently, I dropped-in at a car dealership to look at new SUVs. There were two shiny ones in the showroom.

Redstark / fotolia.com

I was having lunch near my office downtown. The restaurant was almost full, and I was by myself, so I took a seat at the bar.

Even though it's a place I don't go often, I knew most of the other people at the bar, common among us downtowners. And they all knew the bartender, Mark.

Mark was an octopus, serving food and drink customers at the bar, which equaled several tables full of people. Service was good, but secondary, because every one of us was enjoying ourselves. It helped that it was Friday.

In a recent conversation with a group of instructors at a vocational college, one of them said, “Finding these young fellows a job after they graduate isn’t the problem. The problem is that many don’t understand what they have to do to keep their jobs.”

They just can’t get it in their heads that they have to come to work every day. That they can’t just decide to skip a day or two. They can’t realize the importance of being on the job at eight, not eight-forty-five. That they have to have on a clean shirt. They have to have their tools.

Randy Glasbergen

One good thing about the passing of time is the diminishing popularity of bad corporate ideas. Near the top of this list should be company mission statements.

Whether you call it a mission statement. Philosophy. Vision. Code of conduct. Goals. Commitment. There are a lot of names for it, but it’s almost always meaningless.

A committee-written document with little relevance. It’s not that the content – the idea – embodied in most is bad. The content, itself, is almost always good.

As adults, we realize how different our world is today from that of our parents. And theirs from their parents. And there’s nothing like generational differences to kill off brands that don’t stay relevant with each new generation.

A critical aspect of marketing is making sure that a brand stays relevant to each new generation.

Taking Care Of Business

Dec 26, 2012
Christos Georghiou / fotolia.com

An expression I don't hear much any more is, “don't sweat the small stuff,” but I absolutely see demonstrations of it everyday. It means don't worry about the details and concentrate on the “big picture.”

Yet, little matters more than the details, because it is the details that determine the quality of the execution, and most great strategies or plans fail, not because they were bad, but because they were executed poorly. Billions in a retail chain with check-out clerks who don't even look at the customer.

xtremest / fotolia.com

In team sports the coach determines the strategy. The smart ones draft a strategy they believe their players can execute. The only job for the players is to execute the strategy to their greatest ability. Business is exactly the same. 

An article last year in Fortune Magazine was an interview with the worldwide HR czar for IBM. The interviewer asked him what it takes to lead at IBM.

Randy MacDonald said, “There’s a maniacal focus on execution. If you say at IBM you’re going to deliver, you’re held accountable.”

Auremar / fotolia.com

Almost nothing is a bigger gamble in advertising than humor. What you think is funny, your husband or wife doesn’t. Or thinks is corny. Or just doesn’t get it. 

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