Written by: "Gerardo A. Dada"

Marketing Leader Interview with Crimson Marketing’s Glenn Gow

Glenn Gow founded Crimson Marketing, a technology marketing firm, in 1991 which became one of Inc 500 fastest growing companies. You can get his book Revenue and the CMO via Kindle. I particularly enjoy his posts on #BadMarketing which play fun at common mistakes we marketers often make, which mirrors some of my own posts on this blog.

What company is an example of good marketing today? Who do you admire?

Cisco. They are extremely focused on understanding their buyers and making it easy for them to buy from Cisco. They are constantly studying their buyers and what is important to them. In addition, they track the buyers’ journey to an exceptional degree. Impressive.

Glenn Gow founded Crimson Marketing, a technology marketing firm, in 1991 which became one of Inc 500 fastest growing co...

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12 Key Business Lessons from Steve Jobs

12 Business Lessons from Steve Jobs

How much can we learn from Steve on Innovation, Marketing and Business Strategy?

A few days ago I stumbled on this video where Guy Kawasaki shared 12 lessons he learned from Steve Jobs. Guy worked with Steve in the early days of the Mac. This presentation was delivered a few hours after Steve passed away. It is been viewed almost a half a million times, but it is 47 minutes long. I thought I should share a summary from my notes:

  1. Experts” are clueless – There are many people who will claim to be gurus and experts. Don’t trust them. They are more often mistaken.
  2. Customers cannot tell you want they need –” Back in 1984 they would have asked for a faster, cheaper Apple II (not a Mac). The day you hear Apple is using focus groups to create future products, that’s the day to short the Apple stock”. For more, here is a post on Steve Job’s Genius Ability to Innovate.
  3. The biggest challenges beget the best work – If you are going to change the world, you need to work on challenges no one else has solved before.
  4. Design matters. “Design is the product.” Especially for Apple, but true for more and more industries today. Another post on the importance of design.
  5. Use big graphics and big font in your presentations. Jobs was a master presenter. His slides make bold statements and don’t compete for attention with what he is saying.
  6. Jump curves, not better sameness – What Guy means is that Steve was not interested in incremental improvements, but on disruptions that completely change the game, Guy uses the example of the change from ice factories to having ice available in your refrigerator.
  7. It either works or does not work – “Don’t worship religions and fads. We did not care if it was ‘open’ or ‘closed’ only that it worked.”
  8. Value is different than Price. I could not agree more. Here are a few posts on the topic.
  9. Hire A players exclusively . A players hire A players. B players hire C players. As Jim Collins wrote: the most important thing is people – ‘who is on the bus’.
  10. Real CEOs can demo. Meaning executives need to be users of the products they sell, they need to be competent and demonstrate their passion.
  11. Entrepreneurs ship, not slip. Steve pushed his team to deliver on time. He did not wait for a perfect product (the first iPhone had many limitations) but it was developed in record time. Then there is time for continuous improvement.
  12. Somethings need to be believed to be seen. “If you wait for proof it will never happen.” This is so true

If you want to watch the entire video, you will find it here.

Guy Kawasaki Lessons from Steve Jobs

How much can we learn from Steve on Innovation, Marketing and Business Strategy? A few days ago I stumbled on this video...

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Are Super Bowl Ads a Good Investment or a Giant Waste of Money?

SuperBowl Ad ROI

Measuring the effect of advertising has always been a significant challenge for marketers. The Super Bowl presents a particularly interesting opportunity to study individual ads that reach millions of consumers and represent a major investment for brands at $4 million plus production costs.

I will use two sources of data to look at this problem: Un-aided recall by a random sample of consumers and sales results achieved by Go Daddy after their investment in Super Bowl ads.

Measuring the effect of advertising has always been a significant challenge for marketers. The Super Bowl presents a par...

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10 Marketing Observations from the 2014 Super Bowl Ads

Surprisingly, the Super Bowl is not the most-viewed sports event in the world. At some 150 million viewers, it represents a fraction of the estimated 720 million viewers for the FIFA World Cup final.  Despite this fact, it remains the largest advertising event in the world.

According to an informal survey we ran last week, over 60% of Super Bowl viewers claimed to watch the game just as much, or more for the ads.  Welcome to the Ad Bowl.

Why do people watch the SuperBowl

By now there are probably a couple dozen lists of top Super Bowl ads, and everyone has begun expressing their own opinions. In this post, I will share my observations on the marketing strategies of the brands and the effectiveness of their ads, as well as general advertising trends. Please add your observations in the comments section.

Surprisingly, the Super Bowl is not the most-viewed sports event in the world. At some 150 million viewers, it represent...

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Innovation – How Silvercar is Disrupting the Car Rental Business

Disruptive Innovation Example

It is a cycle we see too often: companies grow successful; an industry matures adopting many common practices, some good and some bad. Then these companies get complacent and fall asleep at the wheel. They stop innovating and often try to take advantage of consumers because of their position. And by doing so, they and create an opportunity for new entrants to disrupt the market.

It is easy to point at history and study how companies that were market leaders fell in this trap: Blockbuster, Motorola, Circuit City and Radio Shack are good examples. It is a lot harder to predict which markets or companies will be disrupted. But it is much more interesting to observe when it is actually happening in front of us.

This week I witnessed disruption in the rental car industry. I traveled to Dallas for a day and decided to give Silvercar a try. I am glad I did. How is the Silvercar experience better than the established companies who are asleep at the wheel? Let me recap my experience:

It is a cycle we see too often: companies grow successful; an industry matures adopting many common practices, some good...

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True Leadership is Invisible

Leadership is Invisible

Maybe you have had an opportunity to observe  leaders who are quick to accept credit and seem more interested in receiving attention and merit. Another style of leadership is one for whom the top interest is in creating a better future, offering new ideas and building the capabilities of the team, resulting in an organization that continues to thrive even when the leader is not present anymore. These are two styles of leadership, except only one of them is truly a leader.

Maybe you have had an opportunity to observe  leaders who are quick to accept credit and seem more interested in receivi...

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Marketing Should be the Value Engine of your Company

Marketing the Value Engine of Your Company

This post originally appeared as a guest contribution in the Blog for the Austin chapter fo the American Marketing Organization

Peter Drucker, the father of modern business thinking, said that only marketing an innovation create value – everything else is basically overhead. He also said that marketing is the distinguishing function of an organization. Quite an endorsement about the Marketing function – but also a great responsibility.

In contrast, many people consider marketing to be deceptive, superfluous and buzz-wordy. Unfortunately, some marketing is one or all three of these. Unfortunately, marketers rank right next to used car salesmen in terms of reputation and trust. Interesting dichotomy.

What other teams in your company think about the marketing department: is it creating value for the company or spending money on funny ads? Maybe more importantly, we should ask ourselves, was Drucker wrong?

This post originally appeared as a guest contribution in the Blog for the Austin chapter fo the American Marketing Organ...

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Marketing, Pricing and Value: what I learned during Black Friday

This post originally appeared as a guest contribution on Rags Srinivasan’s Iterative Path blog.

Like most people in the US, during Black Friday week my inbox received an onslaught of promotional emails from every company I have done business with. All of them, without exception were promoting sales and discounts.

In a previous post on this topic we established “When a marketer’s creativity runs out he defaults back to price discounts. “ Creating a promotion or a sale is the default way to generate sales in the short term. Even though we know, deep down, that short term discounts erode value and train customers to expect discounts as JC Penney learned the hard way.

It was Black Friday and we decided to stop by the Factory Outlet in San Marcos – my daughter had an eye on a pair of UGG Boots that I was hoping to get at a good price. This is what I found: It was not that surprising to find a line outside a popular store, especially on Black Friday, but there were a couple facts that made this experience interesting for me as a student of marketing and consumer behavior:

This post originally appeared as a guest contribution on Rags Srinivasan's Iterative Path blog. Like most people in the...

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