Ten reasons why I’m a #mktgnerd
Sep26

Ten reasons why I’m a #mktgnerd

know I haven’t been blogging and tweeting much lately (too busy in startup land) but I can’t believe you left me off your list of #mktgnerds. While I lack any empirical evidence, I hope that you will consider the following evidence to justify my inclusion.

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The summer of Frank part deux?

When Attachmate completed its purchase of Novell and I found myself “on the street”, I thought I was all set for another summer of Frank. The great news, however, is that I received a job offer about 48 hours after my “departure” from Novell. My new role is leading marketing for Correlsense, a private software firm in the application performance management space. It has a bunch of happy customers, interesting technology, great investors and strong revenue growth – things I am very excited about.

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Are benchmarks for losers?
Oct14

Are benchmarks for losers?

In baseball, there is an old adage that “stats are for losers”. This refers to the fact that fans often resort to talking about the stats of their favorite team or players when they are losing. In pro sports, winning is what matters – all else is background noise. Most recently I was discussing effective metrics and the role of benchmarks with a friend when it was then it dawned on me that one could reasonably argue that, like in baseball, “benchmarks are for losers”. Don’t get me wrong. I am a numbers geek and love meticulously calculated points of reference. They are very useful as a sanity check to make sure you are in the right zip code when launching a new marketing program or trying something completely different. My main complaints with benchmarks are as follows: Specificity – In the B2B technology marketing, many benchmarks are aggregated across wide range of categories and in the end I can never seem to get that elusive number for my specific market segment or market leading competitor. Mediocrity – Benchmarks are often stated as industry averages. Sorry, but I am not interested in being average. Local optimization – Great, your PPC clickthrough rate is between your industry benchmark of 1-2%. Your part of the world is “meeting expectations”. So what. That number is directionally interesting but your CEO wants to know what revenue and pipeline you are driving. How are you contributing to the overall results of the business? Laziness – Calculating marketing influenced revenue and pipeline is a hassle. It often requires some CRM alchemy and (gasp) assumptions about attribution. Worse yet, enterprise CRM systems make it virtually impossible for the average marketer to scrape, match and join the tables to connect leads to revenue. Those who can make this work have a huge advantage and can avoid the benchmark-based metrics trap. Expectations – Winners look to set the standard of performance rather than measure themselves against the average. The choice is yours – you can use benchmarks to measure yourself against average performers or you can strive to set the standard. In my opinion, comparing yourself to benchmarks will never make you a winner. Only continuous improvement and pushing programs beyond worn performance assumptions will. Winners disregard old assumptions about the way things are done and try new things to reach new performance levels. Unless you have firm comparables from industry leaders then you are likely comparing yourself to the middling your market and are destined to be average at best. I’ve ranted about ruthlessness before and without true results-driven metrics and benchmarks how can we truly hold...

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Ten signs you are a skeptical marketer

You ask for goals and metrics before a project starts You search for analogous historical programs to give you sense of potential results You ask too many questions when a vendor uses jargon or overly technical terms You talk with others who have tried this type of marketing before You push vendors for CPA or pay for performance deals You make vendors give you the full volume price until a medium is proven You don’t believe the hype about anything that is hot You start with a low cost test whenever possible You believe in results over rate cards Your colleagues ask you to critique their programs to help improve results. Did I mention I am hosting a new webinar and podcast series for the Skeptical CMO ? Did I miss any...

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And you may ask yourself-well…how did I get here?

The Talking Heads were playing on the radio as I made my trek to the train this morning.  I imagine many people are asking this very question today about their personal and professional lives.  What did I do to get into this situation?  I guess the better question now is “what do I do to make the the most of my future opportunities”? All the cliches about hard work and “making our own breaks” aside, now is the time to think about what could happen before it happens. Many times in my professional life I am asked to help people locked up with too many “priorities”.  My strategy is simple.  Make a list of everything that is on his/her mind and force rank them by priority (A, B or C).  I know we want it all but we can’t.  It is better to make a decision about priorities than have it emerge based on unintentional neglect.  The decision will be made now or later.  Isn’t it more empowering to make it yourself than have it make itself? So what are you doing to make the hard...

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Interesting presentation on marketing accountability

Reflecting on Marketing Accountability View more presentations from Alain...

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