Having the ROI conversation before it’s too late.

As a marketing firm, we’re often asked to demonstrate ROI. And we should be. Our clients need to know that their marketing dollars are having a positive impact. But showing a clear return on investment is a team effort—a nimble dance between agency and client. Unfortunately, the ROI conversation often occurs way too late in […]

Training means revenue for brands.

Training helps professionals become better communicators, more effective managers, or more profitable salespeople. Training ensures a return on time and financial investment as it links your people, your products, and your customers together.

Think outside the slide. Or confessions of a reluctant PowerPoint addict.

PowerPoint: The go-to presentation format, projected in conference rooms everywhere. You know it. You use it. You hate it. It’s a fascinating paradox of corporate America. Among the few things we can agree on—within a team, department or organization, there is a universal loathing of PowerPoint. Yet, when asked to put together a presentation, we […]

Product training: The critical job that (almost) nobody is doing.

We produce a fair amount of technical work that’s used by our clients to inform dealers how to sell, install, and maintain all kinds of products. But even with pieces written and designed to communicate the right information in an engaging way, it doesn’t mean the brand can sit back and watch the sales roll […]

You should sound as good as you look. Brand voice matters.

Think back to years ago (or maybe just days) when you were going out to meet some friends, and maybe make some new ones. You check yourself out in the mirror. No stains on your shirt. Your fly is zipped. No spinach in your teeth. You look good. There you are, talking with your friends […]

Sales is a Tough Job. Strong Marketing Makes it Easier.

I was at an event recently. The professional kind with a buffet line and well-dressed people balancing small plates of food while maintaining a white-knuckle grip on a cocktail. The topic of marketing came up, mainly because I’m a marketing guy and I started it. Then I hear this: “Sales and marketing are the same […]

The death of branding and other myths.

Brands don’t matter. At least that’s the word these days. Marketers have been trying to sell the power of branding for years, and it’s always been an uphill struggle. In this supposedly post-brand world it’s gotten even harder to convince marketing decision makers that there’s benefit to brand building. A Post-Brand World? For the moment, […]

Virtual reality will change everything. Eventually.

It was several years ago when I first experienced a virtual and augmented reality test. My head was spinning, and it wasn’t just because of the motion sickness. Like everyone, I imagined endless ways this could be used in a bunch of industries. Sure, entertainment and gaming are no-brainers. But what I viewed—and still view—as […]

An Open Letter to Marketing Managers

We work with a lot of marketing directors and VPs. They are great, driving the big picture brand initiatives. But by far, most of our time is spent in the marketing trenches with the unsung heroes of our profession. Marketing managers deserve a shout-out. So this letter is that. Dear Marketing Managers, Thank you. You’re […]

Brand (over)management: Managing brands with too many managers.

Allow me to wistfully remember a time when a brand’s content was created by just a few people. Renegade factions of product managers didn’t or couldn’t insist on using Comic Sans on sales sheets. Brand managers would have laughed at the idea of anyone having the ability to instantly share their point of view, unedited, […]

In B2B, Brands Still Matter

I was conducting some client research for a commercial product, and the salesperson I interviewed said something that made me cringe. “Brands don’t matter anymore in B2B sales.” Though I did recoil at the notion, I have to admit that he made some really valid points. Google makes it easy to search for the lowest price. Reduce purchase decisions to that and brands start to look shaky.