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The Armory: For the Competitive Marketer



Updated: 2009-06-14T17:08:20-07:00

 



Why Sonia Sotomayor Is Not The Quintessential American Story...

2009-06-14T17:23:03-07:00

Some would have you believe that Sonia Sotomayor is the quintessential American success story. And that her "story" is the...

Some would have you believe that Sonia Sotomayor is the quintessential American success story. And that her "story" is the primary reason why she is qualified to sit on the Supreme Court. I disagree. For two reasons:

1. The majority of authentic quintessential Americans have not been given a free pass to Princeton and Yale.
2. Quintessential Americans can't be hyphenated Americans.

I've rewritten Sotomayor's life story to reflect what most of us would honor as an authentic quintessential American. My rewrite is in red:

"Sotomayor grew up in the South Bronx in a family that moved from Puerto Rico after World War II. At age 8, she was diagnosed with diabetes; a year later her father died. Her mother raised her on a nurse's salary.

One investment Sotomayor's mother made was in the only encyclopedia in the neighborhood. With this, Nancy Drew mysteries and Perry Mason thrillers, young Sonia started her love with the law.

Lacking the test scores and requisite english skills to get into an Ivy league college, Sotomayer attended her local community college where she spent two years mastering english. Upon graduating with her associates degree Sotomayor was accepted to NYU where she majored in pre-law studies.

Upon graduating from NYU Sotomayor attended the only law school that would accept her - a now defunct Long Island institution where she quickly propelled herself to the top of her class with hard work and dedication. Graduating summa cum laude she was offered a job as an assistant district attorney in New York City where she met and married New York cop Tom O'brien.

As an assistant district attorney in New York City, prosecuting all types of crimes. Sotomayor then worked as a corporate attorney before President George H.W. Bush nominated her to the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York in 1991. In 1998, President Bill Clinton nominated her to the Second Circuit of the U.S. Court of Appeals, where she has participated in 3,000 decisions and authored around 300 circuit court opinions."

There - now she's qualified to be considered for the Supreme Court.

more at Citizen Strategist

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Why Barack Obama's Friend William "Bill" Ayers Matters

2008-10-10T09:10:49-07:00

Do I think Barack Obama's association with Bill Ayers makes Barack a terrorist? No. I don't. So why does Ayers...

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Do I think Barack Obama's association with Bill Ayers makes Barack a terrorist? No. I don't. So why does Ayers matter? The reason Ayers matters is because he is the essence of contemporary liberal democrats. If you elect Barack you elect Bill Ayers. You also elect George Soros, Arianna Huffington, Markos Moulitsas, Keith Olberman, Andrew Sullivan and a gaggle of special interest groups like ACORN, Moveon.org, GLAAD, NOW, etc., none of whom have demonstrated an ability to work together in order to defend this country, run a business or raise a family.

So if elected, Barack will first have to fight a losing battle within his own party - a party who never stops fighting amongst themselves long enough to get anything done. Things are bad. Both republicans and democrats have created the problems. At no point in time has one party been more unqualified to lead this country in time of crisis than Obama's democratic party.

John McCain is one of the few politicians left who has the experience and DNA necessary to lead Americans out of this crisis. And unlike their democratic counterparts - republicans do know how to get in line and get stuff done. That's why Bill Ayers matters. And thats why this photo is so iconic - it represents where liberal democrats will "lead" the United States of America.

(photo from No Regrets - Chicago Magazine)

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Sequoia Capital's Presentation Demonstrates The Need For Tough Competitive Marketing

2008-10-10T07:39:41-07:00

I'm breaking radio silence here. I'm in the middle of a campaign and I just viewed Sequoia's presentation on the...

I'm breaking radio silence here. I'm in the middle of a campaign and I just viewed Sequoia's presentation on the impact the current financial crisis will have on portfolio companies. Read it. Most important take-away - toughness, competitiveness, ROI will rule. Time to toss out the green CMO's and bring in a few folks who know how to fight and win.                    

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Would You Buy Time On NBC's Sunday Night Football Pre-Game Show With Keith Olbermann?

2008-09-07T17:36:47-07:00

I wouldn't. I watch FOX, CNN and MSNBC for a balanced look at what both democrats and republicans are saying...

I wouldn't. I watch FOX, CNN  and MSNBC for a balanced look at what both democrats and republicans are saying during this election cycle. I can tolerate everyone - including Chris Mathews, everyone except Keith Olbermann. If there is one absolutely polarizing figure on TV today it is Olbermann. So the simple question is why would anyone buy advertising on his pre-game show knowing that you will alienate the majority of your target audience? Here's the answer.

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The Correct Response to Sarah Palin's Lack of Foreign Policy Experience

2008-09-02T15:07:24-07:00

McCain and Palin are a team chosen for different reasons. McCain brings experience - Palin brings values. If McCain croaks...

McCain and Palin are a team chosen for different reasons. McCain brings experience - Palin brings values. If McCain croaks during the initial stages of his presidency then the response to Palin's lack of foreign policy experience is the republican's deep bench of tested foreign policy experts who can and will step forward to backstop a Palin led administration. Compare and contrast this to the cast of foreign policy nut cases that Obama brings in on day one.

To Tucker Bounds - it's all about the foreign policy team backing up Sarah Palin - not Sarah Palin's lack of  foreign policy experience. And assuming McCain doesn't croak, Palin will get to understudy our best and brightest when it comes to dealing with foreign threats - experience that combined with her conservative values will turn her into a formidable force - most likely the republican franchise for the next 16 years which won't make Romney, Huckabee or a few other folks happy.

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More political marketing stuff here.

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Sales and Marketing Administrator Job Open (Telecommuting OK)

2008-08-02T15:36:12-07:00

We have an immediate opening for a sales and marketing administrator. The position is with a client in the financial...

We have an immediate opening for a sales and marketing administrator. The position is with a client in the financial services industry. Telecommuting is ok so location is not important - as long as it is in the US.

Responsibilities include:

1. Manage CRM/SFA application (leads, contacts, tasks, events).
2. Recruitment - participate in and manage telemarketing, email, contracts and compliance metrics.
3. Supervise development, production and distribution of marketing/sales print collateral.
4. Supervise production and distribution of direct mail/print/radio/tv campaigns.
5. Supervise web site development (manage web developer).

Key skills of the marketing associate:

1. Attention to detail.
2. Strong follow-through.
3. Self starter.
4. Excellent communicator.

This job is initially structured as a three month project for a 1099 independent contractor. The project can potentially convert into full time employment at the end of three months. Much of the activity takes place in central and eastern time zones so you need to be able to work 7am to 3pm if you're on the west coast. Also, you need to be comfortable working the phones - about 30% of your time will be spent following up on leads, setting interviews and supporting our affiliates and partners.

This is an immediate opportunity - you must be available to start no later than August 11. If interested please email your resume and hourly rate. We will be conducting phone interviews August 4-5.

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The Three Move Set And Caroline Kennedy

2008-06-04T14:53:06-07:00

Any good competitor is thinking three moves ahead - the move he makes, the move his opposition makes, then his...

Any good competitor is thinking three moves ahead - the move he makes, the move his opposition makes, then his counter move. Barack Obama announced today that Caroline Kennedy will be one of three "distinguished" Americans to select his VP running mate. In that Democrats have long assailed Dick Cheney for being corrupt it seems that Caroline Kennedy, scion to one of the most corrupt political families in the world, will now be in a position to select Dick Cheney's replacement. What exactly does Barack think will be the Republican response to this? As I said in an earlier posting on Barack - judge him on how he intends to meet his campaign commitments and who he will select to implement his plans. Caroline Kennedy is not a good start and further evidence of his lack of judgment.

More political marketing here.

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Keep The PR Tarts Away From John McCain - He Is What He Is - And Thats a Good Thing...

2008-06-04T10:36:38-07:00

As a bookend to Barack Obama's soaring oratory at his acceptance speech, you had John McCain's speech which by all...

As a bookend to Barack Obama's soaring oratory at his acceptance speech, you had John McCain's speech which by all accounts was not quite as soaring. As a marketing professional I say to McCain and his team - keep it that way. Keep McCain authentic. His authenticity is what propels the McCain brand. What ever you do - do not bring in the PR tarts to try and attempt to turn McCain into something he isn't. Most Americans get this instinctively - our measure of a man is his actions not his words.

More on political marketing here.

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Barack Obama's Acceptance Speech And Nike Running Shoes

2008-06-04T10:01:09-07:00

I watched Barack Obama's speech last night. I was impressed by his oratorical skills. The same way I'm impressed by...

I watched Barack Obama's speech last night. I was impressed by his oratorical skills. The same way I'm impressed by Wieden + Kennedy's creative skill in selling billions of dollars of Nike athletic shoes. Same emotional content. Same slick packaging. Same empty promises. Buy my shoes and win the Olympic marathon - buy my candidacy and I will create global peace, heal the sick and lower the oceans. I continue to believe that Barack Obama's campaign is one of the most cynical branding (propaganda) efforts - ever.

More on political marketing here.

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Does the Dunkin Donuts Controversy Signal The Start Of The Age Of Confrontation For Chief Marketing Officers?

2008-05-29T20:15:33-07:00

As a marketer I have been on the tail end of the industrial age and the leading age of the...

As a marketer I have been on the tail end of the industrial age and the leading age of the information age. I think the Dunkin Donuts controversy may officially signal the start of a new age for marketers - the age of confrontation... read the whole post at Citizen Strategist.

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The Real Issue With Dunkin Donuts and The Rachel Ray Keffiyeh Controversy

2008-05-28T21:10:42-07:00

Predictably, many in marketing and advertising ridiculed those who have complained to Dunkin Donuts about Rachel Ray donning... read the...

Predictably, many in marketing and advertising ridiculed those who have complained to Dunkin Donuts about Rachel Ray donning... read the post at Citizen Strategist.

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Did Marketing Activists Just Hijack the Dunkin Donuts Brand?

2008-05-26T11:01:30-07:00

It will be most interesting to see if Dunkin Donuts gets to the real story behind the Rachel Ray kaffiyeh...

It will be most interesting to see if Dunkin Donuts gets to the real story behind the Rachel Ray kaffiyeh wearing controversy. For those of you who may have missed the story - cooking show host Rachel Ray... complete post at Citizen Strategist.

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If Marketers Are The Voice Of The Customer...

2008-05-20T12:57:32-07:00

... then who is the voice of the company? Francois Gossieaux is writing about the need to transform CMO's: a...

... then who is the voice of the company? Francois Gossieaux is writing about the need to transform CMO's:

a transformation of the CMO role and that of their marketing department - one in which they become the representative of the voice of the customer within the company instead of the brand builders or the sales support department.

You can read his full post here.


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BearingPoint's Paul Dunay Announces The End Of Command And Control Branding

2008-05-20T12:07:15-07:00

I disagree with Paul's post. Circa 2008, marketers need more command... read the entire post at Citizen Strategist.

I disagree with Paul's post. Circa 2008, marketers need more command... read the entire post at Citizen Strategist.

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Why Isn't Steve Jobs Running Barack Obama's Campaign?

2008-05-15T13:22:31-07:00

A situation today has powerfully reinforced negative stereotypes most Americans have of Liberal Democrats... continued at Citizen Strategist

A situation today has powerfully reinforced negative stereotypes most Americans have of Liberal Democrats... continued at Citizen Strategist

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Symantec's Kim Johnson and Jenni Grimes Architect Highly Effective Marketing Campaign

2008-05-13T18:11:42-07:00

I love this stuff. Symantec’s salespeople were tasked to get in the door for face-to-face meetings with decision-makers. Read more...

I love this stuff. Symantec’s salespeople were tasked to get in the door for face-to-face meetings with decision-makers. Read more at Citizen Strategist.

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Sylvia Reynolds Asks "When Did Marketing Become the Make-It-Pretty Department?

2008-05-13T17:54:11-07:00

Sylvia Reynolds, chief marketing officer for Wells Fargo, asked, "When did Marketing become the make-it-pretty department?" Read more at Citizen...

Sylvia Reynolds, chief marketing officer for Wells Fargo, asked, "When did Marketing become the make-it-pretty department?" Read more at Citizen Strategist.

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Brand Authenticity As Demonstrated By Barack Obama's Friend William "Bill" Ayers

2008-05-05T10:17:57-07:00

This William Ayers photo taken from... read the rest at Citizen Strategist.

This William Ayers photo taken from... read the rest at Citizen Strategist.

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Brand Authenticity As Demonstrated By Jeremiah Wright and Barack Obama...

2008-05-01T09:41:19-07:00

Jeremiah Wright is an authentic brand... Read the rest of the post at Citizen Strategist.

Jeremiah Wright is an authentic brand... Read the rest of the post at Citizen Strategist.


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Blog For Sale - This Blog + vSente's Armory + Manual/Wizards/Workshop Are For Sale

2008-04-23T14:10:43-07:00

As I indicated yesterday I have consolidated most of my online presence over at www.citizenstrategist.com. In step with this consolidation...

As I indicated yesterday I have consolidated most of my online presence over at www.citizenstrategist.com. In step with this consolidation is my intention to sell this blog, it's content, workshop format and the paid subscription business model.

I will run Citizen Strategist for a few more months as an open site - after which I will password protect it and use it for clients and associates only.

I started blogging in 2004 more as an experiment and to test a business model. The blog grew slowly but steadily - I never promoted it. My business is campaigning - most of it off the radar screen. I work with a small network of associates and clients and do not have a need for the visibility of a blogging platform.

The best fit for this deal is likely a medium to large agency or consultancy looking to develop or expand it's online presence. Who ever purchases it gets an influential marketing strategy blog and subscription web site with more than 600 postings, hundreds of daily readers, 500+ newsletter subscribers, excellent Google juice, and links with many influential marketing bloggers. It's content rich, and the focus is on competitive and accountable marketing campaigning. 

There are the three deals I'm talking to potential buyers about:

1. Blog only - $250k

2. Blog + vSente's Armory - $500k

3. Blog + vSente's Armory + IP (Manual/Wizards/Workshops) - $750K + 10% royalty

Here are links to each of the components:

1. Blog

2. vSente's Armory

3. Workshop Format

I will sign a non-compete. And there is a potential for some form of ongoing but limited collaboration. 

If you're interested in discussing a deal email me. Thanks.

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Citizen Strategist: New Home for This Blog, vSente, The Journal For Competitive Marketing and Campaign Engines...

2008-04-22T11:39:46-07:00

I have consolidated all of my blogs and web sites at Citizen Strategist. There I will write, edit, curate and...

I have consolidated all of my blogs and web sites at Citizen Strategist. There I will write, edit, curate and inhabit Citizen Strategist which is part blog, part web site, part library, and part switchboard. I have made available for free, and for the first time, most of my manuals, wizards, and other online campaigning resources on Citizen Strategist. So I hope you will visit and subscribe to the RSS feed there. Click here to visit.

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A Good List of Tactics For Making Money With Free Content

2008-02-29T10:20:09-08:00

Wired's "How-To-Wiki" has a post up about how to make money around free content. They've listed more than 20 tactics...

Wired's "How-To-Wiki"  has a post up about how to make money around free content. They've listed more than 20 tactics and more are being added. This list was compiled in response to a blog post by VC Fred Wilson where he was speculating about the monetization of "free". Here's a few tactics from the Wired's Wiki:

  • CPM ads ("cost per thousand views"; banner ads online and regular ads in print, TV and radio)
  • CPC ads ("cost per click"; think Google ads)
  • CPT ads ("cost per transaction"; you pay only if the customer brought to you from a media sites becomes a paying customer. Here's an example.)
  • Lead generation (you pay for qualified names of potential customers)
  • Autoresponder Memberships (people pay for email;  watch this free video)
  • Subscription revenues
  • Affiliate revenues (e.g., Amazon Associates, Products + Clickbank)
  • Rental of subscriber lists

The complete list can be found here.

Download vSente's Free Campaign Planner to learn more about how we help marketing managers battle larger competition.

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Coup d’oeil, On Winning And Strategic Insight...

2008-02-29T09:46:58-08:00

J.M. Korhonen over at "On Winning" is talking about strategic intuition. His insights are in response to a new book...

J.M. Korhonen over at "On Winning" is talking about strategic intuition. His insights are in response to a new book by William Duggan called Strategic Intuition. This from the book about generating strategic insight:

Clausewitz gives us four steps. First, you take in “examples from history” throughout your life and put them on the shelves of your brain. Study can help, by putting more there. Second comes “presence of mind,” where you free your brain of all preconceptions about what problem you’re solving and what solution might work. Third comes the flash of insight itself. Clausewitz called it coup d’oeil, which is French for “glance.” In a flash, a new combination of examples from history fly off the shelves of your brain and connect. Fourth comes “resolution,” or determination, where you not only say to yourself, “I see!”, but also, “I’ll do it!”

JM and his partner Panu Kinnari are Finnish students who blog about the practical applications of maneuver strategy in everyday organizations. These guys are bright. Their blog should be required reading for every business school in the US.

Download vSente's Free Campaign Planner to learn more about how we help marketing managers battle larger competition.

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John Cass At PR Communications Discusses AMA's Marketing Definition

2008-02-13T18:58:25-08:00

Former President of the AMA's Boston Chapter John Cass is having an interesting conversation over on his blog about the...

Former President of the AMA's Boston Chapter John Cass is having an interesting conversation over on his blog about the AMA's new definition of marketing.  Click here to read his blog. Highly recommend it.

Download vSente's Free Campaign Planner to learn more about how we help marketing managers battle larger competition.

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CHIEF MARKETING OFFICERS (CMO'S) SHOULD HAVE MARKET SHARE QUOTA'S (AND BE JUDGED ON THEIR ABILITY TO ACHIEVE THEM)

2008-02-12T10:46:00-08:00

There are three market share metrics that when aggragated can be used to gauge the effectiveness of your CMO and... There are three market share metrics that when aggragated can be used to gauge the effectiveness of your CMO and all marketing activities. These metrics are the volume, value and vector of your market share. 1. VOLUME. Market share volume is the traditional notion of share measured in dollars or units relative to your competition. While volume is a good initial indicator, marketers need to know the value of this share and the trend of their share. 2. VALUE. Market share value attachs a quantitative value, measured by percentage margin, to your market share volume. Having a large share of an unprofitable market is not sustainable. Alternatively, holding a smaller share that is profitable may be sustainable. 3. VECTOR. Market share vector is a trend measurement that depicts the direction your market share volume and value are heading, over time, relative to your primary and secondary competitors. The vector has a starting point, at least one intermediate measurement point and an ending point, typically the conclusion of a campaign, or performance review date of a CMO. Market share vectors unambiguously measure enterprise success relative to it's peers. The primary function of market share vectors is to gauge the effectiveness of your marketing activities and the performance of your CMO. Market share vectors are the CMO's version of quota's, which sales reps are generally evaluated on (yes, I am saying that CMO's should have market share quota's and be judged on their ability to hit them). A few more comments on market share vectors: 1. Timing. Market share vectors can be used to judge effectiveness over a multi-year career, a multi-month campaign or as part of an annual review of budgets and plans. The vector requires a starting point at which all competitors are measured, an intermediate point and a concluding point that will be used to determine the vector trend. 2. Scaling. For start-ups or small firms with very small share, market share vectors can be scaled down so as to meaningfully measure actual performance. To scale down market share vectors simply select a subset of customers, territories, segments or categories and measure your relative share within that limited arena. 3. Influences. Poor vector performance may be due to influences outside the realm of control of marketing and the CMO. But the same thing applies to sales reps... there are many influences from quality, to shipping, to design decisions that a sales rep must live and die with, in their efforts to achieve a quota. The stark reality generated by market share vectors needs to be tempered within the context of issues, problems and opportunities faced by the enterprise and by the CMO. Market share vectors set up a baseline framework from which a CEO or CFO might begin to understand the effectiveness of their CMO and their marketing activities. 4. Intelligence. Some enterprises do not have the competitive data necessary to measure market share vectors. Others may not have the will or the interest to generate competitive intelligence. To the former, they need to begin the process of establishing a competitive intelligence competency... market share vectors are a great way to begin. Regarding the latter, enterprises without the w[...]



BtoB Magazine Interview About the AMA's New Definition of Marketing

2008-02-12T10:11:31-08:00

BtoB's Matthew Schwartz interviewed me and AMA CMO Nancy Costopulos recently about my postings on the AMA's new definition of...

BtoB's Matthew Schwartz interviewed me and AMA CMO Nancy Costopulos recently about my postings on the AMA's new definition of marketing. The interview is in the current BtoB Magazine. You can read it here online. In a nutshell this is what Costopulos said about my comments:

Nancy Costopulos, CMO of the AMA, said the association had anticipated some dissent. "We think it's healthy for the profession to have a dialogue and a conversation," about the new definition, she said. She added that 70% of 1,000 marketers responding to queries about the new definition said it was an improvement on the prior definition. Of the revision Costopulos said: "It's not just about marketing in management but marketing at a higher level."

So marketing in management is at a "lower" level? Than what?

Download vSente's Free Campaign Planner to learn more about how we help marketing managers battle larger competition.

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MARKET SHARE IS THE MOST IMPORTANT METRIC FOR CMO'S.

2008-02-12T09:50:00-08:00

Market share is the most important metric that marketers can use in order to judge the effectiveness of marketing campaigns....

Market share is the most important metric that marketers can use in order to judge the effectiveness of marketing campaigns. This includes branding initiatives, advertising campaigns, CRM programs and any other revenue generation effort. Market share metrics are more important than ROI measurements. The reason is quite simple. Market share is a relative measurement against external benchmarks. Market share tells us how we are doing relative to our competition.

It amazes me how many enterprises ignore market share and focus on internal metrics like awareness, loyalty, churn, leads, recall, revenue growth, margin improvement etc. The problem is that internally focused metrics can be deceiving. While the inwardly-focused enterprise may be happy with it's results, this satisfaction can be delusional if the enterprise is performing below par relative to competition. Which is one of the reasons why many customer-centric enterprises are excellent targets for attack and dislodge campaigns - they never see you coming.

While market share is the most important metric other measurements are needed to develop a complete picture. Units, revenues and margin must also be tracked in order to determine the ultimate value of your market share. There are many ways to measure share. The easiest is to rank revenue or measure absolute volume in unit sold or gross sales generated. By itself volume measurements are a start but need to be further described by the value of your market share. Having 70% share of a market in which you are losing money is not a sustainable strategy.

Download vSente's Free Campaign Planner to learn more about how we help marketing managers battle larger competition.

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Putting The AMA's Definition of Marketing Into Context...

2008-02-06T10:56:22-08:00

A CEO is interviewing two candidates for the CMO slot in his mid-sized enterprise. He's running a typical American enterprise...

A CEO is interviewing two candidates for the CMO slot in his mid-sized enterprise. He's running a typical American enterprise - limited resources, cutthroat competition, dwindling margins, etc., etc. The CEO asks each candidate "how do you define marketing?".

Candidate one answers:

"Marketing is ideas and actions that generate increasingly profitable market share."

Candidate two answers:

“Marketing is the activity, set of institutions, and processes for creating, communicating, delivering, and exchanging offerings that have value for customers, clients, partners, and society at large. Marketing is not a function—it is an educational process.”

So you're the CEO - who do you hire?

Download vSente's Free Campaign Planner to learn more about how we help marketing managers battle larger competition.

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More On The AMA's New Definition Of Marketing

2008-01-22T09:00:20-08:00

Laura Patterson has a good article up at Marketing Profs describing how CMO's can thrive. She uses CMO Anthony Palmer's...

Laura Patterson has a good article up at Marketing Profs describing how CMO's can thrive. She uses CMO Anthony Palmer's quote about the role of marketing which is timely, based upon the AMA's new definition of marketing. This is what Anthony says:

"the role of a CMO is really pretty simple. You can't ever lose sight of the fact that your role is to sell more stuff to more people for more money more often.

This is how I recently defined marketing:

Marketing is ideas and actions that generate increasingly profitable market share.

And for a baseline this is how the AMA now defines marketing:

“Marketing is the activity, set of institutions, and processes for creating, communicating, delivering, and exchanging offerings that have value for customers, clients, partners, and society at large.”

It will be used as the official definition of marketing in books and taught in university lecture halls nationwide, according to the AMA.

“One of the most important changes to American Marketing Association’s new definition for marketing is that marketing is presented as a broader activity,” said Nancy Costopulos, CMO of the American Marketing Association. “Marketing is no longer a function—it is an educational process.”

Download vSente's Free Campaign Planner to learn more about how we help marketing managers battle larger competition.

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Seth Godin On The Power Of Really Creative People...

2008-01-21T15:46:37-08:00

This is quite good. Highly recommend watching it. Download vSente's Free Campaign Planner to learn more about how we help...

This is quite good. Highly recommend watching it.

Download vSente's Free Campaign Planner to learn more about how we help marketing managers battle larger competition.

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Smock's "Definition" Of Marketing...

2008-01-20T12:52:57-08:00

Having criticized the AMA definition of marketing I wanted to offer up my definition. This is a work in progress...

Having criticized the AMA definition of marketing I wanted to offer up my definition. This is a work in progress but substantially represents my notion of marketing based upon 31 some odd years of actually "doing it":

Marketing is ideas and actions that generate increasingly profitable market share.

There, that's Smock's definition of marketing. I'm not imposing it on anyone - if you hire me to do a campaign and want to know what my definition of marketing is - that's it.

Download vSente's Free Campaign Planner to learn more about how we help marketing managers battle larger competition.

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Looking For Ex Sales Reps/Mgrs From AG Edwards, Charles Schwab or ADP...

2008-01-17T17:55:06-08:00

One of our clients is building a new sales force and is seeking two highly motivated experienced sales reps to...

One of our clients is building a new sales force and is seeking two highly motivated experienced sales reps to join their team. They will be tasked with the mission of helping us prototype and pioneer direct selling practices and then help recruit, train and manage resellers and agents. This is a foundation opportunity with the chance for significant short term compensation. Potential candidates must have successful financial services sales experience and be located within the Dallas/Ft. Worth area. If you're interested send your resume in confidence to mike@vsente.com

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UPDATED: Everything That Is Wrong With Marketing Can Be Found In The AMA's New Definition

2008-01-17T14:14:00-08:00

The folks over at the American Marketing Association have unveiled a new definition of marketing to reflect the discipline’s "broader... The folks over at the American Marketing Association have unveiled a new definition of marketing to reflect the discipline’s "broader role in society". This is it:“Marketing is the activity, set of institutions, and processes for creating, communicating, delivering, and exchanging offerings that have value for customers, clients, partners, and society at large.” It will be used as the official definition of marketing in books and taught in university lecture halls nationwide, according to the AMA. “One of the most important changes to American Marketing Association’s new definition for marketing is that marketing is presented as a broader activity,” said Nancy Costopulos, CMO of the American Marketing Association. “Marketing is no longer a function—it is an educational process.”Having been in marketing since 1976 I don't have the slightest f$cking idea what any of this means. This kind of mental masturbation is exactly why marketing drives most CEO's up the wall. PS: Is there a typo in the definition? Or is it just really tedious? Maybe its me... Update 01.17.08: This post is getting a bit of traction so I wanted to elaborate just a touch... Marketers can't get marketing right in a small enterprise - how do they expect then to have any success expanding to society at large? Before AMA broadens the role of marketing they need to narrow it first, and master the basic fundamentals that generate enterprise profit. Any notion that marketing "is no longer a function" is silly. Most importantly marketing is not an educational process - it is a competitive enterprise that generates marketplace winners and losers. Last, any marketing definition that does not include the words profit, share or sales is functionally bankrupt. Update 01.21.08: Having criticized the AMA definition of marketing I wanted to offer up my definition. This is a work in progress but substantially represents my notion of marketing based upon 31 some odd years of actually "doing it":Marketing is ideas and actions that generate increasingly profitable market share.There, that's Smock's definition of marketing. I'm not imposing it on anyone - if you hire me to do a campaign and want to know what my definition of marketing is - that's it. Update 01.22.08: Laura Patterson has a good article up at Marketing Profs describing how CMO's can thrive. She uses CMO Anthony Palmer's quote about the role of marketing which is timely, based upon the AMA's new definition of marketing. This is what Anthony says: "the role of a CMO is really pretty simple. You can't ever lose sight of the fact that your role is to sell more stuff to more people for more money more often.Update 02.05.08: Putting the AMA definition of marketing into context... A CEO is interviewing two candidates for the CMO slot in his mid-sized enterprise. He's running a typical American enterprise - limited resources, cutthroat competition, dwindling margins, etc., etc. The CEO asks each candidate "how do you define marketing?". Candidate one [...]



vSente Has One Immediate Freelance Copywriting Assignment Open

2008-01-16T15:20:26-08:00

We have a freelance copywriting assignment open for a new campaign. We need a copywriter to help develop the "voice"...

We have a freelance copywriting assignment open for a new campaign. We need a copywriter to help develop the "voice" of a campaign. This is a creative assignment and we need a writer who has experience with developing dialogue - like in short stories, novels, articles, etc. Not to be pedantic but there is a difference between writing dialogue for speaking vs. dialogue for reading. We need the latter.

We need somebody who can dedicate 8-16 hours to the project beginning next Tuesday 01.22.08 The writer will work from a 250 word positioning statement. The deliverable will be a 250 - 500 word conceptual "voice".   

We will select the writer by noon west coast time on Monday 01.21.08. We pay 50% up front and 50% upon completion.

If interested please email kevin@vsente.com with samples, your rates and information about your background.

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Apple's MacBook Air Is Too Thin And Too Small For Me - What I Really Need From Apple...

2008-01-16T14:48:29-08:00

Enough with the small. Did you notice how the MacBook Air was precariously perched on Steve Jobs' finger tips? And...

Enough with the small. Did you notice how the MacBook Air was precariously perched on Steve Jobs' finger tips? And opening it was an exercise in balance and fine motor skills?  I for one am tired of viewing the world though increasingly smaller windows and devices.

I don't think in file or window metaphors. For me putting stuff into files, then giving those files a name and then filing those files for later recall simply does not work. I'm right brained and tend to think in pictures and experiences not words or numbers. Worse yet, I cannot process one file at a time - I need multiple images open and accessible (I like Leopards "Cover Flow" functionality in the finder) which is why I like 20 foot long walls and floor to ceiling white boards.

I recently traded in my 15" MacBook Pro for a new 17" MacBook Pro with the 1920 high resolution monitor. I like it. I like it a lot. There is now enough usable screen real estate where I can have three files open at one time. But I want more. What I really want is another screen where the trackpad and palm rests are currently located.  That 5" by 15" strip could become a touch screen in the center and file dumps under each palm. I don't give a rats ass about my laptop being the thinnest or the lightest - but I am passionate about it's functionality relative to the way I function.

So for me the IPhone and MacBook Air are useless. I hope the Apple folks are brewing up some really cool stuff for us MacBook Pro users who need that creative real estate.

Download vSente's Free Campaign Planner to learn more about how we help marketing managers battle larger competition.

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vSente Has Two Immediate Freelance Print/Web Design Assignments Open...

2008-01-11T14:09:27-08:00

We have a couple of freelance positions open for a new campaign. We need a web/graphic design pro(s) to do...

We have a couple of freelance positions open for a new campaign. We need a web/graphic design pro(s) to do some quick concept work next week. We can split this between a web and print designer or give it all to one person. This is what we need:

1. Logotype design
2. Print templates for a sales kit - letter + flyer
3. Web templates (CSS) for home page + 1 secondary page.

Our client is a challenger firm in the financial services sector. We need a competent designer with the ability to create highly professional work. This assignment is for conceptual templates only and as such you will not be doing any final layout or production.

We need somebody who can dedicate 20-24 hours to the project beginning next Wednesday 01.16.08 and continuing through Saturday 01.19.08. The designer(s) will work on an iterative basis with us so you need to be available via phone and email for the entire assignment.

Preferably all work will be done using Adobe CS3 applications. We will select the designer(s) by noon west coast time on Tuesday. We pay 50% up front and 50% upon completion.

If interested please email kevin@vsente.com with samples, your rates and information about your background.

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A Price War In Health Insurance? Really?

2008-01-10T14:34:22-08:00

With the overall market for health insurance flat, carriers are battling to steal market share from one another. Download vSente's...

With the overall market for health insurance flat, carriers are battling to steal market share from one another.

Download vSente's Free Campaign Planner to learn more about how we help marketing managers battle larger competition.

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I Think McDonalds' Will Win A Significant Chunk Of Starbucks' Market Share

2008-01-10T14:26:58-08:00

So the marketing blog-o-sphere is twittering away today about McDonalds move on Starbucks. I think this is a great move...

So the marketing blog-o-sphere is twittering away today about McDonalds move on Starbucks. I think this is a great move on behalf of McDonalds and I do think it will do significant short term damage to Starbucks. Three key things McDonalds needs to get right - price point, taste and ambiance. The price needs to be less than Starbucks, the taste needs to be good - not great, not Peets, just good - and the ambiance needs to be comfortable and functional. I think they're executing a winning plan. Also, I don't think the cafe prima donnas who order half skim, half soy, raw sugar, extra wet, decaf vente lattes will be flocking to McDonalds, which means McDonalds efficiency relative to Starbucks will be off the charts, and the customer experience for us regular folks greatly improved.

Download vSente's Free Campaign Planner to learn more about how we help marketing managers battle larger competition.

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I Am No Longer Reviewing New Marketing Books...

2008-01-10T10:59:34-08:00

From time to time I am asked to review a new business book. Generally the topics are marketing related and... From time to time I am asked to review a new business book. Generally the topics are marketing related and the number of requests I get have been increasing significantly - not due to my reputation as an influential reviewer - but simply because of the deluge of new books being published. Unfortunately the great majority of new marketing books have underwhelmed me to the point of not being able to write a positive review. I have a policy of not writing negative reviews. If a publisher takes the time and effort to send me a book, then I will take the time to preview it and if I find anything of value - review it on this blog. I've printed one review in the past 12 months. So please - no more books in the mail. If you're looking for a few good books to add to your marketing bookshelf I can heartily endorse the following: MARKETING: STRATEGY Sun Tzu - The Art of War Shambhala/Thomas Cleary version. WHY MARKETERS SHOULD READ: Because Sun Tuz is the ultimate marketing strategist. Learn how to win without fighting. And when you do have to fight - how to kick ass and win. MONEY QUOTE: Therefore use these assessments for comparison, to find out what the conditions are. That is to say which political leadership has the Way? Which general has the ability? Who has the better climate and terrain? Whose discipline is effective? Whose troops are stronger? whose officers and soldiers are the better trained? Whose system of rewards and punishments clearer? This is how can know who will win. (Pg. 46) MARKETING: TACTICS Machiavelli - The Prince Mentor Book's version with forward by Christian Gauss. WHY MARKETERS SHOULD READ: Because Machiavelli delivers a great primer on dealing with unethical tactics - like blog swarms, short sellers, social activists, corrupt competitors, media relations, etc. MONEY QUOTE:  A new prince has never been known to disarm his subjects, on the contrary, when he has found them disarmed he has always armed them, for by arming them, these arms become your own, those that you suspected become faithful, and those that were faithful remain so, and from being merely subjects become your partisans. (Pg. 105) MARKETING: CAMPAIGNING The Fighter Pilot Who Changed the Art of War Robert Coram's biography of John Boyd. WHY MARKETERS SHOULD READ: Because Boyd articulates the secret to successful campaigning. Boyd's O-O-D-A Loop and thoughts on organic command and control should be mastered by all marketers. MONEY QUOTE: For a time, Boyd and Spinney were reluctant to fully explain the O-O-D-A Loop; it was far too dangerous. If someone truly understands how to create menace and uncertainty and mistrust, then how to exploit and magnify the presence of these disconcerting elements, the Loop can be vicious, a terribly destructive force, virtually unstoppable in causing panic and confusion and - Boyd's phrase is best - "unraveling the competi[...]



Compete.com: Track Your Rivals - Then Eat Their Lunch

2008-01-09T17:25:45-08:00

I like what Compete.com is doing with their online competitive metrics. Interesting stuff especially their composite view of online competitive...

I like what Compete.com is doing with their online competitive metrics. Interesting stuff especially their composite view of online competitive activity. I love their tag line - Track your rivals - then eat their lunch. Their logo though looks like cute little Lego people in dresses. Somewhat at odds with the tag line and company name. Whats up with that? 

Download vSente's Free Campaign Planner to learn more about how we help marketing managers battle larger competition.

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Al Ries - The Language of Marketing Has Been Borrowed From The Military...

2008-01-09T17:06:42-08:00

Al Ries has a good column at Advertising Age: The language of marketing has been borrowed from the military. We...

Al Ries has a good column at Advertising Age:

The language of marketing has been borrowed from the military. We talk about defensive marketing, offensive marketing, guerrilla marketing. Often overlooked, however, is "flanking," one of the most powerful military strategies.

Read the whole thing here. This is my take on why vSente uses military metaphors...

Download vSente's Free Campaign Planner to learn more about how we help marketing managers battle larger competition.

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Chrysler Banishes Corporate Communications To Human Resources

2007-12-15T12:22:21-08:00

Ouch. Signaling a less than appreciative vote for new marketing techniques, Chrysler's Bob Nardelli cans Jason Vines and banishes the...

Ouch. Signaling a less than appreciative vote for new marketing techniques, Chrysler's Bob Nardelli cans Jason Vines and banishes the whole corporate communications staff to human resources:

A former stand-up comedian with a flare for showmanship, Mr. Vines clashed with a more tight-lipped approach to media relations advocated by Mr. Nardelli and Cerberus, according to people familiar with the matter. He had been pushing Mr. Nardelli and Vice Chairman Jim Press, who was recruited from Toyota Motor Corp., to speak to the media about Chrysler's turnaround efforts, but Mr. Nardelli opposed him, they said.

At the urging of Mr. Nardelli, Chrysler had brought in a public-relations consultant, Robert Marston & Associates Inc., to work with Mr. Vines. The agency had previously worked with Mr. Nardelli when he was CEO of Home Depot Inc.

Under Mr. Vines, Chrysler was known in Detroit as one of the more media-friendly companies in the auto industry. Cerberus, by contrast, typically shuns media attention... Executives within Chrysler's corporate-communications department will now report to human-resources Senior Vice President Nancy Rae, the Auburn Hills, Mich., company said yesterday.

Read the article here.

Download vSente's Free Campaign Planner to learn more about how we help marketing managers battle larger competition.

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Oprah's Obama Endorsement Alienates Some Of Her Fans

2007-12-15T12:10:05-08:00

Oprah, NBC, Chevy, JetBlue all seem to be taken by surprise when their fans or customers react negatively to their...

Oprah, NBC, Chevy, JetBlue all seem to be taken by surprise when their fans or customers react negatively to their political tastes. I'm baffled by this. Are the marketers behind these folks truly clueless? Or is it simply marketers hijacking public platforms to push their political agendas? On the other hand I have no problem with enterprises openly adopting political agendas as part of their branding. But the key is authentic. Not pandering and not covering up ones true intentions. NBC is a text book example of how not to do it.

Download vSente's Free Campaign Planner to learn more about how we help marketing managers battle larger competition.

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Interesting Marketing Approach - Stine Seed

2007-12-15T11:40:43-08:00

The folks at Stine Seed are doing some interesting things with blogs, RSS, on-demand video and other Web 2.0 tools....

The folks at Stine Seed are doing some interesting things with blogs, RSS, on-demand video and other Web 2.0 tools. Many marketers would look at selling seeds to farmers as not being very interesting - but if you peek at their blog and web site you'll see what a talented group of marketers can really do. Good stuff!

Download vSente's Free Campaign Planner to learn more about how we help marketing managers battle larger competition.

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Lizards, Cavemen Attacking Progressive's Home Office!

2007-11-12T16:59:10-08:00

Ha! Looks like the Progressive folks are under attack by lizards and cavemen - Progressive finds itself in battle for...

Ha! Looks like the Progressive folks are under attack by lizards and cavemen - Progressive finds itself in battle for brand recognition, market share.

Download vSente's Free Campaign Planner to learn more about how we help marketing managers battle larger competition.

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Google Search Has 90% Market Share in France - Could This Happen Worldwide?

2007-11-12T16:54:16-08:00

Ok. This is interesting. Readwriteweb.com has the analysis: Google Search Has 90% Market Share in France - Could This Happen...

Ok. This is interesting. Readwriteweb.com has the analysis: Google Search Has 90% Market Share in France - Could This Happen Worldwide?

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Channel Marketing ROI Still Difficult For Tech Marketers To Quantify

2007-11-12T13:40:16-08:00

Kate Maddox at BtoB Magazine has a good article up about quantifying reseller ROI. We've done a fair amount of...

Kate Maddox at BtoB Magazine has a good article up about quantifying reseller ROI. We've done a fair amount of work for resellers and can identify with the issues she describes in the article. Here's a snip:

B-to-b marketers that rely on channel partners to sell their products are struggling to improve the ways they measure ROI on their channel marketing investments. "It is incredibly difficult," said Martyn Etherington, VP-marketing at Tektronix, which manufactures network test equipment and derives 40% of its revenue from channel partners. "It is probably the marketing nirvana that has been missing."

Read the whole article here.

Download vSente's Free Campaign Planner to learn more about how we help marketing managers battle larger competition.

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"If You're Losing Market Share in a Downward Market, it's a Double Whammy..."

2007-11-12T13:23:52-08:00

Is what Efraim Levy, senior industry analyst for Standard & Poor's had to say about Ford's market share declines. Read...

Is what Efraim Levy, senior industry analyst for Standard & Poor's had to say about Ford's market share declines. Read the story here.

Download vSente's Free Campaign Planner to learn more about how we help marketing managers battle larger competition.

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New Blog Dedicated to John Boyd And The OODA Loop

2007-11-12T13:09:37-08:00

Link. Download vSente's Free Campaign Planner to learn more about how we help marketing managers battle larger competition.

Link.

Download vSente's Free Campaign Planner to learn more about how we help marketing managers battle larger competition.

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Should Chevy Trucks Use John Cougar Mellencamp In Their Branding Efforts?

2007-11-10T12:46:33-08:00

I've written at length about marketers using polarizing or controversial spokesmen, platforms or sponsorships for their branding efforts. Bottom line... I've written at length about marketers using polarizing or controversial spokesmen, platforms or sponsorships for their  branding efforts. Bottom line is that if you want your brand to appeal to a targeted niche who identify with the polarizing issue, then certainly the strategy makes sense. But if not, if you run the risk of alienating a significant portion of your customer base - then don't do it. Enter Chevy Trucks and John Cougar Mellencamp. Chevy has been using Mellencamp's "Our Country" sound track to promote it's truck line for quite a while now. I used to be a fan of John's, but his politics of late make him difficult to appreciate. Looks like I'm not the only one. Mellencamp brought presidential candidate John Edwards on stage last night at his concert, and the audience proceeded to boo Edwards off the stage. Seems like the fans did not appreciate his brand of politics - some even demanding a refund. What's fascinating about Chevy choosing Mellencamp is that the Chevy folks feel that Mellencamp's brand of politics are patriotic and do appeal to America's truck buying demographics. Help me here - Mellencamp has long been a visible John Edwards supporter, and I'm guessing that the intersection of Chevy truck owners and Edwards supporters is pretty small - so why use Mellencamp? Here's a note to all CEO's. If your CMO, agency or consultant tells you to use a polarizing figure or cause in your branding efforts, and the majority of your current customers and targeted prospects do not identify with this figure or cause - fire 'em. Fire the CMO, the agency and consultant. So what should Chevy do with Mellencamp? From what I can see Chevy trucks aren't exactly selling like hotcakes. Download vSente's Free Campaign Planner to learn more about how we help marketing managers battle larger competition. [...]