Focus Pocus: It’s Not Magic, It’s Strategy

Ilene Rosenthal, CEO

Concentrating your marketing dollars on a single initiative is hard. It’s like choosing which of your kids you like best.

But I promise you, unlike in parenting, it will be simpler in the end (take it from a mom of two newly minted adults…).

It’s All About Sharpening Your Focus

Focusing on a single core audience, with a single message, around a single offering helps you make real hay with your restricted marketing resources. Even when you need to support more than one part of your business with marketing investment, focusing on growth one-by-one can lead to more responsible spending.

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Topics: marketing strategy, "marketing spending", strategy, marketing, channel strategy

“Before” Can Be the Most Important Planning Word in Marketing

Ilene Rosenthal, CEO

When a CEO is running a growing company, the taste of success is intoxicating; we want to keep the growth train fueled by expanding to new marketing approaches. But, when the markets are uncertain, it can be tempting to spread limited resources across a bundle of channels to see what will turn the tide.

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Topics: "marketing spending", strategy, marketing

CEOs and Business Owners: A Head’s Up About Mission Statements and Messaging Platforms

Ilene Rosenthal, CEO

I’ve worked with larger firms that spend a great deal of time on vision and mission. No objection here. I like a good mission statement as much as the next person.

But, I often see the following missteps in mission statements: Too many times, they are:

  1. Written as aspirations of business goals from an inside view, oftentimes in lofty jargon that only means something to the person who composed it. The focus is more on leadership’s goals than what it might mean to customers and employees.
  2. Laundry lists of products and features, indistinguishable from other companies in the same sector. There’s no impetus to buy from you instead of anyone else.
  3. Used as part of messaging or communications strategies--for which they tend to be way too broad, often unclear as to the action that should come next. 

That last one is where I see a lot of companies get tripped up. But there’s a big difference between internal-facing guiding principles and audience-directed messaging. The two cannot exist interchangeably.

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Topics: "marketing spending", strategy, marketing

Marketing Budgeting, Strategy, and Planning...Already?

Ilene Rosenthal, CEO

Marketing Budgeting, Strategy, and Planning...Already?

This always happens at this time of year. We look up and Q4 looms large. 

It's startling when you realize just how long things take, and how time gets away from us? It happens to me - and my clients - every year around this time.

Well, it’s not helpful to get all down on ourselves, wondering where we went wrong, whether we should not have taken that time off, whether we were focusing on the wrong things or the wrong people; or whether we need to revamp our team because everyone seems distracted and off their game.

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Topics: "marketing spending", strategy, marketing

Here's a Marketing Strategy Story for the Textbooks

Ilene Rosenthal, CEO

“I’ve been trying to get a plan in place for 7 years.” That’s what a prospect told me at the end of 2019. Now, this struck me as odd. I mean, if you want a plan, get a plan! What could possibly be in the way?

Well, the founder of this 10-year-old firm was squarely anchored among the other right brain, creative visionaries we work with. So “plan” can double as “limitation” ran counter to her DNA.

Can a visionary have a plan? Of course she can.

Here’s how we did it:

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Topics: "marketing spending", strategy, marketing

When Was the Last Time You Argued with Your CFO About Your Marketing Budget?

Ilene Rosenthal, CEO

Yesterday?

As the catalyst for growth in your company, it falls on you to align your growth goals with cash flow and investment needs.

Let’s face it: Your P&L and profitability projections rule the roost as they should!

Tension around these decisions can get real, real fast. Decision-making is stressful, and clear answers are hiding under mixed priorities and conflicting needs. Like these:

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Topics: "marketing spending", strategy, marketing

Budget First, Plan Marketing Next

Ilene Rosenthal, CEO

Here’s how I begin to teach companies how to calculate the right marketing budget for growth:

  • First, define objectives in the most specific way possible. Goals like “I want to be a household name in the X industry” is fantastically ambitious, but it’s not a marketing goal.

    It’s a wish.
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Topics: "marketing spending", strategy, marketing

Pandemic Pivot: Why Customer Engagement Still Needs to Be a Top Priority

Sylvia Anderson, B2C/B2B Writer

There are a lot of “marketing speak” terms and phrases used to illustrate wins in strategy (sometimes overused, to be honest). “We really moved the needle on our KPIs” or “Our shift to more focused smarketing made a significant impact on ROI.”

With the onslaught of the COVID-19 pandemic, perhaps no term was more frequently used than pivot. And rightfully so. What else were businesses supposed to do when the world came crashing down?

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Topics: "marketing spending", strategy, marketing

It’s Hard to See the Label When You’re Inside the Jar

Ilene Rosenthal, CEO

These days, so many companies are scurrying around looking for answers. But, when you’re in the thick of everything, it’s difficult to see things clearly. Lost revenue, a waning customer base, and no definitive date to return to “business as normal” has companies clamoring for some semblance of direction; of hope.

The reality is, past performance is no longer an indication of future success. People we are working with are taking a step back and looking more holistically at their businesses to ask:
  • Where is marketing worth it?
  • Where is it just a waste of today's precious resources?
It's a damned good reflection, if you ask me.

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Topics: "marketing spending", strategy, marketing

Worry Less About Margin and More About Value

Ilene Rosenthal, CEO

A few weeks ago, I spoke to 50 members of the Collaberex networking organization about goal setting for 2020, in light of this new world we’re living in. 

The premise of the presentation was looking ahead to what business will look like on the eve of New Year’s Day, 2021, and what people can realistically expect to “celebrate.” As much as we’d all love for things to go back to normal, those days--as we knew them--will likely never be quite the same.

So, we adapt. We lead.

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Topics: "marketing spending", strategy, marketing

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