How One CEO Overcame “Household Name Syndrome”

Ilene Rosenthal, CEO

Being known doesn’t guarantee growth.

Meet Marjorie: She’s a brilliant CEO, invested, has a solid reputation, and remarkable revenue in an innovative space.

Despite her ambitions, her marketing wasn’t generating the momentum she expected… Even though she actually was the household name in her sector.

Was she too ambitious? 
Too aggressive? 
Unrealistic?

We didn’t think so. Marjorie didn’t think so. She believed in the mastery of her products and service. She saw the uniqueness of her product line. She knew her reputation had influence.

So, what was the issue? Why wasn’t she seeing growth?

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Topics: marketing strategy, strategy, marketing, business strategy

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

When Random Acts of Marketing Turn Risky

Ilene Rosenthal, CEO

Randomness is sometimes enticing; there’s a spontaneity about it that feels creative and bold. 

Until, that is, you’re faced with burning questions around tepid results: what went wrong? Why didn’t the plan yield return? It’s like eating too much cake or drinking too much champagne.

The spending hangover is hell to pay.

Do You Know Randomness When You See It?

Many of the companies I work with have indulged. The promises from marketing specialists, the lure of new MarTech, or sheer envy around what the competition is doing have spurred activity that didn’t deliver.  

There simply wasn’t an organized set of objectives and sound strategies to bring it all home.

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Topics: marketing strategy, strategy, marketing

Tipping My Hat to 2020, Giving a Cheer to 2021

Ilene Rosenthal, CEO

It’s always good to start out a brand new year with a clean desk, but it’s even better to find something that validates the hard work—and lessons learned—of the previous one.

While sorting through a pile of papers to prepare my office for 2021, I came upon a real gem. 

It was a notepad with scribbled musings inspired by one of my business coaches. He asked us to list the mutual mindsets and beliefs that identify a perfect collaboration. 

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Topics: marketing strategy, strategy, marketing

Are You Stuck in a Cycle of Wasteful Marketing Decisions?

Ilene Rosenthal, CEO

One of the most common questions I get from CEOs and business leaders is, “How can I get unstuck on marketing decisions?”

These companies are usually fighting one of two battles:

  1. Frozen in place—not making any decisions because they have no idea where to begin (or begin again).
  2. Making ineffective marketing decisions; the infamous “random acts of marketing.”

Often, the second is accompanied by fears relates to budget. “I’ve already spent the money to fund this X, Y, or Z marketing tactic, so I best just stick with it.” But, clinging to past marketing decisions just because you spent time, money, or resources (or all three) isn't a strategy. 

It's stagnation.

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Topics: marketing strategy, strategy, marketing

“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

One of My Marketing Strategy Lab Participants Reported, “It’s like having a personal trainer for your business.”

Ilene Rosenthal, CEO

I tried to spend as much time outdoors on my exercise regimen before Daylight Savings time ended. During those outings, I kept returning to the power of consistency. Will I let the imminent winter weather dictate my health? Absolutely not. I already have a plan for what I’m going to do to keep moving as the temperature drops and daylight fades. 

What does this have to do with business strategy?

Marketing is so hungry; the machine needs to be fed consistently, strategically, week in and week out. Sharing relevant content, managing paid channels, evaluating ROI... it can be a drain, particularly if it requires last minute pivots, adjustments, and refinements. Someone has to be watching the store every day.

It’s no wonder many business owners revert to a “best guess” approach to planning and implementation.

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Topics: marketing strategy, strategy, marketing

Do You Have a Marketing Channel Strategy that Drives Budget?

Ilene Rosenthal, CEO

This week in the Marketing Strategy Lab, we’re working through Obs + Strats. Once we do, we’ll need a channel strategy to translate marketing strategies into a realistic plan. 

A channel strategy defines the pathways we select in order to meet and engage prospects where they are most likely to seek and find information, knowledge, opinions, and guidance. We also consider the “relationship” factor, and how each channel engages prospects differently. 

These pathways are integrally tied to meeting KPIs, payback scenarios, and even talent resources.

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Topics: marketing strategy, 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

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