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Marketing Articles: General Management

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  • GM's Biggest Strategic Blunder
    by David A. Aaker
    GM's CEO, Rick Wagoner, has opined that the automaker's biggest blunder was to walk away from the electric car. But GM's biggest strategic blunder might have been its failure to view Saturn strategically—and as a consequence not allowing it to fulfill its destiny as a domestic competitor to Toyota, Nissan, and ... more
  • Hold the Halo
    When a company does something extremely well, it's only natural to analyze its leadership and culture in search of best practices. If we become too enamored of Wall Street's latest darling, though, it might cloud our ability to identify what truly drives performance. "[I]s Google successful because of its distinctive ... more
  • 10 High-Impact, Low-Budget Ideas for Marketing in a Down Economy (Part 1)
    by Jonathan Kranz
    When the going gets tough, the tough get... cheap. Today, a good marketing idea has to be as inexpensive as it is clever. In this first of a two-part series are five inexpensive suggestions that can lead to productive results. more
  • Win Through a Social Contract: Use Teamwork to Create Value, Develop New Strategy, Iterate Quickly, and Implement
    by Nilofer Merchant
    People succeed together because they share a unified sense of purpose and a common vision for what they need to do. This unified sense of purpose comes from core beliefs. Core beliefs help a team to create together because they share a common worldview that helps people filter their observations, establish ... more
  • Case Study: How a Franchiser Automated Its Marketing Support to Improve Efficiency, Profitability
    by Kimberly Smith
    Global ink and toner supplier Cartridge World expanded its US presence to 650 franchisee-owned stores. But its marketing support lagged behind. Here's how the company turned things around: creating a centralized marketing resource center, upping efficiency and increasing profitability. more
  • Are You Ready for Total Recall?
    It's hard to believe, but only fifteen years ago almost no one used email in the course of a business day. Today, meanwhile, we can't imagine life without a mobile device that gives us instant access to multiple email accounts, wherever we might be. Now it's time for a new ... more
  • 2009: The Year of 'Light Green'
    by Andrew Winston
    Over the past two years "green" has become part of nearly every serious business discussion. But what will happen now in this damaged economy? Some of the green pressure on companies will lessen, but the underlying forces driving the green wave will continue over the coming years—from volatile commodity prices ... more
  • Try the Escape Hatch
    "Surviving or Escaping? This is a discussion I've been having with a lot of my friends in online lead gen and B2B sales," reports Bill Rice in a recent Better Closer blog. "The survival attitude is definitely in the air. My theory? That is the number one killer of businesses." ... more
  • Cut Back, but Don't Cancel
    In a post at Harvard Business Online, John Baldoni worries about the impact budgetary cutbacks will have on corporate meetings this winter. "I hear from colleagues in the communication business [that] meetings are being scaled back or canceled to a large degree," he reports. "Scaling back makes sense; canceling meetings ... more
  • Commentary: The Problem No Bailout Can Solve
    by Andrew Winston
    The current financial meltdown prompts another, larger catastrophe in the works: the change in the earth's climate and what it will do to business and society. Although those two challenges may seem worlds apart, there are three critical attributes of the financial crisis that are eerily similar to those of the ... more
  • Open Letter to the Would-Be CEO Blogger
    by Todd Defren
    Dear CEO: Welcome to the blogoshere! So, umm, how do you really start? How do you get started blogging, and do it well? Let's avoid the technical requirements. (You've got people who can figure that stuff out!) Instead, let's focus on creating the right mindset. more
  • Searching for the Searcher
    Many marketers erroneously go about hiring an SEM firm as they would an ad agency. But according to Rimm-Kaufman Group's George Michie, the process is more akin to hiring a law or accounting firm. In a recent Search Engine Land post, Michie suggested your search for the right search firm ... more
  • Beware: It's a Social-Media Gold Rush
    Back in December, Geoff Livingston and Beth Harte created a lighthearted blog post entitled "Top 25 Ways to Tell if Your Social Media Expert Is a Carpetbagger." With the wild rush to capitalize on social media, the pair note that "there are many, many companies, agencies and consultants rushing to ... more
  • Know How to Hold 'Em
    "It probably comes as no surprise," say Kara Trivunovic and Andrew Osterday in an article at MarketingProfs, "[that] the process of acquiring new customers comes with one of the higher price tags of any of your marketing initiatives." This places a high priority on the cultivation of customer loyalty—and, therefore, ... more
  • Benchmarking: A Best-Practice for Improving Marketing Performance (Part 1)
    by Laura Patterson
    CEOs and CMOs are interested in seeing marketing organizations improve their performance in two key areas: effectiveness (the ability to produce the desired result) and efficiency (reducing waste). The economic environment makes these efforts even more top-of-mind. Often the question that remains is how much do we need to improve? Benchmarking ... more
  • Bear Market? Change Your Tune!
    Last year, Google and MediaVest reported on a brainwave-tracking study about banner ads. According to the ad giants, banner ads rated a 6.3 in effectiveness—which was said to be a "very encouraging score." But combined with overlays, the effectiveness of banner ads increases to 6.6. This is because users find ... more
  • Sometimes, Less is More
    When your subscribers cut back on spending, you might be tempted to compensate for lost revenue by stepping up your email campaigns. But be forewarned: It's a potentially hazardous strategy. "Instead of being financially rewarded for emailing more," says Barton Schaefer, PhD in an article at MarketingProfs, "you may be punished ... more
  • Case Study: How an Automotive Dealership Used Voice Marketing to Supplement Sales, Boost Customer Retention
    by Kimberly Smith
    While automotive dealers struggle to survive, Mike Miller Hyundai has reached out to customers via voice marketing, at a fraction of the cost of direct mail. Now: service bays are filled, and customer retention is significantly higher. more
  • It's a Brand New Day!
    If you've made some recent improvements—whether to your product, service or customer experience—now is the time to trumpet those changes!  A new year, with consumers anxious for a new start, is a great time to tell your subscribers what they can expect on their next visit to your site. In a post at the ... more
  • Don't Just Use It, USE It!
    On the weekend it launched, Apple sold one million iPhone 3Gs—and not just to early adopters and hipsters: stats from ChangeWave suggest iPhone's moving in on the smartphone (read: ENTERPRISE!) market, currently dominated by BlackBerry. Already, iPhone's a fertile ad medium. From MySpace to Stella McCartney to the Associated Press, ... more
  • Boost That ROI Right Now!
    "The news regarding investment in marketing is not good, with many firms cutting their marketing budgets left and right," reports Neil Anuskiewicz in an article at MarketingProfs. Before taking such drastic steps, you might want to consider his better option: "Instead of taking an axe to your marketing budget … ... more
  • I Resolve to Treat You Right
    Cost-effective, and just plain effective, email communications are quite possibly the one sure thing to cling to in the current downturn. So, are you treating them—and your subscribers—right? In a post at ClickZ, Stefan Pollard says there's no time like the present to improve your email marketing programs. He offers ... more
  • Riding Shotgun
    "Initially, I wanted to be the CEO because I wanted to make the decisions," says John Edwardson, CEO of CDW, in a video on ChicagoBusiness.com. "And one of the lessons I learned a long time ago was that if you make all the decisions, nobody will want to work for ... more
  • You Want to Cut What??
    It’s no secret that when the economy goes south, the first cuts companies often make are from marketing. That could mean "bye-bye search budget" if you don’t take steps now to protect it. William Leake of Apogee Search explains in a recent MarketingProfs article how to keep the axe from ... more
  • Five Ways to Fail at Attracting and Retaining Customers in 2009
    by Michael DiFrisco
    Want to really impress your boss, your board, your employees, or your mom? Want to drive your customers to the competition? Then simply fall flat on your face in your attempt to get your business to stand for something in the marketplace in 2009. That will really make an impact—and ... more

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