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Marketing Articles: General Management

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  • When Problems Arise, Go to the Spot
    In an article at the New York Times website, Michelle Maynard tells the story of Akio Toyoda's secret visit to an Ann Arbor, Michigan, car dealership. The grandson of Toyota's founder—and the man who will soon take charge of the company—was there to inspect the undercarriage of a Tundra pickup ... more
  • Serving Up a Perfect SEO Sandwich
    To make an in-house SEO effort successful, you must first gain buy-in from the three main "layers" in most large organizations: executives, management, and everyone else. So says Duane Forrester in a recent post at Search Engine Land. He likens working with these groups to making a layered sandwich. To ... more
  • Yes You Can: Bridge That Sales & Marketing Divide
    Squabbling or lack of coordination between sales and marketing teams can lead to longer sales cycles and increased costs—or it can scuttle deals. With so much at risk, why can't these two groups just get along? They can, says Rebekah Donaldson in a post on the Red On Marketing blog. ... more
  • Look to Your Own DNA
    Different people have had different reactions to our hobbled economy. Some are heartsick over tough choices made to keep a company solvent; others might thrill to the thought of newly identified opportunities; most of us are probably experiencing a mix of concern and optimism. Whatever your perspective, it's likely you've ... more
  • Marketing in a Recession: What Do the Studies Really Tell Us?
    by Christian Shea
    Have you heard this one? "All the research shows that companies that spend on marketing during a recession come out ahead of the competition as the economy rebounds." It's a catchy buzz phrase—and if people believe it, even better. But here's the thing: What research, exactly? more
  • Deciphering the Vendor Mating Call
    "Finding a good search engine marketing vendor is a bit like finding a compatible mate," writes Katie Deatsch in a recent Internet Retailer article. To be successful, marketers "first need to know what they want, and second, need to make sure their choice can provide it," she says. After establishing ... more
  • Get Them to Give a Hoot
    "Very few executives give a hoot about opens and clicks," says Stephanie Miller in a post at the Daily Fix blog. "In fact, very few marketers even look at their email system reports (I can't make this stuff up!)." The problem, she argues, is that these types of data cannot ... more
  • Avoid the Five Routes to Strategic Failure
    by Nilofer Merchant
    Disconnects are a big cause of strategy failure. You think you've communicated well, then find out you have—just not to your target audience. Or maybe at the end of a long research session, you realize that input from colleagues in the company's Ohio office was critical to your strategy, yet ... more
  • The Case for Persuading the Lawyers
    "Many marketers like to blame their lack of innovation on their lawyers," says Rohit Bhargava in a post at the Influential Marketing Blog. They're an easy target, he notes, because the more groundbreaking a marketing concept, the more likely it is that a lawyer will tell you why it can't ... more
  • Summer's Coming: Make Lemonade
    "The economic downturn spells bad news to most marketers," says Jack Trout in a post at the Branding blog, "but a slump also presents an opportunity to build brands." He takes a back-to-basics approach to his brand-building, and recommends a few down-home strategies that might help turn your lemons into ... more
  • The Foolishness of Fencing in Facebook
    In a post at the Acidlabs blog, Stephen Collins points to the results of a recent survey that found a whopping 55 percent of Australian employers blocked workplace access to social networks like Facebook; the proportion is smaller elsewhere—20 percent in Britain, 12 percent in France and 10 percent in ... more
  • Leapfrogging for Success: Change the Game via Innovation
    by Evan Gerber
    Marketers these days find themselves increasingly squeezed between a big rock and a very hard place: Their mandate is to demonstrably improve ROI, with reduced budgets, while communicating with skittish audiences that are less inclined to make purchases. Not surprisingly, people are looking for ways to change the game altogether. more
  • Put Sociability in B2B Sales
    If you haven't embraced some form of social networking in your B2B sales organization, chances are you're wondering how to start. Not surprisingly, sales experts have different viewpoints on how field managers should most effectively adopt social media. In an article on The Ultimate Sales Executive Resource, sales guru Christian ... more
  • Let the Sun Shine In
    When hunkering down to face a challenging economic climate, you might become so focused on survival that you don't notice when the storm begins to weaken. In an article at BusinessWeek, Gene Marks explains how to spot true signs of a recovery: Pay attention to the Consumer Confidence Measure, released by ... more
  • Why All the Talk About Dog Food?
    by Aaron Strout
    Have you ever heard the expression "eat your own dog food"? It's a concept that essentially means that one is "walking the talk," or leading by example. Many companies have talked about being "customer-focused," but how many really are? Unfortunately, just saying you're committed to doing something is dramatically different ... more
  • Attitude Adjustment: Proactive vs. Reactive Marketing
    No doubt about it: marketing and selling even the best of solutions in a bad economy is a hard job. On the sales front, cycles are longer, it's tougher to close business and profit margins are thinner. For marketing, the pressure is on to produce better results with less money. ... more
  • Free Resources That Can Pay Off
    While the blogs we highlight are a great resource for email marketers, you might also benefit from the more in-depth guidance of downloadable whitepapers. Companies have discovered the marketing advantage of offering free whitepapers to prospects, and some of those papers are worth a look. ExactTarget's One-to-One Marketing Field Guide ... more
  • Pick a Price, Any Price
    When you have customers scrambling to make ends meet, or cutting back on unnecessary expenditures, it might seem foolhardy to let them set prices for your product or service. But Sam Lippert of the Java Street Cafe in Kettering, Ohio, took a chance on that risky strategy. He told diners ... more
  • 'White Swan' Marketing, or How to Focus on What Works
    by Jonathan Salem Baskin
    When the latest marketing answers fail to produce the results you expect, maybe it's time to start asking different questions. You don't need me to tell you that we're in a crisis of confidence: Consumers don't believe or act on the information we give them in the ways we'd hope, so ... more
  • The Pursuit of ROI: Will It Lead You to Rags or to Riches?
    by Sharan Jagpal
    It's no secret that the business world is slow to change. Sure, it has made the evolution from typewriters to computers for word processing, and from snail mail to email for written communication. But in regard to the core of doing business—from the methods and measurements that are used to ... more
  • TLC for the CFO
    As B2B budgets tighten, CFOs are becoming more demanding. Show me the results! Justify the expense! What more can a CMO do? In a recent post at the Marketing Interactions blog, Ardath Albee offers some words of advice on producing the cold, hard facts that CFOs are desperate to see ... more
  • Tell It Like It Is
    We can't escape bad news—story after story about layoffs, closures and falling profits. It's only natural that employees are worried about the safety of their jobs. "Am I next?" they undoubtedly wonder, and they deserve an accurate picture of your company's health. In a post at Harvard Business Online, John Baldoni ... more
  • Conversionary Tactics
    While most retailers have experienced various degrees of tumult during this recession, the picture isn't entirely gloomy. A recent survey by Internet Retailer, for instance, shows many online-only businesses have maintained—or are improving—their email marketing conversion rates. Of the 275 retailers surveyed: 56.4 percent report their ... more
  • Online Reputation Management: A View From the Top
    by Leslie Gaines-Ross
    The first few months of 2009 have already been tumultuous for reputations. So what can be done? Below, some of the findings of that online-reputation study as they relate to seven realities of managing online reputation in today's world—and some solutions to strengthen your reputation in the months ahead. more
  • Too Smart to Lose
    Last year, Southwest Airlines refused passage to two young women for obnoxious behavior. The ladies immediately went out and told the press they weren't permitted aboard because they were "too pretty to fly"—sparking a media-driven feeding frenzy on Southwest's precious brand equity. It didn't matter that it wasn't true. It ... more

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