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Vol. 3 , No. 49     December 14, 2004


In this Newsletter:

  1. The Right Way (and the Wrong Way) to Increase Prices
  2. Marketing and IT: Two Solitudes
  3. The Best Way to Listen to Customers
  4. Text Messaging: An Emerging Marketing Tool
  5. SWOT Team: 'Tis the Season for B2B?
  6. Can We Talk? Surveying Your Prospects and Clients
  7. Lead Nurturing: Ripening the Right Bananas


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Premium Content

George E. Cressman
The Right Way (and the Wrong Way) to Increase Prices

Yes, the current business environment supports the ability to raise prices. And that's where the challenge emerges: many of the price increase announcements are being poorly executed.

Mistake number one: The majority of announcements cite higher costs as the reason for increasing prices. The problem with this approach is that it sets the stage for future price sensitivity and demands for price concessions.

So what's the right way to increase prices?

Get the full story.


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Stephen Shaw
Marketing and IT: Two Solitudes

At a time when Marketing and IT must closely collaborate in order to cope with a rising swell of consumer data, both groups still engage in needless bickering, neither side willing to put aside historical grudges.

Without a common understanding of the role of technology in customer management, and a path to get there, progress toward true CRM will continue to be thwarted.

Get the full story.

Sherri Dorfman
The Best Way to Listen to Customers

There was a time, not long ago, when companies could generate new business by simply listening to and following the advice of their investors and business advisers.

To remain successful today, however, companies must collaborate directly with their most important stakeholders—paying customers.

Get the full story.


A Note to Readers

An Awesome Quartet—and Year

Greetings discerning readers!

This week, we focus on customers: How to find them, how to nurture them, how to listen to them, and how to deliver bad news (about rising prices) to them. In my view, it's an awesome quartet of articles led by George Cressman's Premium piece. Don't miss them!

Also this week, longtime contributor Stephen Shaw returns to the pages of MarketingProfs with a thoughtful piece on the seemingly intrinsic dissonance between IT and Marketing. I love Stephen's sharp, incisive writing. His latest piece offers an appropriately contemplative treatment of a tough issue.

Finally, is there a favorite MarketingProfs article that has inspired you? Helped you find the solution to a thorny problem? Even enlightened you?

Let me know, because next week's newsletter will be the last one of 2004—and we'll be wrapping up the year with a "best of…" issue filled with some of the year's most incisive pieces. The seven articles will be handpicked by me as well as some of my colleagues and associates here at MProfs. But I'd love to hear your suggestions, too.

So if you'd like to nominate an article for inclusion, please email me with the title and author. (I can't promise that we'll include it in our wrap-up, but I'll do my darndest!)

Thanks for stopping by. As always, your feedback is both welcome and encouraged!

Until next week,

Ann Handley


Last Issue's Top 5

  1. Web Content Development: Defining Roles and Managing the Process
  2. Best Practices for Customer Success Stories
  3. Why Customers Buy, and Still Leave Shortly After
  4. Internet Marketing Motto: Be Useful
  5. Heritage: A Master Brand Builder
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Recent Know-How Exchange Questions/Answers

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  2. Urgent - Need Help Fast With a Retail Food Product
  3. How To Write a Letter To Inform Staff Of a Pay Increase
  4. What Is the Best Choice Of Contact Mgt Software?
  5. Can We Use BSC and Six Sigma In the Same Organization?


David LaPlante
Text Messaging: An Emerging Marketing Tool

These days, businesses are increasingly using a full range of communication methods including email, Web and fax to enhance relationships with existing customers, as well as a low-cost means of acquiring new ones.

Now an emerging communication mode, text messaging—or Short Message Service (SMS)—provides an additional and interesting opportunity for companies and organizations to differentiate themselves.

Get the full story.

Meryl K. Evans and Hank Stroll
SWOT Team: 'Tis the Season for B2B?

This week, add your two pesos to the dilemma: If you're a service business or sell a more complex product, is it still possibly to take advantage of the holiday shopping season?

Also this week, read your answers to last week's problem: What is the best approach or message for marketing technical services and solutions?

Get the full story.

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Blogs: What Every Marketer Needs to Know Now

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Angi Fisher
Can We Talk? Surveying Your Prospects and Clients

More and more companies around the world understand the importance of really knowing how their customers and prospects view their organizations. They also realize that viewpoints can change quickly.

So how do you keep informed of your customers' opinions? How do you know they're continually satisfied? How do you know that they value your company? Or that they feel appreciated?

Gathering this data objectively, accurately and quickly can be difficult. Yet it's critical in today's competitive marketplace.

Get the full story.

Brian Carroll
Lead Nurturing: Ripening the Right Bananas

Imagine your marketplace is a field of banana trees. Your marketing people are those who nurture and pick the bananas.

Bananas are harvested when they are green, and they turn yellow as they ripen. Roughly 95% of your leads are like harvested green bananas. Here's how to ripen all those green bananas before you pick them.

Get the full story.


Publisher:Allen Weiss

Content: Ann Han dley

Strategy and Development:
Roy Young

Director of Premium Services
Val Frazee

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