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Vol. 5 , No. 21     May 23, 2006


In this Newsletter:

  1. Marketing Strategy Defined: What You Need to Know (and Why You Need to Know It)
  2. Marketing "Sideways" Wine Online
  3. Five Goals of Effective Chief Marketing Officers
  4. Meeting the CEO's Mandates: Tuning Up Your Customer Reference Program (Part 3 of 3)
  5. RSS: What's in It for Marketers? (Part 2)
  6. The Power of Excellent Messaging
  7. Marketing Magic Inspired by P.T. Barnum

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Premium Content

Michael L. Perla
Marketing Strategy Defined: What You Need to Know (and Why You Need to Know It)

Strategy is a word that has prestige: If you put the word "strategic" in front of almost any other term—such as strategic thinking or strategic analysis—it sounds more impressive. Being a strategic thinker is often a key step on the way to the C-suite. For the marketer, it can separate you from the pack.

Yet what's interesting about the word "strategy" is that there is no universal, agreed-upon definition. Many pundits, academics, and business people define it differently, with some definitions overly complex and convoluted, while others consisting of a simple checklist. Here, the author defines some of the general parameters of strategy and attempts to put some sort of working definition around it in relation to terms such as "goal" and "objective."

Get the full story.

Please note: This article is available to paid subscribers only. Get more information or sign up here.


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Dave Chambers
Marketing "Sideways" Wine Online

Imagine a California wine club modeled after the movie "Sideways"?

Sure, it sounds cool. But there are many inherent challenges -- the decay curve on the "Sideways" recall, for example, and the fact that marketing a sensory product online is always a challenge. Read the details in this case study.

Get the full story.

Suzanne Lowe
Five Goals of Effective Chief Marketing Officers

The role of the Chief Marketing Officer, a title almost unheard of 10 years ago, will continue to expand in the next decade. Marketing is evolving from an art into a science—and it's about time.

As CMOs begin to embrace their new-found stature, are they tuned into what really makes them effective?

Get the full story.

For more on this subject, please click this button to play our Marketing Podcast: Career Coaching from Yum! CMO Micky Pant.

Note: This Marketing Podcast is available to paid members only. Get more information or sign up here.


A Note to Readers

Leader of the Pack

Greetings, readers.

The theme around MarketingProfs lately has been this amorphous thing called marketing "strategy." Actually, the issue has been kicking around for a while. Publisher Allen Weiss wrote an article two years ago, "One Sure Way to Kill Your Marketing Strategy," in which he laid out:

"There are many ways to kill a marketing strategy, including bad execution of good strategy, political impediments, underfunding of marketing initiatives and other problems that drive marketing strategies into the ground.

"But there are sometimes other, more subtle (but consistent) problems in companies. The main problem concerns the language that your marketing team uses."

Today, Michael Perla picks up the mantle in the lead story, "Marketing Strategy Defined: What You Need to Know (and Why You Need to Know It)." For the marketer, he says, being a strategic thinker "can separate you from the pack.

"Yet what's interesting about the word 'strategy' is that there is no universal, agreed-upon definition."

Until now—at least, to my mind. Michael does a great job of defining a difficult concept. He gives marketers working definitions and—best of all—relates them to the real world.

By the way, read more of about strategy in today's blog post on the MarketingProfs Daily Fix. Michael weighs in again with some extra great stuff that he DIDN'T put in the article, and our own Roy Young offers up his own brand of wisdom in the lead article.

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

Ann Handley
Chief Content Officer/Keeper of the Blog

P.S.: More about this next week... but here's an advance on the newest from MarketingProfs. Next Wednesday, May 31, we launch our first non-English marketing newsletter, MarketingProfs Hoje (em Português). At the helm is the capable and talented Sharon Hudson, who says that all you Eager Beavers can sign up in advance. (Check the box marked "MarketingProfs Hoje.")


Last Issue's Top 5

  1. Common Pricing Traps to Avoid
  2. Five Simple Techniques for Getting Better Results From Qualitative Research
  3. What Does Web 2.0 Mean for Your Business?
  4. Fiction and Fact About 'Killer Instinct'
  5. The Bill Maher of Marketing Seminars
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What can YOU learn in 90 minutes?

June 1 , 2006
Conducting Online Research
the Right Way

Carey Azzara outlines best practices for online surveys, including how to build your sample and how to write the questions.

June 8 , 2006
Demystifying Web Site Usability Research: Getting Past Focus Groups
Kelly Goto describes the basics of informal testing, as a more accurate alternative to surveys and focus groups.


Promise Phelon
Meeting the CEO's Mandates: Tuning Up Your Customer Reference Program (Part 3 of 3)

Many organizations have had customer reference programs in place for years, but not until recently have those programs begun to capture the executive attention they deserve.

Get the full story.

The author of this article recently conducted a survey with us on a related topic. Click this button to view and filter the B-to-B Voice of the Customer Benchmark Survey Results.

Note: Benchmark Survey Results are available to paid members only. Get more information or sign up here.

Eric Frenchman
RSS: What's in It for Marketers? (Part 2)

RSS may not ever replace email as a delivery tool. But nonetheless, it will move Web site traffic, because people can use RSS readers to receive content without having to visit a site.

Here's part two of a primer on RSS, and why marketers should care about it.

Get the full story.

Want to know more? Play the recording of our popular seminar: Better than Email Marketing? RSS Demystified.

Note: This seminar is available to paid subscribers only. Get more information or sign up here.


Best Practices for Online Collaboration

Want to know how thousands of companies are using online meetings and collaboration to exceed sales objectives and increase productivity? Join the marketing and sales professionals who subscribe to the Best Practices for Online Collaboration Newsletter. As a bonus, you'll have access to our Webinar, "Generating Sales Revenue through Online Meetings and Collaboration." Click here to subscribe to the newsletter and access the Webinar.

Sridhar Ramanathan
The Power of Excellent Messaging

Most CEOs and even VPs of marketing think messaging is about a good tagline. That's partially true, but a tagline is only a small portion of smart messaging work.

Get the full story.

Bill Engler
Marketing Magic Inspired by P.T. Barnum

Over the last 50 years, marketers have been working overtime to legitimize our craft; we have even gone so far as to refer to marketing as a science.

Without question we have made great strides. But at the same time, we have lost some of the magic. And a little magic can make a good marketing plan quantifiably better, and in many cases great!

Get the full story.


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Content: Ann Handley

Strategy and Development:
Roy Young

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