Marketing Brain Fodder

Perspectives on Strategic Marketing, Communication and Values in Today’s Marketplace

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Leverage is an often used buzz word when business conversations focus on productivity, growth and profitability. Oxford Dictionaries define it as the exertion of force by means of a lever. In practical and slightly less mechanical terms — it is the use of resources at your disposal to change the equation that shapes the your status quo. Leverage is one of the concepts at the heart of the conversation when professional service firms focus on…
I remember when we used to be able to disagree with each other. We could have a debate, and go home friends. We could work alongside others, and even build a community with folks with whom we shared differing views. Things weren’t perfect, for sure; but it wasn’t unheard of for diverse groups to manage to identify common ground, and get things done. I remember when collaboration and consensus were positives. Those were the days.…
In 2001 Erik Weihenmayer reached the peak of Mount Everest — an impressive feat in-and-of itself. But one thing should be noted: Erik is blind. I first learned of his story several years ago, and was reminded of it thanks to a recent story on NBC’s Today Show. But Everest is only part of the story. In 2005 Erik became the first blind climber, and 1 of only 150 total climbers to have completed the…
Finally! The firm I was working with had been invited to make a pitch to a target we’d been pursuing for a couple of years. But the knee-jerk reaction was — wait for it — to make a list of every professional that should be included in the in-person pitch — 13 firm partners…representing each of the practice areas in which we believed we could serve the potential client. Thirteen of us. Two individuals would…
At some point, given the right topic, almost everyone will have a moment worth sharing. The challenge, at least as it relates to productive dialogue, is that many of us believe the frequency and scope of our insight is so grand as to warrant the lion’s share of attention in any given room. But when was the last time we engaged in an interaction where the objective of everyone in the room was to listen,…
How important is business development to you? Years ago I was being interviewed for the senior business development and marketing position in a law firm, and was on a video conference with a handful of firm leaders. Two things about the experience impressed me…and I don’t mean in a good way. At various times during the (exhaustive) 30-minute conversation every one of the interviewers had to divert attention in order to deal with a presumably…
You’ve probably heard some variation of the joke where a significant other, weary of repeatedly being asked to profess love, announces “I’ve told you that I love you. I’ll let you know when and if that changes.” Humorous to some…maybe. But I doubt this is an effective relationship strategy. Yet, in many ways this captures the way we approach the relationships we seek to cultivate through our business development efforts — announce bona fides, make our…
Part 5 in our series on Building a Strategic Business Development Plan focuses on Delivering Value — the first step in establishing a working relationship. We’ve discussed strategy, target identification, building a strategic network, and most recently, becoming relevant (creating visibility) with the targets you’ve identified. But actually securing that coveted engagement, never mind earning trusted advisor status, typically requires more than a finessed list of credentials and a brand. The “trust”…
Thankfulness is a decision. Like many decisions we make, it has a ripple effect. It is borne of a perspective that transcends experience, and resists seeing life through any single lens. Thankfulness has no agenda. It is comfortable in any room…at ease in any position or station…predisposed to give, with no expectation. Thankfully, it is not confined to a day. Or a season. It cannot be measured, and it does not keep score. It is a…
It creeps into consciousness sometime in mid-to-late September. By mid-November, partners in firms everywhere are feeling either personal or institutional pressure (or both) to come up with a business development plan for the coming year. If you’re in the midst of this planning, you’ve happened onto the fourth installment in a series on building a business development plan. The objective is to provide a real-world framework for planning that does more than go through motions that…