Marketing Brain Fodder

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

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More than two decades ago Fred Reichheld, among others, began working on a conversation and a system that helped organizations — particularly professional service firms — rethink the issue of client relationships. In his book, The Ultimate Question (now available in an updated version), the discussion zeroes in on what the author defines as the ultimate measure of loyalty — whether a client would recommend you / your work / your firm to a friend.…
Most of us, I’m guessing, have recently had days where we didn’t really know where to begin — much less, how to realize the highest level of productivity. This past weekend, while enjoying Ann Handley’s new book, Everybody Writes, I was reminded of the daily schedule of one of America’s most productive and innovative historic figures. (A quick side note — you should add Ann’s book to your list of must-reads. It is one of…
If the only reason you want to connect with me is because you have a sales pitch to unleash, I hope you’re selling a commodity. Most of us make scores of commodity type purchasing decisions regularly — from toothpaste and soap to phones and computers — and we become experts at filtering the pitches. When in need of a commodity, we either tune in or memory calls up relevant marketing messages; we may factor some…
When your audience or market believes you always have their best interest at heart, every message will resonate — even in the midst of crisis. Nothing drives the impact of a message more than the presence (or absence) of trust. Trust provides a more effective platform than any pulpit…from sanctuary to bully. Once earned, it lifts communiques above the noise and confusion of any market place. Trust shapes context and tone, making it possible to…
The Managing Partner spoke with measured emotion. And conviction. The topic was the desire he and his senior partners shared to continue the legacy they were beneficiaries of by passing on a thriving firm to the generation of lawyers, now laboring as associates and young partners. I was taken by the forward thinking…the commitment to something more long term than the monthly hour-watch or annual budgets backed by little more than what it will take…
The fact that a lot of people are talking doesn’t mean there are a lot of real conversations going on. More to the point, the fact that there is measurable attention being paid to any particular topic does not guarantee progress. In the mid 1940’s, the Congress of the United States introduced legislation to make it illegal for women to be paid less than men for comparable work. Decades of talk have failed to realize…
Years ago I worked with a Managing Partner who regularly referred to the Marketing Department of his law firm as the PR Department. I’m certain it was a habit rooted in the days when law firm marketing efforts centered on work that was public relations in nature. Though I believe he knew the marketing group’s responsibilities covered a broader terrain, the habitual use of the wrong label both perpetuated and was emblematic of a narrow…
You’ve seen the articles. Many knowledgeable observers believe a recession is inevitable; some are predicting a severe slow-down as early as spring 2020, based on certain indicators. I do my best to avoid trafficking in fear and doom, but it is difficult to find a serious economic observer that doesn’t believe a downturn is coming. If it occurs, law firms (and other professional service providers) that are not doing the strategic planning today to…
(This is an update to a March 2018 article originally published on Forbes.com.) The role of leadership in any enterprise is fraught with a number of legitimately urgent distractions — especially in a volatile marketplace. A single projection missed, one team assignment blown, a silver bullet misfired can wind up costing precious resources. In short order, leadership can find itself caught up in the management of commotion. The challenge is that commotion is a constant. Responding…
When things don’t change, there is typically one reason. Change is simply not a priority. Wherever there is a lot of talk, but very little action…when progress is painfully slow (without regard to how essential we say it is) it is almost always due to one thing. The prescribed movement isn’t important enough to command the necessary attention and resources. And the venue doesn’t matter. From inside your firm, to global seats of power…from personal…