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Customer Manufacturing Update )
Creating Competitive Advantage Through Marketing/Sales Process Improvement

January 2008
in this issue
  • The State of Competitive Advantage
  • The precarious role of Chief Marketing Officer
  • Can You Get Better Results From Your Marketing/Sales Efforts?
  • Pricing Right
  • Closing Thoughts
  • Dear Mitchell,

    Happy New Year. Here is your January Customer Manufacturing Update. This month we're looking at the state of competitive advantage.

    If you have friends or colleagues who would appreciate receiving this e-zine, feel free to forward a copy to them using the "Forward e-mail" link at the bottom of the e-zine.



    The State of Competitive Advantage

    Creating and maintaining a competitive advantage is a never-ending effort. And what it takes to accomplish that is ever-changing. As others have said, what got you where you are today is not going to get you where you need to be tomorrow.

    This month's white paper looks at the state of competitive advantage in the 21st century, and what companies will need to do to create and maintain a competitive advantage in today (and tomorrow's) frenetic markets.

    The precarious role of Chief Marketing Officer

    An early December issue of Business Week has an extensive article on the short tenure of CMOs. It seems that they have a much shorter life than any other position in the C-suite.

    This really isn't very surprising to us. After all, few people define "marketing" correctly, in our opinion, and as the article so well documents, few CEOs can define the role of the CMO well.

    If you read the article (can't find it on the BW website to link to, sorry), you'll notice that the apparent definition of marketing (which is vague in all cases), is limited to the "back-end" of marketing. That is, the so-called promotion and sales support aspects.

    One of the blowbacks from this confusion is that there's a movement afoot to do away with the CMO role and go back to dividing up marketing responsibility among the sales VP, CIO, COO and CFO. We think that this is precisely the wrong thing to do; why go back to something that wasn't working to begin with?

    If marketing is not also responsible for strategy, product/service offering identification, market targeting, etc., then the job of promoting poorly selected and defined products and services is bound to end up as a "scapegoat" position. Until and unless marketing is viewed as a true business process that is tasked with the alignment of the company's capabilities with customer needs, wants, and demands, the CMO will have a short tenure, or position elimination.

    Further, marketing is a process, and like all essential processes, it cuts across the old functional lines. Like all essential processes, it too should be managed by a process owner: the CMO.

    The real issue is to define marketing properly by a correct process model.

    Can You Get Better Results From Your Marketing/Sales Efforts?

    If you're ready to move beyond gut feel and guess work to drive your marketing/sales management, there is a new one-day workshop for you. Discover how to increase sales and lower your marketing and sales costs by applying proven process management principles to marketing/sales.

    Competitive advantage comes from being better than the competition where it matters. Too many companies still spend on marketing and sales rather than invest in marketing and sales. Why? Because what to invest in is driven by gut feel or guess work. The hoped-for investment too often becomes just another expense.

    In this breakthrough workshop, we will show you proven methods to move from spending to investing in marketing/sales. We will teach you how to get started using proven process management principles to make better decisions in marketing and sales.

    You will leave this workshop with real actions you can go take the next day to get better results.

    These hands-on workshops are being scheduled around the U.S., the UK and Canada.

    Pricing Right

    An article in the November 2007 issue of The Harvard Business Review cited a 2004 survey by Strativity (a global research and consulting firm) with some disturbing insights.

    According to the survey most (undefined term but we assume this means more than 50%) customers are unable to identify the features that determine the prices they are willing to pay for products or services.

    If this isn't troubling enough, the survey also found that 50% of sales people don't know what attributes justify the prices of the products and services they sell (or try to sell as the case may be).

    In our opinion these are fundamental marketing failures and must be addressed in any company that wants to be successful in the long term.

    We have written several articles on aspects of this topic as well as Mitch's book, The Secret To Selling More focuses half of the book on this issue.

    You can take a look at our past white papers on our website.

    Closing Thoughts

    We appreciate any feedback you can provide to help us make sure these Updates give you value each month. Feel free to respond to this e-mail with any comments or suggestions for future topics or ways we can make these Customer Manufacturing Updates more valuable to you.

    Thank you for your interest, and if we can provide any additional assistance in sales, marketing, strategy, or innovation to help you increase your sales, let us know.

    Our mission is to help you improve the performance of your System to Manufacture Customers.

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