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Customer Manufacturing Group
In This Issue
Spending Time With Customers
You Can Learn a Lot...
It's About the Opportunities
New Product Intro Guide
More Information 



How to Get "More Marketing"



You've decided your company needs "more marketing. Now what do you do? Marketing presents special problems for a company that has not yet developed a professionally staffed marketing department.


This paper discusses what you should consider when you've come to the conclusion you need to add marketing talent to your company. We discuss what kind of marketing you really need, and what to look for from potential marketing consultants or employees.


Read this month's paper.

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Customer Manufacturing Update
October 2012

Dear Mitchell,


Here is your October Customer Manufacturing Update. Many of you have read our popular paper, Does Your Company Need More Marketing or Just Better Marketing? This month's paper, What To Do When You Need More Marketing, is a follow-on to that paper. 
Spending Time With Customers

If you follow us at all you know we are strong believers that CEOs and CMOs spending time with customers is a key to business success. While we have not proven this to be the case (Yet ... and we are getting ready to launch a research project on this. If you might be interested in participating, contact us to learn more.)  We have enough anecdotal evidence to believe, and we also continue to shaShoere new evidence.


This one comes from Vince Camuto, founder of Nine West. In an article in Fortune his one piece of advice is: "Listen to the consumer. I'm out every week in the stores, talking to women and the sales people. What do people want? Where is their lifestyle going? Trends don't come from designers. They come from consumers."

You Can Learn a Lot Just By Watching


Mitch spent 3 hours in the Ontario, CA airport the other day. There are no airline clubs there, so to work on his computer he sat at a Southwest Airlines gate at one of their work tables and stools. It happened to be right next to the credit card sign-up station.southwest airlines logo 


If you fly much you know that most airports have a least one airline affinity card sign-up station where the "sales people" attempt to get you to sign up for an affinity card. We, and most people we talk to, assume this effort is probably not all that effective ... just highly profitable, since credit card customers are highly valuable to the financial institutions.


Boy, were we surprised by what Mitch learned. There were three people at this sign-up station working to get people to sign-up for a Chase Bank Southwest Airlines affinity card. During the entire three hours that he sat there, at least one of those people was signing somebody up. Often two were signing and sometimes all three.


Their success came from an effective opening line and a useful offer. As our friend Ted Steinberg says, "A closed mind doesn't buy." Their opening lines (each person used a different line) were highly effective at stopping people and their offer was compelling to a surprising number of people.


In talking to them Mitch found there was a compensation plan that also drove an effective effort. They all made minimum wage plus commission/bonus. Their commission/bonus was tied to their personal sign-ups, sign-ups who ultimately qualified, and a team-based bonus based on how their team did during their shift. This drove individual effort without a cut-throat attitude.


It was confirmation for us that "cold calling" works and can be a good job ... if you have a mind-opening line, and an effective offer.

It's About The Opportunities  


Ralph picked up a fairly recent book (it was published in 2009) titled Know What You Don't Know - How Great Leaders Prevent Problems Before They Occur, by Michael Roberto of the Harvard Business School.  


The essence of the book is that great organizations (profit-seeking, non-profit and government) are run by leaders who don't emphasize solving problems (that is simply an organizational competence), but rather emphasize finding problems so they can be solved early.


So far, so good.  But that's not far enough; the real leadership challenge goes beyond that.  And ironically, we have only to remember the decades-old words of the man who probably first articulated them widely.  Now who else would we be referring to but Peter Drucker?


A very long time ago the great man said (we can't remember his exact words so we're paraphrasing): Problem-solving is looking backwards; it is playing catch-up. The real job of leaders is to seek out opportunities. 


No one we know disagrees, but so few executives really take this to heart. The problem of the day always seems to take time away from the opportunity of tomorrow. This is one reason that we recommend that CEOs spend as much as 25% of their time with customers - not selling, but simply understanding them and their needs, including their future needs.


The Complete Task List For New Product Introductions


We've published a Kindle booklet/guide written by Barbara Mroz (Ralph's wife and CMG team member) titled New Product Introduction: The Complete Task List


This product introduction process map and checklist was created by Barbara originally for a client who was bringing a new product to market.  It is not intended as a complete tutorial on product introductions, nor an introduction to the many activities comprised by that process.  Rather it is intended as a guide that experienced people can use to make sure that their product introductions are successful, that the groundwork for them has been properly laid, and that nothing is forgotten.  It assumes familiarity with the various activities that make up marketing, sales, product management and product marketing, and an understanding of them.


When we each reviewed Barb's guide, it surprised many of us that it began with "Confirm the business case for the product."  Of course, this is exactly what you should do as you start down the product introduction road, and it is illustrative of the kind of thinking that Barb brings to us.

Free Reading Guide

If you have a copy of our book Value Acceleration, you can download a free reading guide to help you and your team get the most from the book. (And btw, the book has been updated for 2012 and is also available in a Kindle edition.)

We appreciate your feedback to help improve these

Updates. If there are others you feel would benefit from this issue, use the Forward email link just below on the left.





Mitchell Gooz


Customer Manufacturing Group, Inc.


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