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The saddest marketing story I’ve ever heard

This is the next entry in our “Best of” series, in which we venture deep into the vault to replay blog opinion and insight that has withstood the test of time. Today’s post hails from January 2011. We welcome your feedback.

By Francis Moran

I heard the saddest story the other day.

A few years ago, we worked on the launch of a new personal finance website developed by a veteran personal financial advisor. The site was detailed, secure, incredibly useful and solved a sharp, expensive and disruptive pain that the advisor had been running up against his entire professional life.

Our media launch went well. We got some decent coverage, both in mass media and, more valuably, in the trade media reaching financial advisors. Although the site was designed for individual subscriptions, advisors were identified as its most important channel to market since they were expected to counsel their clients to use it.

We were a little confused when the campaign was not continued past that initial launch, especially since some of the best opportunities we generated for the client were over the long term, including, for example, an agreement to have the site’s creator contribute a regular column to one of the key trade publications in the space. From the other folks working on the launch we heard encouraging news about the possibility that the site would be white-labelled by one of the largest firms of financial advisors on the continent, and other early signs of traction. So we were at a bit of a loss when everything went unexpectedly quiet.

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What an entrepreneur can learn from a literary conference: Part II

By Leo Valiquette

I’ve blogged before about my ambitions to become a fabulously successful novelist and my annual April trek to Toronto to attend the Ad Astra literary conference. Having just returned from the 2013 edition, here are my latest observations that apply as much to entrepreneurs as they do to authors.

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Great articles roundup: Smarter marketing, entrepreneurship, women in tech, word of mouth, content marketing

By Daylin Mantyka

link2 300x240 Great articles roundup: Social media strategy, product differentiation, investor questions, Canadian startup ecosystem As a regular feature, we provide our readers with a roundup of some of the best articles we have read in the past week. On the podium this week are ReadWriteWeb, Ventureburn, Techvibes, Damn, I Wish I’d Thought of That and Velocity.

Smarter marketing: How minority report got it all wrong

In her article, Sarah Rotman Epps talks about the Smart Body, Smart World paradigm — how sensor-laden devices like wearables give us access to new domains of information.  When speaking with marketing executives, Sarah finds a consistent comparison to the 2002 movie, Minority Report. She argues that the Minority Report-style marketing is a “dumb vision of the smart future” and provides some intelligent advice on implementing innovative tactics that rightly embrace the future of marketing.

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Trademark hygiene: A cautionary tale

By David J. French

Businesses, particularly when they are starting out, often make the mistake of assuming that by merely incorporating they have reserved their name. They have acquired some rights, but only in the smallest sense. The corporate register that issues a corporate name, for example the province or the federal government, will not create another corporation with the same name. But that does not mean that merely because a corporation has been formed that such company has the right to stop others from using its name simply because it has been incorporated.

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‘You can’t cross a canyon in two leaps’

By Francis Moran

Canada lost one of its most populist and colourful political characters last week when former Alberta premier and Calgary mayor Ralph Klein died. There are a number of marketing lessons, both salutary and otherwise, to be drawn from the exploits of this seemingly simple man whose shoot-from-the-lip approach and unrivalled common touch made him an object of both admiration and scorn.

However, today I’m going to riff on just one of his more quotable quotes because it applies so very well to the doomed approach too many technology companies take with their belief that market traction and sustainable revenue growth can be achieved through a series of low-cost incremental steps.

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