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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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March roundup: What does it take to get technology to market?

By Leo Valiquette

March break aside, we kept up the pace last month with a great lineup of content that featured some excellent posts from our guest bloggers. Hot topics included opportunities in the global smart TV market, criteria for hiring a worthy writer and the risks and rewards of having a product that is truly unique in the marketplace.

In case you missed any of it, here is a handy recap of our posts, as ranked by the enthusiasm of our readers:

March 20: Calling Canada’s startups: There’s a $200B TV market ripe for the taking, by Jason Flick

March 19: Is that writer worth the cost of the ink?, by Leo Valiquette

March 26: The ballad of the undifferentiated product, by Francis Moran

March 27: The ‘Accelerator Bubble’ will pop, but not for the reason you think it will, by Jesse Rodgers

March 25: Three (not so) simple strategies to avoid ‘losing the plot’ in marketing, by Rob Woyzbun

March 07: Oracles, shamans and storytellers, by Bob Bailly

March 13: It’s still rock and roll to me, by Francis Moran

March 21: Best of: My three buckets of customer segmentation, by Francis Moran

March 06: You can’t rely on the channel to grow sales in new markets, by Jeff Campbell

March 11: Drafting your own patent disclosure document, by David French

March 12: Don’t give your customers reasons to ask for apologies, by Leo Valiquette

March 18: Some dos and don’ts of governance, by Denzil Doyle

March 14: Before you jump on the content-marketing bandwagon …, by Leo Valiquette

March 05: From courting Hollywood’s A-list to navigating the Chinese New Year, by Leo Valiquette and John Hill



Great articles roundup: Social media strategy, product differentiation, investor questions, Canadian startup ecosystem

By Daylin Mantyka

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 Marketing Tech Blog, Duct Tape Marketing, Ventureburn and StartupNorth.

Better ingredients. Better pizza. Better social strategy

Pizza Hut misses an opportunity to address its customer complaints using social media and as a result, puts a bad taste in Douglas Karr’s mouth. This short case study compares two companies, Pizza Hut and Papa John’s, and illustrates why one succeeds over the other.

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The ballad of the undifferentiated product

By Francis Moran

I’ve been doing a lot of work with clients lately on refining their messaging and marketplace differentiation. It has always been clear to me that this is not a trivial thing. Unless you can carve out a unique value proposition for your offering, and communicate that proposition in an arresting and compelling fashion, you’re dead in the water. What I am increasingly coming to understand, however, is how courageous companies need to be in doing so.

Okay, maybe courageous is going too far; courage, after all, is reserved for heroes. Maybe daring is a better word. Here’s what I mean.

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Three (not so) simple strategies to avoid ‘losing the plot’ in marketing

By Rob Woyzbun

In today’s hyper-paced marketing and advertising world, it’s easy for marketing management to “lose the plot” related to the purpose of the firm, the understanding of the customers it serves, and finally the profitable creation, production and delivery of products and services.

There are numerous internal and external demands and distractions experienced by today’s marketing managers:

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