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 StartupCFO, Harvard Business Review, Content Marketing Institute, MarketingSherpa, Forbes, and Fast Company.
If you sell to B2B customers then you know how hard it is to get that purchase order. It goes without saying that it helps to put yourself in the shoes of your prospective customer to try and see how they perceive your company and product. What would their concerns be? How would they go about evaluating this opportunity? Mark MacLeod shares a valuable framework for determining how customers think about a startup’s product.
Traditional marketing planning activities have been a mainstay for the past four decades, but the theories behind them have limited relevance for new ventures facing extreme uncertainty. The old routine of analyzing existing markets, predicting an optimal outcome, and then designing marketing plans to capture that outcome is too slow and cumbersome for today’s startups. Authors Peter Whalen and Samuel S. Holloway make the case that, to be successful, new ventures must eschew these theories and instead rely on effectual marketing planning. This strategy uses a different set of management processes focused on speedy action, learning through failure, and a premeditated approach to market experimentation that creates instant feedback. They argue that it can help new ventures be more successful, more informed, and more fully understood.
Just as we have seen in the previous two years, content marketing remains a top priority for marketers going into 2013. In fact, nine out of 10 marketers are using content marketing. In many respects, content marketers are doing more, but uncertainty still exists. CMI shares key findings from this year’s report.
David Kirkpatrick shares valuable research from the 2012 ITSMA/VEM Marketing Performance Management Survey, revealing that marketing’s satisfaction with its ability to measure, analyze and improve performance is shockingly low.
The concept of building thought leadership as a platform for marketing is strange because so many companies use thought leadership as a complement — “Here’s why we think we’re experts, so we wrote about it.” Author Emily Jasper argues that shifting our mindset to use thought leadership as a foundation means that we’ll develop expertise at the core of our businesses: through our products, services, technology, and more.
Innovation is widely regarded as the single most important ingredient in today’s economy. But innovation as a destination isn’t enough. Sustained innovation is a high-productivity state in which an organization strives to innovate in all aspects of its business, including management, divisions, operations, customers, and suppliers. It requires a seamless, structured management approach that begins with board- and CEO-level leadership and connects all the way through technology investment and implementation. Above all, sustained innovation is a journey, not a destination. The enterprise doesn’t stop innovating after attaining one goal; it’s engaged in a continual process of reinvention, invention, and discovery.
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