Knowledge Base | Marketing

Marketing Generics Application Note:

“It’s too early to say” Pricing negotiation techniques

Price positioning and price negotiations are the most tricky and demanding part of the whole sales and marketing cycle. Price too high and you risk losing the business – price too low and you may gain the business but lose margin. So how do you fix and then announce a price in a way which avoids or at least minimises these risks?  The problem is that many sales and marketing people are groping in the dark when it comes to pricing, and theprimary reason is that they don’t really know how to price, or at what level. So the big challenge for Sales and Marketing is to make the activity as logical and process-driven as possible, to eliminate errors and maximisethe opportunity, but also to be able to successfully play the poker game that is price negotiation with the buyers.  Revealing your hand too early kills off your chances to optimise the price for your company. This Application Note explains a key technique you can employ in price discussions and negotiations.

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Marketing Generics Application Note:

What is segment marketing management? Why your company’s success may depend on it

Segment Marketing is probably one of the less well understood and underexploited marketing activities or domains, not having the prominence of its Product Marketing cousins, nor the glamour of the Brand Managers. Product marketing is certainly vital for a company, but segments are where the customers are: segments and applications eat products every time, particularly in mature markets. This Application Note explains what is segment marketing management is and why it’s so vital.

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Marketing Generics Application Note:

Understanding Profit. For Sales people and Marketers

Profit or profitability is a key indicator of a company’s success or business health. As a result, even if you don’t work in finance or feel particularly financially competent, having a basic understanding of profit and profitability can really help you in your work in Marketing or Sales. Specifically profit and profitability can help you understand:

  • The financial health of your own company
  • The financial health of your competitors
  • The financial health of your customers

The question for you in Sales or Marketing is how can you quickly and simply understand the story each tells you, without having to spend hours or analysis or having deep financial training? This Application Note explains how you can easily and simply gain a quick understanding about what a P&L is telling you about an enterprise’s financial health, and particularly about the profit.

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Marketing Generics Application Note:

The Vitality Index, and your rate of new product development

In an increasingly competitive world, with technology cycle times getting shorter and shorter, a company’s ability to drive research which results in successful new products is a critical element.  Companies need to innovate and bring continuous flow of new products to market. New products is a function of two major activities: marketing / product marketing which identify what new products are needed and drive the NDP (New product Development) and market requirement plans; and effective R&D, aligned to creating products which buyers or potential buyers need and will pay for and can deliver those products on time and to budget. R&D spend is simply a financial ratio of how much any given company spends on R&D, but management want to know more than that – how much of the R&D spend produces new products which are launched, grow and produce new revenue streams for the company? This is what is called the Vitality Index. This Application Note explains what it is, how it’s measured, and why it’s significant.

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Marketing Generics Application Note:

The Marketing Framework

The 'Marketing Framework' uniquely shows an overview of the entire top-level structure of how marketing works and how all the main marketing activities fit together.  If you have ever asked yourself the question ' how does marketing work?' this one-page graphic shows how all the different elements and pieces fit together.

Driving the overall architecture is what is often called 'the 3 levels of marketing', meaning Strategic Marketing at the top level, then Marketing Strategy at the 2nd level, followed by Marketing Operations at the 3rd level.  Within each level there are details about what activities take place at each stage.  If you want to know more contact us, but in the meantime this is the sort of document you might want to print off and pin in your workspace!

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Marketing Generics Application Note:

The Marketing Discussion with a Customer

One of the recurring issues in B2B Sales and Marketing is ‘who owns the customer?’ and therefore ‘who should be talking to the customer?’  Is it Sales, and only Sales - after all, normally Sales ‘own’ the customer?  Or can and should Marketing also be able to talk to customers, and if so, under what circumstances?  This Marketing Application Note explains how the circumstances under which marketing can and indeed should legitimately have a discussion with the customer or client. 

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Marketing Generics Application Note:

The CMO in high-tech industries

The role of Chief Marketing Officer or CMO is still relatively new, and many companies do not yet have a CMO.  However, as markets get more competitive the CMO role becomes more and more important, but it’s also critical to find the right person with the right skills and experience.  This Marketing Application Note explains more about the role, the key tasks and challenges for the CMO, and the profile and capabilities needed. 

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Marketing Generics Application Note:

Product Life Cycle actions for a Product Marketing Manager Part 1

At the core of running a Product Marketing activity lies having a deep and natural understanding of the Product Life Cycle (the PLC).  Just as a human being must know and acknowledge where he is on his own personal life cycle (so that you don’t pretend to be 18 when you are really 40, and so on!), so the actions for Product Marketing are different depending upon which stage of the PLC your product is.  Thus, whilst not being the sole factor which affects product marketing, the PLC is nevertheless a key driver of all Product Marketing actions.    Product Marketing Managers must therefore learn and master actions for each different stage of the PLC.   We teach 6 separate stages of the PLC, and to ensure that Product Marketing Managers cover all actions, they should map the 5Ps of the Marketing Mix against each stage, to ensure that each element of the Marketing Mix – the principal tools that Product Marketing have at their disposal – are considered and actioned.  This Application Note explains the detailed actions for each of the 5Ps for Stage 1 – Product Conception.

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Marketing Generics Application Note:

Points of Pain. Their importance for more effective Marketing and Sales

Marketers and sales people are, or should be, always trying to find out what their customers need, and how they can sell to them - the typical paradigm is ”the more or better you understand their need, the better chance you have of being able to satisfy them and therefore sell to them”.  This is true in principle, but in practice it’s more complicated than being able to simply identify and therefore address needs.  What you really need to be able to find out is the nature of your customer’s need, and in particular their pain points or ‘points of pain’.  This Application Note explains how.

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Marketing Generics Application Note:

Margin Dollars

A continuing challenge for Sales & Marketing leadership is how to purpose, incentivise and reward business performance. Which metrics should you use, because many of the traditional metrics seem one dimensional, focused on top line rather than bottom line revenues, and ill-adapted to a business seeking to maximise its profit potential?  Also, Sales and Marketing functions often end up with apparently conflicting and mutually exclusive targets, whereas ideally we want them to share at least the same overall goals for the business. Margin Dollars is a way to purpose, incentivise and reward business performance which takes into account the apparently conflicting goals that Sales and Marketing may have. This Marketing Application Note explains what Margin Dollars is, and how it works.

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Marketing Generics Application Note:

M&M’S Augmented

Theodore Levitt first articulated his Augmented Product concept in 1980, since when it has provided a template for Product Marketers to understand on how they can augment or expand their product.  This Application Note examines the M&M’S World shop in London to see how a simple M&M’Ssweet has been expanded into a holistic and wide-ranging retail concept, bringing benefits for both customer or visitor and the Brand Owner.  It is a remarkable example of how it is possible to augment something very simple and small into something very big and highly profitable.  In the end,it represents a triumph of Product and Brand Marketing.

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External Document:

IPA/BDO Bellweather Report - 2011 Q1

The IPA/BDO Bellweather Report is a report which monitors marketing executives' confidence in the economic situation, and their marketing and media budgets, giving both recent history and budget projections.  They also publish a free access, top-level summary. 

More information here

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