Getting Your Customers to Stop Thinking of You

This week I had the privilege of attending Forrester’s Tech Marketing Roundtable here in Austin, TX. As usual, Forrester put together a great discussion with fellow product marketers and shared some fascinating insights. Forrester also invited a guest presenter for the discussion, Dr. Art Markman from the University of Texas. Dr. Markman’s topic of discussion was on how to make your company a habit (Side note -keep an eye out for Dr. Markman’s upcoming book,Thinking Smart. Sounds like a great read for Product Marketers.) Your first question may be, why should you care about your customer’s habits?  Here’s one good reason from Dr. Markman: In the end, the … Continue reading Getting Your Customers to Stop Thinking of You

The Ultimate Answer to the Ultimate Question

Having a system in place to capture customer feedback is essential to understanding how your customers feel about your product offering. I am a fan of the Net Promoter feedback approach and would recommended the book on the topic, the Ultimate Question by Fred Reichheld and Rob Markey. That’s why I was excited to hear that they are releasing a new version of the book and were recently on the HBR IdeaCast podcast to talk about the update. While the basis of their framework, “Would you recommend us to a friend?“, hasn’t changed,  it has been over five years since the first edition of … Continue reading The Ultimate Answer to the Ultimate Question

Harvard Business Review Gone Wrong: When You No Longer Preach What You Teach

Last weekend, while perusing the magazine rack at Barnes and Noble, I noticed that they were now selling full magazine subscriptions to the Harvard Business Review (HBR). I was surprised to see that the in-store price at B&N was only $69.  Last time I checked, HBR was usually north of $100 so this seemed like a great deal. I didn’t pull the trigger at the time, but left thinking that at $69 it was too good a deal to pass up. I had subscribed to the HBR in the past so it was no surprise that later in the week I received an offer … Continue reading Harvard Business Review Gone Wrong: When You No Longer Preach What You Teach

Remember That Talk About Delighting Customers, Forgetaboutit

Finding ways to delight your customers is a continuing challenge.  What delights your customer now is most likely going to be an expectation in the near future. Marketers, including myself, love tackling this type of challenge.  It involves getting to know your customer and applying creativity in developing a solution. And more often than not, it is a wasted effort. That is, according to Matthew Dixon, managing director of the Corporate Executive Board’s Sales and Service Practice.  He is the latest to talk on HBR’s IdeaCast and brings up good points around customer satisfaction.  Matthew is coming from a customer … Continue reading Remember That Talk About Delighting Customers, Forgetaboutit

Random Reading – A Holiday Recap

Thanks to Mitch Joel for recomending Sir Ken Robinson’s talk at TED, Bring on the learning Revolution.  A few great quotes from the video that I highly recommend watching: It’s very hard to know what it is we take for granted.  And the reason is, you take it for granted. Life is not linear – it’s organic. College does not begin in Kindergarten. If you are doing something you love, an hour feels like five minutes. If you are in the mood for a fun TED talk, check out Hillel Cooperman’s six minute talk, Legos for grownups. For those of you still confused by … Continue reading Random Reading – A Holiday Recap

Top Down Strategy

Wanted to follow-up to my last post on Portfolio Management with an add on the importance of strategic direction from the top.  This month’s HBR has an article discussing “What Only The CEO Can Do” and I thought this comment sums it up perfectly: Resolving the tension of sometimes divergent short-term and long-term priorities is, as Peter Drucker reminded us, a challenge as old as business itself. Drucker said, “The CEO decides on the balance between yield from the present activities, and investment in an unknown, unknowable and highly uncertain future….it is a judgment rather than [a decision] based on … Continue reading Top Down Strategy

HBR On Marketing In A Downturn

This month’s HBR has an excellent article on marketing during a downturn.  In (very) brief, here is the summary: Understand recession psychology – make sure you understand how your customers are going to react during the recession Manage investments – determine which of your products have the best and worst opportunities and make smart choices when it comes to funding Market through the recession – drive short term gains but don’t sacrifice the long term health of your products And for after the recession: Survivors that make it through this recession by focusing their attention on consumer needs and core … Continue reading HBR On Marketing In A Downturn

Working on Collaboration

I have been working on my business model and just how much control I want to have vs. a completely open model.  HBS has a great article this month on the topic called “Which Kind of Collaboration Is Right for You?” (sorry, i think you need a subscription to read the entire article online) that has been a big help. The article discusses four basic modes for collaboration innovation:  Elite circle, Innovation mall, Innovation community, consortium.  I had been leaning towards a completely open network, but here some the quotes I am fixated on, “With open participation, you don’t need … Continue reading Working on Collaboration