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Improve Your Chances of Success by Starting Small and Carefully

As long as your product is not in a specific market or retailer, it can’t be discontinued. Once you are discontinued you may never get back. You’ve got one shot. Take careful aim and hit just one bullseye at a time.
The shotgun approach may get you more distribution in the beginning, but, due to complications and idiosyncrasies in the distribution system, or due to you own underestimations of labor and oversight, your… Read More

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Entrepreneurship – Past, Present, Future

Title: Entrepreneurship Past, Present, Future
Location: Palo Alto, CA (Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman)
Description: Michael will be sharing valuable knowledge and experience to MBA students as a panelist at this private event being held by the Ohio State University Center for Entrepreneurship. This event includes a panel discussion, audience Q & A session, and a reception afterwards.
Date: February 24,… Read More

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Winning Distribution Strategies

Title: Winning Distribution Strategies
Location: Sonoma State University, Rohnert Park, CA

Successful brand building hinges on diligent management of the 3-tiered distribution channel and appealing to customers at all levels. Houlihan and Jones bring extensive street smarts and proven techniques to attract trade partners and cement their loyalty. This course is designed for owners, national sales managers… Read More

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The Advantages of Being a Small Start-Up – Part 1

Today we need new products, new services, and new ideas to invent our way back to prosperity. Small start-up producers have always been the backbone of the economy, not just because they provide the most new jobs, but because they improve the very quality of our lives by bringing more good ideas to the market. This is the first in a four part series on why small start-ups have an advantage over big companies.
“Build a better… Read More

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Positive Company Culture is critical to Growth and Survival – Part 2

A company survives and grows due to sales and the loyalty of customers and staff. Sales are based on price, value, dependability, integrity, availability and perception. The basis of perception is image, networking, and more recently, the transparency of the producer.
Transparency is what the brand stands for, its authenticity, its identification with higher values, and the actions it takes to demonstrate those… Read More

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Listen to and Learn from your Sales Staff

 

In the previous post we examined some of the ways your well-meaning office, marketing, production and accounting staff may come up with “cost-saving” suggestions than can actually hurt sales. 
When little things go missing or the package gets simplified in the name of production efficiency, you may hear “It hasn’t affected sales”…yet! Or, “Our sales are still strong” implying all you were doing… Read More

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Beware of “Money Saving” Suggestions from Your Non-Sales Staff

 Let’s start by realizing that there are really only two divisions in every company, Sales and Sales Support. Since Sales Support includes everyone not in Sales, Sales Support consists of Production, Accounting, Marketing, and so on. Without sales there is simply no money for Sales Support salaries. Still, Sales needs Sales Support to perform. 
The Sales people are doing their job out in the field. The non-sales… Read More

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Distribution: The Distance between a Great Product and a Sale – Part 2

The least glamorous but most essential part of making a sale is actually getting your product to your buyer. Many great products are rotting in warehouses somewhere because their designers didn’t take the realities of the distribution system into account. Here are additional questions product producers need to consider:
6. How will you stage your product for shipment? Most products are stacked on a pallet for easy… Read More

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Follow Up or Foul Up

Today most people are so busy they shudder at anything new coming across their desks. If they can say no, get back to you later, or send you to someone else, they can get back to whatever they were doing before you “interrupted” them. Here are 10 ways to get results in an overworked and often unconcerned world:

“I’ve got a call in” is never a resolution. When your people tell you that, it means that they think somehow… Read More

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How to Build a Brand Without Advertising

Brand recognition is the life blood of any product that passes through distribution channels. Building your brand to the point of significant market share takes years, and conventional advertising can be financially infeasible, especially for new product manufacturers.
In today’s world, the public demands transparency. Your customers want to know what your company stands for besides the product you sell.… Read More

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