Maddening Messages

Want to drive your competitors insane (assuming they are not already)? A recent thread exploded on a CMO web site asking the basic question “What do you do that drives your competitors crazy?” Most of the answers were pap, lazily resting on vague superlatives such as “listen to our customers” and “being honest”. I chimed in (of course) with my favorite “poisoning the well”, which does not imply spiking competitor water coolers with toxic substances. Marketers tend to focus on one key customer stakeholder persona. They put 80% or more of their effort into recruiting the job title they believe will cause a company to buy their product. This is not a bad strategy, but when you have two or more competitors grooming the same stakeholder, getting their attention becomes increasingly impossible. If you are coming from behind, it may be useless. The counter strategy (and a good primary strategy … Continue reading

Changing Markets

Start-up CEOs constantly talk about managing growth, but rarely about managing change (growth being only one type of change). It happens a thousand times faster in technology markets. Marketing must monitor markets, and identify changes early on (though the better approach is to keep reinventing the market yourself and driving your competitors nuts in the process). Here are a few things to watch, some of which you likely are not. Competitors and partners Competitors never sleep, and are trying to reinvent themselves, market expectations and the shape of the known universe. Monitoring what they do as well as what they say is important. What they do exposes areas of the market they think are of growing or shrinking importance, and this needs to be folded into your positioning planning. What they say reveals … Continue reading