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Archive for the Strategy Category

Marketing To Yourself?

Marketing To Yourself?

Marketing To You

Your marketing is not about you.

Marketing is all about doing things to cultivate customer relationships with your market.

  • It’s not about what you think would be cool.
  • It’s not about what you want to say.
  • It’s not about what you like.

It’s about what your customers and potential customers like … and need … and want. Lose sight of that and you lose all marketing focus. Lose marketing focus and your marketing will be like throwing spaghetti at the wall to see what sticks.

You’re not marketing to you even if you happen to fall into your target market.  Don’t use yourself as the prime example of what your customers want.  You know too much.

You’re entrenched in your business and industry.

You don’t have questions. You (think you) have answers.

You wouldn’t consider a competitors’ offering.

You trust you implicitly.

You’re not marketing to you.


Your customers will consider competitors.

Your customers may not wholeheartedly trust you.

Your customers have questions and concerns and worries that you may not.


Put yourselves in your customers position.

Think from their perspective and not from yours.

Listen to your customers.

Listen to the people who listen to your customers.

Listen to your competitors’ customers.

S-h-h-h-h-h! LISTEN!


Treat your customers like you would want to be treated if you were them.

Respect their knowledge and their lack of knowledge.

Respect their fears, concerns and worries.

Respect their comparisons to competitors.


Stop marketing to yourself. Market to your customers.









Are You Running Your Business Like A Hobby?

Are You Running Your Business Like A Hobby?

Business objectiv

I don’t want everyone to know our marketing objectives. If we don’t accomplish them, everyone will think we failed.

If your objectives scare you, then they’re the wrong objectives. Tweak them…but don’t throw them out! If you’re running a business without objectives, you have a hobby. It might be a very expensive hobby, but it’s not a business. What is a business? According to Wikipedia, it’s  “business, also known as an enterprise or a firm, is an organization involved in the trade of goods, services, or both to consumers.” So, it stands to reason that if you’re trading goods and services without any objectives on revenue or profitability, then you’re running a public service or just playing around with a hobby. Even if you’re running a start-up with a deficit, you still (should) have objectives as to how much or little you’re losing. Every business needs a marketing plan. And that plan has to include objectives. If you think your objectives are too aggressive, then change them! Without objectives, you’re in a boat without oars. Sure you might happen to float to your destination. It’s not likely to happen. Do yourself a favor and set some objectives…and then figure out what you need to do to meet those objectives. Your objectives should

Don’t Walk Into the Blue Light

Don't Walk Into the Blue Light

Marketing truths & the blue lightA while back, I was working with a start-up client who had a great product, engaging personality, amazing vision, a far-reaching business network and (seemingly) bottomless buckets of money. Doesn’t get much better than that. Or so I thought!

Things went well for a few months. The marketing plan was in place and working. New business was coming in. Sales were increasing at a faster pace than we anticipated. My bubbly energetic client was happy. And so was I. As a marketing consultant, you can’t ask for much more than this…a smart, insightful clients who appreciated the positive impact of your work.

We had about a year of success, far exceeding our business goals and were becoming a ‘force to be reckoned with’ in the industry. I was spending so much time with them that I soon had an office, an Acting VP of Marketing title and was embedded in their organization. But, this isn’t a fairy tale and there’s no happy ending.

One lovely spring day, I was working away on their new business plan, armed with the confidence of our past success. I heard an unusually loud conversation at the reception desk that was peppered with “You can’t do that” and “Yes we can”. I soon discovered that the company from whom we purchased our beautiful new Herman Miller office furniture was now repossessing the furniture. Although we were able to stall them, a few days later, the dozen or so 40” display monitors scattered throughout the offices were repossessed. It was disturbing, but I’d been told that they were financially stable, so I wasn’t too concerned. In fact, I’d worked on a few of the investor pitches and knew we had secured enough to fund us for quite a while.

My rude awakening occurred when I finally got in touch with the CEO. Although we raised millions, he spent more. He felt we (he?) needed to appear far more successful than we were to get the really big investors. After all, no one wants to invest in a struggling company. And then came the lesson that I’ve learned NOT to follow.

“If they want you in a blue suit, turn on a blue light.”

In other words, be who they want you to be.  Who you really are is your truth. That applies to your personal life and your business. You can create a new truth, but turning on the “blue light” doesn’t work. Sooner or later, the electricity goes out and you’re standing there naked and cold.

The truth of your business is your brand and it has the power to make or break you.  Don’t claim to be technologically superior if you’re not. Don’t shout about your product’s exceptional performance if it’s just like all of the others in the market.  If your business isn’t what you want it to be, CHANGE IT. You can transform your business. But, whatever you do, don’t walk into the “blue light”.

Does Your Business Flutter, Flitter or Fly?

Does Your Business Flutter, Flitter or Fly?


Flutter and you’ll spend a lot of energy – but not go anywhere.

Flitter and you might get somewhere – but is it where you want to go?

Fly and you’ll have the power to go where you want, when you want!

Without a business plan, chances are that you’re fluttering or flittering.  But you could be flying, perhaps even soaring, if you just took a bit of time.

Creating a plan isn’t that difficult.  And, the process of building that plan is just as important as the plan itself.  Once you get your ‘planning state of mind’ energized, it will help you discover insights into your business and market that you never before considered.


flut·ter \ verb \ˈflə-tər \

of a bird or insect : to move or flap the wings quickly without flying


flit·ter \ verb\ flitər

move quickly in an apparently random or purposeless manner


fly \ verb\ flī

move quickly through the air (under control)

Getting Stuff Done Isn’t Productive

Getting Stuff Done Isn't Productive


strategy gets the right stuff doneIs your goal to ‘get stuff done’ or is it to ‘get the right stuff done’?  At the end of the work day, do you look back on the last 8,10 or 12 hours and think about how much you got done?  But, did all of that work really matter?  If you focus more on getting the right stuff done, it will.  But, if you let every intrusion determine your day, you’re sunk!We’re all blasted from a thousand directions.  Emails darting at you right and left.  Twitter screeching.  Facebook frenzy.  Endless meetings.  Through it all, how do you make sure you’re being productive?

In a recent article on Relate IQ, this challenge is simplified.  “People get busy, the phone rings, and emails pile up. When this happens, you need to come back to your goals and let them guide you as you figure out how to move the ball forward. Everything else is secondary…..It’s a frequently cited workplace fact that every time you move from one activity to another—from writing an email to discussing a project in a meeting—it takes time to readjust to the task at hand. And while we tend to believe that we effectively multitask or seamlessly move from one activity to another, in general, we don’t. According to Gloria Mark, a professor of informatics at the University of California, Irvine, who studies digital distraction, once we get off track, it can take up to 23 minutes for us to return to the original task. If your workforce is heavily composed of Millenials, Duggan says, the problem may be worse. This generation, which spans birthdates from the early 1980s to the early 2000s, grew up with digital technology that has trained them to expect immediate feedback and a constantly connected existence.

The solution is a simple 3 step process.  First, set set a clear path to your goal(s), then stay on course and, finally, enable everyone to get the right stuff done.

Click here to view original web page at www.relateiq.com


Having a strategic plan helps you to focus, prioritize and collaborate in the most productive way possible.   It’ll shift the focus from getting stuff done to getting the right things done.  And, getting the right things done will, in turn, lead you to a higher level from which you can build your business even further.  Focus on just getting things done and you just might find yourself with an empty inbox and a business that’s in the same place that it was a year ago!



If you need help creating a strategic plan for your business, we can help.  Market-Inc. is a marketing consultant focused on creating strategic plans – – and we can help you execute that plan if you like. 

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What Are People Saying?

Outspent and with mediocre brand imagery scores, Susan developed a strategic plan that focused on influencers across a broad range of target audiences. This plan maximized the impact of the marketing dollars and resulted in increased brand awareness, retailer placement and sales revenue.

J. RutherfordVice President, Corporate CommunicationsFujifilm Holdings

How We Can Help You.

We are marketing consultants based on Long Island, NY. Over the past 20 years, we've built fierce market leaders in a broad range of businesses - from tiny start-ups to global Fortune 500 companies.  Our experience spans multiple industries from consumer electronics to financial services and from food services to photo.  We're looking forward to talking to you to see how we can help take your business to the next level.