Topic: Republished Articles

Older Archived SFA blog posts

Who Gets “It”? Companies That Understand the Value of Their Dealers


With all that is available to us today, why is it that a company’s greatest asset can more often than not, be its most underutilized?

  • »  Short-sightedness?whogetsit-valuedealers
  • »  Tunnel vision?
  • »  Bravado?
  • »  Strict adherence to long-standing senior management foibles?
  • »  Or a simple strategy that only “we” know how to truly sell our products better?
  • »  All of the above, and in many different combinations.

In the North American marketplace, mainly on the B2B front, the asset that is increasingly being recognized by companies that see the big picture as a critical contributor to the bottom line, is the dealer.… Read More

Who Gets “It”? Most Agencies Don’t


Originally published on 07/16/2008 by Alder Crocker for Fast Company

The division of left brain / right brain in marketing, sales and advertising is dead.

Clients no longer appreciate, nor respect, the inability of agencies to follow traditional business practices, and be beholden unto “the creative process” – which means the agency will deliver the goods when they’re good and ready.

They expect process, accountability AND creative, all in one finely wrapped package. On time, and on strategy – strategy that sells, not strategy that looks pretty and people will remember for its “story.” (What I call “voodoo creative” where the creative overwhelms the message.)

Clients are also demanding that their partners know more about what’s going on in the entire world of marketing and communications than just what the agency, or agency management, sees through its limited prism.… Read More

Who Gets “It?” Private Equity Firms Overlook Some Basics – Part I


Originally published on 11/05/2008 by Alder Crocker for Fast Company

Buying or investing in a range of strategically similar companies, and then combining IT and back office operations, is a common practice for private equity firms to reduce overall costs of ownership and wring out more cash flow among all properties.

Introducing large or “important” potential same-sector customers to those PE-owned companies by leveraging relationships is another. Of course, there are many more that go along with those, but the collective goal is to increase the value of that company and either sell it off later or take it public.… Read More

Who Gets “It?” Private Equity Firms Overlook Some Basics – Parts II and III


Originally published on 11/06/2008 by Alder Crocker for Fast Company

If, on average, only 30% of companies bought or invested in by private equity firms achieve the success the PE company envisioned when the investment was made, one has to wonder why those firms spend little or no time and effort trying to increase the sales of their new purchase through better marketing strategies.

Several of the firms I have spoken with, and assorted analyst friends, agree that actively including marketing in the strategic growth plans for the company is gaining in importance.… Read More

Who Gets “It”? Only A Few Industrial Manufacturers Part I


Originally published on 08/18/2008 by Alder Crocker for Fast Company

In terms of marketing and sales techniques, the vast majority of US-based industrial manufacturers continue to live in the past. And so do their agencies or in-house departments.

Sell products on features and benefits. Show big pictures of the products in use. Hammer home reliability, durability, engineering, quality, productivity and cost efficiencies. And then repeat with the next, new and improved! product.

Go to trade shows and do the same thing, only bigger.… Read More

Who Gets “It”? Only A Few Industrial Manufacturers – Part II


Originally published on 10/01/2008 by Alder Crocker for Fast Company

If many manufacturers and their sales teams sell products and not solutions, does that mean that their customers buy products too, and not solutions?

They buy both of course, but it depends on what level in the hierarchical pecking order they are. The C-suite buys brands because they see the big picture, and if given the choice, only want to be associated with the best of the best. (That also plausibly allows them to explain any “partner’s” failures with their version of “Nobody ever got fired for hiring IBM.” If they partner with good and trusted brands, then they can’t truly be faulted for having them as partners.)

And just about every successful brand, and therefore partner, sells some type of solution.… Read More

Who Gets “It”? Marketers That Develop Brand “Programs”, Not “Campaigns”


Originally published on 08/18/2008 by Alder Crocker for Fast Company

Marketing schizophrenia can be defined in many ways, but one of the most compelling barometers I’ve found is an advertiser’s consistent creation of short term “campaigns”. (And of course, use of the term brand campaign.)

Many brand “experts” and senior marketers espouse brand and branding as the long term means to a profitable end when properly nurtured, yet much of what you see in adland today – and for that matter, the past decade or so – goes directly against this philosophy.… Read More