Just what is marketing?

Marketing is a relationship – one between you and a person with a need. We are all marketing something. How can we learn better skills?

Marketing does not come from a book. Many MBA programs will have a marketing concentration but some of the best marketers in the world never took one of those courses. Some have built very large businesses on delivering on their promises without finishing college.

So, how do you learn to market? By doing!! Sell something. Ask for donations. Help your favorite author drive up their sales. Create an on-line business.

First, build a story that connects you to others creating a relationship. Sure, you can cold call and you will sell something to, oh say, 1% of the people you meet. OK, everyone who loves to cold call raise your hand. OK then, how can we improve our effectiveness?.

We all would rather buy from someone we trust. When you buy a car or have one worked on, who do you go to? My guess is that you go to someone you have worked with before and have had good results or you go to someone who was referred by a trusted friend. That’s how it works. Have something you believe is valuable, work with your network, and find people who need what you have. Then, when successful, ask for a referral to talk to someone they know.

So, marketing is about believing in the value of what you have, creating a story to help others understand that value, and then providing them the opportunity to get that value delivered by you. And then networking your way to the next encounter.

Let’s go! Your homework is:

What are the five reasons that they should

a) Buy what you are selling

b) Hire you

c) Use the service which you provide

What are the five critical needs you know you customer has? Can you match them up with your five reasons? What will change for them? How will their business grow? What will be easier?

Now, go talk to them and close the deal. Ask for the donation, the sale, the job. Go do it now.


What can I do now?

Just read QBQ! – The question behind the question® (click will take you to the site) by  John Miller.  Good, quick read.

Subtitle- Eliminate blame, complaining and procrastination.

Simple enough read but application will transform lives and businesses.  It drives you to live in a world of possibility.  What can I do now to help make things better?  How can I change to communicate more clearly?  Now, be accountable.

The book points out the “victim” mentality many deal with on a day to day basis.   Why did “they” do that?  When will he be finished so I can do my job?  Why isn’t she a better boss?  Why don’t they listen to me?

By the way, leadership is an action not a title.  It is how you think.  Leaders are able to step up and take charge when necessary.  They are accountable for their actions.  But they are also able to coach, mentor, help, remove obstacles, build rapport, teach, and, yes, do.  Leaders see the problems and show them to the right people(experts) and let those right people take the action.  Hence, Lao Tzu – The best leader is where the people say “We did it ourselves.”

So, begin with “me”, ask the right questions, and act now.  Simple enough.

So look around and ask  “What” and “How” and focus on your personal action.  Then, Just Do It! ®

 So, what can I do to help you today?



P.S. – Many who read this may not see themselves in Marketing, but you all are.  Marketing is about eyes and ears of the business.  Can you imagine living without seeing and hearing what is going on around you?  So, please listen and watch and become part of the “Marketing” team that helps drive your business to succeed.

P.P.S. – I have started a new group to discuss Market Leadership issues on LinkedIn.  This is not just for Market Functions!  All are invited.  As I said above, you are the eyes and ears of your organization. Participate!!  Help us all get better at running the business.  Click here – Rochester International Market Leaders Association

Did you call me a jerk?

That was the beginning of the conversation in Kennett Square last night.  Gayle and I were waiting to meet Amanda, our daughter-in-law, for dinner.   A guy comes walking down the street and aggressively confronts me with that question.  Talk about brining your networking A-game.  I said no and asked why he thought I did.  His friend had told him that a guy fitting my description had made a comment behind his back in a bar.  Ahhhh – information on state of mind.

Well, it all turns out OK as his friend, being concerned about SOM, followed him and told him he had the wrong guy.  Turns out they were OK guys but the one seems to have an anger management problem.

This just reminded me of how important it is to really know who is talking, to listen well, and be careful of taking action on information that comes 2nd and 3rd hand.  You have to experience it yourself to really understand.

“Voice of Customer “  – is this something that you whole organization takes action on?  Or do you hire an outside firm to do the leg work?  The leg work – the get in front of the customer you have, the customer who fired you, the customer you would like to have – ask the questions yourself and listen!!!  You will then not be the guy coming down the street to pick a fight with the wrong person.  You will pick the right battles and more than likely win – because you are facing the person who gave you the clues.

Have a great week.

  Runners, triathletes – go for it.  Do your best, forget the rest.




Keys to winning?

I was fortunate enough to hear Gale Sayers this past week.  He had some great messages in the keynote speech he gave.  Here is a man who has succeeded on two fronts.  He is in the National Football Hall of Fame as well as the Chicago Area Entrepreneurship Hall of Fame.  Great accomplishments forged by hard work.  He values both and believes his success came from being on time, giving his all, and having some God-given talent.

However, the quote that stuck with me was about Brian Picolo, the other running back with the Bears. Gale said that:  “Pic would tell you he won’t get you one sixty like me, but he’ll get you ten sixes“.

We all remember the big run.  It was different from the rest and is in the news.  But… does it really win the game?  Unless you can also grind it out, you may have flashes but not last and may not win.  So, it is great when your team has a player with the ability to break a big one, but be sure to appreciate the utility player that delivers consistent, effective performance in moving to the goal.  He tires out the competition.

Also, one attendee asked was about how fast was Gale in his prime in the 100 yd dash.  He did not know but gave a good answer.  The goal was potentially 100 yards away but he had to beat one player at a time to get there.  He could negotiate the field by starting and stopping and switching directions better than any of the defenders.  They would end up trying to tackle him and he would not be there.  So, again, success comes from our ability to adapt to change better and faster than anyone else – get to that open spot in the field where we can run free.

So, my goal for this week:

  1.  Do 10 things well to move toward my goals, not just one big thing
  2. Read the field and avoid the competitors and barriers – find the open spot

Have a great week! 


P.S. Please, give me a call or drop me an email if there is anything I can do to help.


Forget the past and pursue the future!

The importance of this came to me while listening to one of our pastors speak(thanks, Tim).  It took me back to one of the few conversations I had with Bill Gore, co-founder of W.L. Gore and Associates with his wonderful wife, Vieve.  You would be hard pressed to find two more down to earth, caring and entrepreneurial people.  In a conversation with Bill shortly after arriving at GORE, he talked to me how we need to remember the lessons from the past but do not let the “failure” be a roadblock to winning in the future.  And Mr. Gore was all about winning.  Even with the financial side of things, he believed that what was already spent or invested should be forgotten.  It was all about proving that your product was real, that it could win in the market, and, at the end of the day, it would be worth it for both you and the customer.

This type of thinking encourages experimentation of techniques to find new successful products, services, and processes.  Experimentation in all areas is critical.  So often we dwell on experimentation in the technology area – new product development. However, it is critical to have a process for experimentation in all functional areas.  For me, it is marketing and how it can support technology as well as build the business.   Ask some questions and develop some experiments to find new more effective processes, products and messages.   Is your PR really working?  What new channels of market communication can you try?  Have you worked with the customer base to learn how they get their actionable information?   Would a channel partner make it easier for both you and the customers?  What about new ways to get the product to the customer – faster, in smaller amounts that match their usage?

Keep your eye on the goal!  Forget your failures but remember what you learned.  Try new things.  Be aware of the needs of those around you.  Your customers are all over the place and you cannot achieve your goals without them.

Have a great week!


P.S.  If any of you are on LinkedIn, I have started a group, Rochester International Marketing Leaders Association.  While located in Rochester, I have connections around the globe in sales, marketing and leadership.  I would love to have participation.

Rochester International Marketing Leaders Association