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Marketing

Marketing has undergone a transformation with the advent of online business and social media. But the fundamentals of marketing remain. Branding, reputation, databases and sales – a business cannot afford to get these things wrong. These articles pull together the latest thinking on marketing from the world's brightest business brains.

Understand what your customers really want

A customer is delighted to discover a new grocery delivery startup. He sends in suggestions he hopes will improve the service. In return he receives a stream of promotional emails. The customer feels ignored and cuts his order.

Use your brand to attack new markets

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Innovation isn’t just for startups – established companies can attack new markets too.

Incumbent firms operating in mature, saturated markets should use the power of their brands to tap the growth potential of new sectors, say Jean-Baptiste Coumau, Victor Fabius and Thomas Meyer writing for McKinsey Insights.

How to put marketing on the map in your company

Marketing executives often fail to capture the hearts and minds of stakeholders, writes Lisa Nirell for Fast Company.

CMOs might be well versed in social media, content marketing and branding, but when it comes to conversations with fellow executives, it often seems as though they’re speaking another language.

Seven ways to become your industry’s next expert

Becoming the authority in your field is a great way to grow your business, says Brian Horn, writing for Entrepreneur.com.

The author outlines seven easy ways to become your industry’s next expert:

1) Educate. Offer your customers free and valuable information, via blog posts, seminars and newsletters.

AUTHORITY

Ten essential lessons for entrepreneurs

For some entrepreneurs, things seem to fall into place on their rise to financial success, observes Jayson Demers, writing for Entrepreneur.com.

However, in spite of appearances, their success is not down to luck but rather an understanding of the importance of learning, adapting and growing, says the author.

Why you need to get marketing and IT to work together – and how to do it

Marketing and IT will need to work better together if they want to generate big revenue from big data.

Big data necessitates a “marriage of convenience” between CMOs and CIOs – both of whom are responsible for turning this new resource into profit, explain Matt Ariker, Martin Harrysson and Jesko Perrey, writing for McKinsey Insights.

How to thrive in a slow-growth industry

Weak markets are not a valid excuse for a company’s slow growth, write Kasturi Rangan and Evan Hirsh for Strategy+Business. With the right market proposition, you can achieve success, no matter what state your industry is in.

Is it time to reinvent your brand?

According to Lynn Russo Whylly, writing for ChiefExecutive.net, ignoring or missing a major consumer trend or behavioural shift can seriously damage a brand’s chances of survival.

Some big-name brands have endured by learning how to reinvent themselves, such as IBM, Apple and McDonald’s.

Winning new customers: your four-step strategy

Understanding how consumers make purchasing decisions will help your company win more customers and beat the competition, says Niraj Dawar, writing for Strategy+Business. The author provides a four-step marketing strategy, and it starts with getting to know your consideration set.

How to survive a social media crisis

On MIT Sloan Management Review, Gerald C. Kane reports from the 2014 South by Southwest festival where he attended a session entitled Tomorrow Is Another Day: Surviving A Social Media Crisis.

Four fundamentals for marketing a new business

Writing for Inc.com, Jon Miller outlines some marketing priorities to help a new business succeed:

1) Product value. Your product is the “bread and butter of the whole operation”, so you need to be clear about the real value it holds and the true need it solves. Once this value has been defined, you need to articulate it.

How to make your brand a religion

To compete with the giants in your industry, you need to make your company stand out, observes Will Yakowicz, writing for Inc.com. Your company’s brand, he insists, needs to be “a de facto religion, one with a dogma that’s easy to spread to the masses of lost souls looking for something to believe in”.

Why marketing managers can’t afford to ignore the power of online reviews

Online reviews and other sources of peer-to-peer information are a significant and growing force in consumer choices and spending decisions.

However, writing for Harvard Business Review, Itamar Simonson and Emanuel Rosen observe that many marketers are neglecting this trend and are still working much as they did ten years ago.

Why it's essential to identify your primary customer

You might think you have a customer-driven strategy, but it’s not always obvious who your most important customers are. Writing for Harvard Business Review, Robert Simons describes the term “customer” as one of the most elastic in management theory.

Can a great logo really improve company performance?

Think of a powerful company and it’s likely to have an equally powerful logo. Examples include the golden arches of McDonald’s, Starbucks’ mermaid and the bitten apple of – yes – Apple.

How can businesses tempt the new debt-averse consumer?

Michael Kidner, Circle After Image, Flowers Gallery

In  Harvard Business Review, Eric Janszen considers the current economic climate and discusses the challenge of selling to debt-averse consumers.

The lessons of mission-driven companies

Trevor Sutton, Butterfly, Flowers Gallery

Mission-driven companies come under the spotlight in an entry for Harvard Business Review's Blog Network by Michael V. Russo.

Is the hard-sell approach to marketing necessary in a recession era?

Michael Kidner, Colour Value Intensity, Flowers Gallery

Writing for Forbes.com, Marc Babej argues that entrepreneurs can learn from recession-era hard-sell marketing techniques, which he says are making a comeback.

Unlocking value with social technologies

Noel Forster, Untitled, Flowers Gallery

Social technologies are a modern phenomenon. They have found favour with consumers at a faster rate than any previous technologies.

Email marketing: how to hit the right targets and get a response

Writing for Inc.com, Tiffany Black asks experts for their tips on making email marketing more effective. The first piece of advice of is: keep it short and simple and don't waste too much time crafting the email.

How to defend your company’s reputation

Leslie Gaines-Ross uses Harvard Business Review to highlight the issue of companies' reputations coming under attack from "small-scale adversaries in command of a surprisingly potent new-media and social network arsenal: blogs, tweets, text messages, online petitions, Facebook protest sites, and digital videos".

How to give customers a positive encounter with your organisation

Writing for MIT Sloan Management Review, Sriram Dasu and Richard B. Chase attempt to answer the question, "How can service organisations make their encounters with customers more positive?"

Building a brand in the age of social media

On the Harvard Business Review website Patrick Barwise and Seán Meehan offer advice on brand-building, pointing out that the rise of social media means it has never been more important to get the branding fundamentals right.

Tune into customer sentiment to increase your company's profits

Bob Shaw of Forbes.com discusses how companies can grow in tough times by tuning into consumers' pricing and discount sentiments.

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