Category: Marketing Strategy

In the wild

I recently bought a house, which included a few bathrooms. In one of these bathrooms, there’s a shower with fixtures made by a well-known, higher-end brand. The shower is controlled by three stacked knobs. One controls water flow into the tub. One controls the temperature of the water. Neither is a problem. But that third

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Race to the Bottom

Most digital advertising is bought in a competitive auction. You’re competing with similar firms who have similar products and services for the same audience. And, if you want more share of that market, there’s an easy way to get it. You simply need to bid more for their attention. All else equal, higher bids equals

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Who speaks for the trees?

Breakfast cereals, chips, cookies, and crackers all have multi-million dollar marketing budgets. How much is spent advertising broccoli and cauliflower every year? The Lorax, in Dr. Seuss’s eponymous children’s book says, “I speak for the trees. I speak for the trees for the trees have no tongues.” But, what happens to the good-for-us “products” or

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The Hidden Tax of Digital Marketing

Google’s annual revenues are in the neighborhood of $160 billion dollars; roughly 70% comes from advertising. Facebook’s revenues are around $70 billion. Together, they represent about $180 billion dollars in annual advertising spend. Many companies are spending a meaningful amount on on one or both platforms. Some companies spend 10%, 15%, 20% or even more

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Investing in Growth

You can’t cut your way to growth. But, you can cut your way to lower acquisition costs and stronger economic performance. Just identify the worst marginal use of your marketing dollars and cut it. Then just rinse and repeat. This will open up some available capital that you can use to then invest in growth,

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Is it really a problem?

Before you build a new product, there are three questions you should answer: Do real people actually have the problem you’re solving? Do they recognize it as a big problem? The problem is ideally a primary obstacle blocking them achieving an important goal. How do they perceive the switch away from their current approach? The

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Multiplying by Zero

Multiply one of something by zero and you get zero. Multiple one hundred of that same thing by zero and you also zero. You’ll get the same result if you start with one million. Or even one-hundred million. No matter how large the starting number, when a zero shows up, the resulting product is always

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The Job to be Done

I’m not particularly handy, but I own a drill. I’m very confident it has both a motor and a battery. Beyond that, I couldn’t tell you much about it. I use this drill for one thing: mounting heavy objects – like large, framed pictures – on walls. That’s it. In fact, when I have a

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Everyone’s a marketer now

If you wanted to open a bakery back in 1990, your marketing predominantly consisted of your physical location. If you really wanted to go big, you’d locate in a more desirable part of town, you might invest in some prominent signage outside your store, and maybe even some print advertising in the local newspaper to

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Burnt toast

Malcolm McLean was the first to successfully commercialize the standardized shipping container, over 75 years ago. Prior to McLean, most ship cargo was unloaded manually by longshoremen. Accordingly to Smithsonian magazine, a typical ship might house over 200,000 separate crates, bags, and barrels. Wikipedia notes that hand-loading a ship cost almost $6 per ton in

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