Forever 21 : What is your strength – that customers value?

It is sad to see that Forever 21 filed for bankruptcy. Their backstory is fascinating and the 5 minute video backstory of Korean immigrants achieving the “American Dream” by Business Insider is worth watching. 
Unlike the typical sad “decline of US malls”  story and rise of “online retail” the Forever 21 story has important lessons for all businesses. It is also an eerie reminder of the the New Coke fiasco,  To recap, Coca Cola did not realize in the eighties that customers did not drink Coke for taste but  it was all about being American – a much deeper meaning.

Purpose of a Corporation : What every American needs to know

The most exciting thing for business over the 2019 summer was when the Business Roundtable put out a Statement on the “Purpose of the Corporation.” Signed by 181 American CEO’s all of whose brands are well known to consumers or businesses, the statement reflects the changing times. Download the  Roundtable Statement here and check out the 181 signatures from many CEO’s of companies you are already familiar with.American politicians have been telling us what we know to be true – the “American Dream” eludes most folks today due to rapid changes in globalization and technology. Thankfully, leaders of American businesses have taken notice and have decided to move their focus from the “next quarter” to “long term shareholder value” on the shareholder element and have included all stakeholders in the “Purpose of the Corporation”. The times have truly changed in the last decade with all stakeholders having a voice on social media and the old dictum of “just focus on shareholder (short-term) value”  can no longer work.  See Eric Posner’s article “Milton Friedman was wrong” in the Atlantic.

Github acquisition by Microsoft: Managing in the Knowledge Age

Enter big, bad, old world, clunky Microsoft who acquires Github last year and the Internet exploded with jokes. Both Bill Gates and Steve Balmer were tough industrial age managers and Satya Nadella realized that the world had changed- see “How Microsoft got its groove back.”Command and Control” and top down strategy days are over in the knowledge age.

Market Segmentation and Targeting: Why Trump did not go to California in 2016

Market segmentation and targeting is probably the hardest concept in marketing. Strangely once understood even the savviest marketers seem to flip-flop in their marketing execution. For those dear readers who followed the 2016 US Presidential election the map below (Source : Philip Bump, Washington Post,Donald Trump spent more time in the states that handed himContinue reading “Market Segmentation and Targeting: Why Trump did not go to California in 2016”

Blockchain will make supply chains stronger but challenge brands

Blockchain technology will start shaking up supply chains and brands. But first, what is blockchain? Here's our take: Blockchain is a distributed accounting ledger . A mechanism to share how much was paid and received by whom, where each transaction is verified on a peer-to-peer basis. Sort of like verified reviews on Amazon. The personContinue reading “Blockchain will make supply chains stronger but challenge brands”

Educating the customer is a central task for marketers

The days of information asymmetry are over. Information is no longer power. And Google and other search engines are just getting started. The notion of the used car salesman trying to sell a “lemon” is a relic of the pre-internet era. Today, the entire history of a used car is available to consumers through servicesContinue reading “Educating the customer is a central task for marketers”

What are your customers searching for? – The Search Terms report in Google AdWords

What if you could know what exactly your customer typed on the Google Search bar that led her/him to your website? The “search terms” report in Google AdWords is an amazing way to do just that. The search terms report tell you exactly what your customer typed on the Google search bar. The search termsContinue reading “What are your customers searching for? – The Search Terms report in Google AdWords”

Trump Effect: Five reasons why CEO’s will become more involved in Marketing and Supply Chain

The Trump (@realDonaldTrump) effect in Marketing and Supply Chain is that CEO’s worldwide will take more interest in the operational decisions in marketing and supply chain. While Chief Marketing Officers (CMO’s) being rainmakers have more visibility in organizations, the supply chain folks tend to be sidelined. The CSO (Chief Supply Officer/Head of Procurement/Purchasing) typically reportsContinue reading “Trump Effect: Five reasons why CEO’s will become more involved in Marketing and Supply Chain”

Why web advertising for e-Commerce is different from Brand Building

It’s useful to think about paid web advertising (eg.Google AdWords, Facebook advertising) as Brand Building vs. e-Commerce: Brand Building: Brand building is more at the upper end of the sales funnel. The purpose of the advertising is to build awareness and inform the potential customer in the target market. A great way to understand howContinue reading “Why web advertising for e-Commerce is different from Brand Building”

B2B Marketing with Google AdWords

To make AdWords more effective for B2B marketing, its useful to understand some key features of B2B marketing before setting up the campaign. Here are those key features: Why do businesses buy? No business buys a product or service for pure “fun”. All business purchases are for a business purpose. These would include buying machineryContinue reading “B2B Marketing with Google AdWords”