I’m a big believer that in this environment, there is no one way to get to market. Both online and traditional media work in unique ways. You need to find the right mix of both that will serve and reach your audience.

But right now, major media has a problem, and it isn’t necessarily the internet. Sure, the internet has changed how print media needs to do business. But much of the problem for major media is that they are fighting the need to realign their old model to fit the contemporary model.

They still don’t know how to capitalize or monetize the edge they have. A recent study done by Cornell researchers shows that there is indeed an edge for traditional news outlets. Fast Company’s Kit Eaton says “it’s a sign that the old guard should chill out about blogs and how they’re destroying the news world.”

Read more about Old Media Still Powerful: Blogs Follow News Outlets 2.5 Hours Later – Read more…

Every business does its commerce in some community square, just like the grand old days. It may look and feel different, but the principles and fundamentals are the same.

I have worked on projects where the shipping department said “that’s not our job, that’s marketing’s job.” But Good to Great companies know that everyone is in marketing.

When working on a project for a company that supplied Dell computer, I remember you could walk through the Dell offices and anyone could pick up a phone to listen in on sales calls. Every computer that came off their line was for “Someone,” not just for inventory.

It’s important to remember that for any business, the most important asset is the customer. After all, the profits that a business makes has a direct correlation to how well they satisfy their customers! Unless every employee in every department in your company is concerned about addressing the needs of your customers, your profitability will decline.

Customer loyalty is certainly key to this issue. The Customer Collective recently posted an article entitle “Five ways to manage customer loyalty” – read more…

Over the years I have begun projects with companies and organizations, and one of the first things I ask for is their plan. Normally I am then handed an Excel Spreadsheet, ironically followed up by a statement that says “we never hit our plan.”

One company I worked with actually took 12 months to develop the budget and miraculously “hit it” at the end of the year, the same time they completed it.

Many companies don’t plan because they don’t want to fail. Others just don’t know what to do to plan. Their plans are either so far reaching and obtuse they are too fuzzy to identify anything accomplishable; or they are so tied up in tactical efforts and minutiae that nothing accomplished through the plan would contribute to the growth of the company.

Finance expert Steve Player says that unlike budgeting, which is financial planning, “planning” is a much broader undertaking: “Budgeting sets limits; planning figures out what’s possible. Budgeting is about not failing, while planning is about succeeding.” Read more… Going Beyond “The Budget”

Emails. Some businesses cringe at the thought of sending emails to their customer list. They’re afraid that their customers, like themselves, are so inundated with inbox messages that they’ll annoy the people they want to attract.

But emails are an effective means of building relationships with your current clients, adding to your potential client list, and offering information that will help the people you can serve.

To get you started with an easy method for building your email list, sending regular emails, and tracking the performance of each email, try Constant Contact. They have a 60-day free trial account so you can try it out with no obligation.

Small Biz Trends has some good tips for email campaigns: “Though it may sit in the shadows of today’s shiner marketing techniques, email marketing continues to be an effective, low-cost way for SMB owners to reach out to, inform and retain current customers. In fact,…” read article…

Vision of Small Business Over the Next Decade – The Intuit Future of Small Business Series is an ongoing research study sponsored by Intuit and led by the Institute for the Future and Emergent Research. The research looks at the significant trends affecting small business and entrepreneurship over the next decade.

The series includes Small Business Innovation – 2009, exploring the significant trends and forces impacting small business innovation. Research briefs and reports look at small business innovation topics in-depth and include an outlook on the key innovation trends that will impact small business over the next decade. Inlcudes:

  • Research Brief: Defining Small Business Innovation
  • Phase Three Report
  • The New Entrepreneurial Economy – Fact Sheet

And much much more… Check it out…

Over the past two years, McKinsey has studied more than 50 early adopters of Web 2.0 who are using technologies such as blogs, wikis, information tagging, prediction markets, and social networks. In this article they have drawn six insights on how companies can best use these technologies and they identify –  Six ways to make Web 2.0 work – read article…

This is a time of opportunity, but it is not for the faint of heart. Is your organization competing in the market or is it competing internally? This last year three different organizations I was working with all had growth, refocused their efforts, tweaked their budgets and grew, all when the economy was collapsing. I began my consulting career during the S&L Crisis and Oil Collapse in Texas and it was a very similar time. As we navigated those choppy times, every organization I worked with prospered and now you can too! This week I want to share an encouraging article by Naras V. Eechambadi, Ph.D., Quaer, called “Marketers, This is Your Time to Innovate and Lead, Not Hunker Down .” Read more…