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How NOT to Make a First Sales Call on a Long-Time Client

In business-to-business (B2B) marketing, the sales representative’s relationship with the customer drives sales and referrals. But when a trusted rep moves on and a new one is assigned to a long-time client, there’s potential for big trouble if the transition is handled poorly. Case in point: I recently met with a new sales rep from a company I’ve done business with for more than a decade. In less than 20 minutes, he managed to break six cardinal rules of effective customer relationship management and came very close to jeopardizing a long-term business...

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New Prospect, Bad Client? 7 Red Flags for Marketing Agencies

Every advertising and marketing agency is in a constant search for new business. But as a marketing agency president, I’ve learned the hard way that not all prospects should become clients. Even if you're a marketing agency looking to grow, sometimes it's smarter to walk away from prospective new business than enter into a bad relationship. How do you know when to stay or go?Here are 7 warning signs that a new prospect could become a bad client for your marketing agency....

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7 Ways to Improve Your Marketing Strategy with RFM Analysis

Do you know which of your customers are most profitable to your business? Or even how to measure customer profitability? One of the best ways to gauge the value of a customer is to perform a recency, frequency, and monetary value (RFM) analysis of your customer data. Here’s how RFM analysis works and seven ways you can use insights from RFM for a smart marketing strategy. ...

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How Cleveland is Regaining its Marketing Mojo

Can Cleveland, Ohio – the city that rocks, but has struggled in recent years with population decline and the economic downturn – capitalize on its extraordinary assets and regain its marketing mojo? The answer is an emphatic yes, according to executives representing the region’s health and medical community, film industry, convention and visitors bureau, and professional and amateur sports. These leaders shared insights on how to tell Cleveland’s story at a presentation on “Marketing Cleveland” on March 15 at Executive Caterers of Landerhaven. Here are highlights from their comments and my views...

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Boring! The 11 Most Overused Creative Themes in Marketing

A fresh creative concept is crucial for effective advertising and a smart marketing strategy. But too many advertising and marketing campaigns recycle the same, tired creative themes and copy phrases over and over and over. This is more than annoying. It’s a guaranteed audience turn-off and a misuse of the marketer’s resources. Here’s the 2011 edition of my annual list of the most overused creative themes in marketing. How many do you recognize?...

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How Great Direct Mail Helps a Retailer Win Back Customers

Direct mail is often used to reactivate lapsed customers, but few direct marketers do it well. Instead of a powerful, personalized appeal that rekindles the relationship, they turn the customer off with a generic message, irrelevant content, and a “so what?” offer. But when a direct marketer gets it right, with a highly personalized, data-driven message, a compelling offer, and a warm invitation to re-engage, it’s a thing of marketing beauty. Here’s how a major women’s retailer – Chico’s – nailed it with their customer win-back direct mail campaign, and...

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