Channel Instincts posted its first blog on February 16, 2013. Since then, the site has had over 15,000 views.
No one has been more surprised than us and we truly thank you for your interest and comments.
But not all of you have been with us for the entire journey and while we have our own favorites, your clicks have let us know which posts struck a chord and were your favorites.
Here are the best of the best as selected by you: the 10 most widely read Channel Instincts posts of 2013.
#10: The Marketing Audit: Finding the Reason for Your Success
Why is your company doing so well? Why is it experiencing some difficulties?
What are you doing right? And, more importantly, what are you doing wrong?
Effective marketing requires a plan, with objectives, strategies and tactics for reaching goals.
After these steps have been taken, a review of their effectiveness should be undertaken on a planned basis. This review is called “the marketing audit” and is one tool for determining your current level of success.
#9: Is Marketing the Sales Prevention Department?
To hear sales tell it, marketing says “no” more often than they say “yes.” Marketing has become the poster child for how to not be responsive to the customer’s needs. In fact, we’ve been called the sales prevention department.
Does that leave sales with only smoke and mirrors? Heck no. Marketing should always be trying to show sales and the customer that we’re trying to profitably grow their business. We can prove it in many ways.
#8: 5 Tips to Succeed with Big Boxes
Maybe you already sell either Lowe’s or The Home Depot or both. Maybe you eat channel conflict for breakfast. But it’s been my experience that the continuous competitive clash between orange and blue is something that is tough for many manufacturers’ to figure out.
Selling one or both of the home center big boxes is a great way to drive volume. Each, however, works hard to differentiate themselves from one another. That makes it had to sell both of them when you have a commodity category. But it’s still possible to do this without being a major consumer brand.
#7: 7 Steps to Writing an Internal Communications Plan
Communication is critical within any business setting, but most importantly within a manufacturing facilities − where the right communication can really impact change and translate into business success.
What’s the best way to communicate? How much should you communicate? How do you make sure your messages are heard? This guide will take you step-by-step through the communication process. It has simple, practical, easy-to-follow information you can put to use immediately.
#6: Are You Making It Too Easy for Your Competition?
How well do you know your competition? My guess is you are feeling pretty good that you do. But your goal should be to know the competitor better than they know themselves.
Every day your competitors are thinking about the moves that will make them a huge threat to your business. Would it be easy for them to grab a huge share of your business just by giving your key retailers an alternative that they can use to leverage you for pricing and other things? All they have to do in test is be “Good Enough.” They don’t have to do better.
#5: Are You Pricing for Volume or Profit
Your costs are rising and your margins are declining. Worse, your retail partners are demanding greater margins and it’s a scorecard measure. You need a price increase but you run the risk of triggering a line review or losing placement.
Let’s start with a basic premise: our job in Sales and Marketing is not to merely generate volume but rather to generate gross margin. How then can we overcome pricing issues?
Profitability without growth will only serve to create an environment with no opportunity. Growth without profitability only serves to create a poor performing large company. Profitability without growth will only serve to create an environment with no opportunity. Understanding the balance between volume and price is your job!
#4: The 4 P’s of Marketing Aren’t Enough Anymore?
Everyone knows the 4 P’s of marketing…
But Gino Biondi, vice president of sales & marketing of Zenith Products, has suggested that the 4 P’s of marketing aren’t enough anymore. Instead, he believes it takes a baker’s dozen of P’s to represent the many facets of product, channel and brand marketing.
#3: 10 Product Marketing Blogs You Need to Read
Find insight and benefit from the thought-provoking blogs of these product marketing experts. Each tackles the problems and issues that we all face as product marketers from their unique perspectives. My top 10 list, in no particular order, includes:
- Shardul Mehta – Street Smart Product Manager
- Jeff Lash – How To Be A Good Product Manager
- Marlon Davis – Connecting.Some.Dots
- Ben Rees – Focus Product Marketing
- Cindy Alvarez – The Experience is the Product
- Stewart Rogers – Strategic Product Manager
- Chris Cummings – Product Management Meets Pop Culture
- Nils Davis – Wait, I Know This One
- Teresa Torres – Product Talk
- Rob Berman – Rob Berman’s Blog
#2: What Does “Your Price Is Too High” Really Mean
It could mean, “I don’t like you, get out.”
It could mean, “I am testing you. I have nothing to lose.”
It could mean, “You haven’t shown your value to me.”
It could simply mean, “I’ll get a better price by saying this.”
It could mean, “I am only doing what you as a salesperson have trained me to do.”
#1: 10 Marketing Thought Leaders You Need to Follow
Look no further than these 10 marketing thought leaders for inspiration and insight. Each one has a unique perspective that is worth your attention. My top 10 list, in no particular order, includes:
- Steve Farnsworth
- Mark Mitchell
- Heidi Cohen
- Graham Robertson
- Michael Gass
- Timothy Carter
- Kim Garst
- Peg Fitzpatrick
- Mike Brown
- Jeff Bullas
There you are, our top-10 list for 2013. We hope you’ve enjoyed our posts over the past year, and we invite you to stay in touch in 2014 by following us on Twitter, LinkedIn, Slideshare or Google+.