Posted on December 06, 2007 by Kathryn Regina.
According to the book Blockbusters, it’s a company’s innovative product—not it’s price point, customer service or depreciation schedule—that creates value for customers. To discover the key practices required for developing “blockbuster” products, authors Gary S. Lynn, Ph.D. and Richard R. Reilly, Ph.D., conducted a two year study of “blockbuster” product development teams. Here’s what we thought of their findings:
Out of the five “best practices” for new product development, I thought the most interesting one was that successful teams always have senior management that is “intimately involved” with the project. This seems to run contrary to most management situations. It also raises the question as to how these managers have time to be both teammates and management. Nevertheless, the authors insist that “coming up with the ‘big idea’ is only the beginning,” and that when management merely pops in once in a while to check in on things it’s not only unhelpful, it often results in “hit and run” accidents. The authors observed that in successful teams, senior management played one of three roles: project leader, technical guru or coach.
The authors’ observation that successful teams were “not especially concerned about building friendships or even insisting that everyone like each other,” adds a harsh robotic-like element to what is otherwise a set of reasonable best practices. However, upon closer examination it seems like what the authors really observed from the successful teams was that friendships aren’t all that’s needed for a strong team, and that strong teams can exist even if not everyone gets along. That’s a lot different than saying that in order to be successful you have to be unconcerned about building friendships. Because that just sounds creepy, to be honest.
Keep it open. Keep it clear. Keep it consistent. That seems to be the lesson from the book summary, “Blockbusters,” which identifies the five necessary steps to lead a product development team. When I say keep it open, I mean lines of communication, ideas and focus must be open to all possibilities. It never serves people well to be forced down one unwavering path. It is important to be clear about what your product is, what the competition provides, who your audience is and who your competitors are. A clear idea of this allows the unique and alluring elements of your product strategy to flourish. Lastly, maintaining consistent communication and problem-solving techniques between developers, managers and decision makers discourages the occurrence of mistakes, unfavorable relationships and unwanted surprises.
By reading specific accounts of real-life company sagas, it becomes clear that Lynn and Reilly's "5 keys to developing great new products" are vital steps to becoming successful. The summary highlights Iomega's trip to success and teaches the reader that all 5 rules (Commitment of Senior Management, Clear and Stable Vision, Improvisation, Information Exchange, and Collaboration Under Pressure) are not simply step-by-step suggestions. Rather, all 5 must be used tgether from start to finish in a balanced collaberation between all departments of the company.p>tags: award winning design | award winning magazine | award winning newsletter | award winning publications blog publish |blogs |build credibility |business credibility |business editorial |business magazine |business marketing |business newsletter |business publications |business relationships |company magazine |company newsletter |company publication |corporate magazine |corporate newsletter |corporate publications
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December 6, 2007 in award winning design, award winning magazine, award winning newsletter, Blogs, build credibility, business credibility, Business editorial, business magazine, Business Marketing, Business newsletter, Business publications, company magazine, company newsletter, Company newsletters, Company publication, corporate magazine, Corporate newsletter, Corporate publications | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack
Not my beloved hyphens!
Posted on September 21, 2007 by Sarah Eaton.
In our world of word-squishing (thank you, the Internet), hyphens are gradually dropping off. The Oxford English Dictionary axed 16,000 hyphens in its latest edition. Some were rather antiquated (like cry-baby vs. crybaby); some I can't imagine ever using (logjam); some even I didn't realize had hyphens in them (lowlife).
You can read all about it here.
September 21, 2007 in award winning newsletter, Brand enhancement, build credibility, Corporate newsletter, Corporate publications, creating newsletter, how to publish and promote online, how to publish online, how to write and publish a paper, newsletter article, newsletter creation, Newsletter writers | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack
Submit Submit Submit
Posted on August 20, 2007 by Kevin G.
A news source that I often link to, DMNews, is in the final stages of accepting submissions for an Email Marketing Guide. If you have the chance, I would recommend taking a look at their site and see if there is anything you could submit.
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August 20, 2007 in award winning blog, award winning design, award winning magazine, award winning newsletter, Award winning publications, Brand enhancement, Building B2B Relationships, Building Customer Community, Building Customer Intuition, Business editorial, business magazine, Business Marketing, Business newsletter, Business publications, Business relationships, company blog, company magazine, company newsletter, company newsletter sample, Company newsletters, Company publication, Corporate Blogging | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack
6 blogging blunders
Posted on August 08, 2007 by Kathryn Regina.
If you're a regular blogger you should check out this article on common blogging mistakes. Among the top mistakes are not providing enough links, writing huge blocks of text and disabling comments.
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August 8, 2007 in award winning blog, award winning design, award winning magazine, award winning newsletter, Award winning publications, blog publish, Blogging Tools, Blogs, Brand enhancement, build credibility, Building B2B Relationships, Building Customer Community, Building Customer Intuition, bulk email marketing, business credibility, Business editorial, business magazine, Business Marketing, Business newsletter, Business publications, Business relationships, company blog | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack
HTML Vs. Text
Posted on July 25, 2007 by Kevin G.
I was reading an article on practices that are working in B2B marketing. Written by Robert Bly, the article supports the notion that even though marketing gurus promote authentic and effective practices, the large majority of them are inconsistent.
It is a challenge to pinpoint what exactly makes a marketing campaign succeed or fail, even when it comes to custom publishing. One point, however, I refused to accept: B2B email marketing is a strategy best served in plain text format over HTML. What?!
Alright, I understand how spammers utilize HTML in various ways to trick filters, personal message are often sent in text format and HTML messages can seem insincere if sent to a bulky list. But to say that text email messages for B2B purposes works better than HTML is a bit shortsighted.
HTML has the capacity to present multiple sources of information in a customized way. If designed well, HTML messages can help promote a company brand while delivering a unique experience for the subscriber. Not to mention that HTML is more expansive in its capacity for tracking and measurement than plain text.
If you think text email messages will set you apart from the rest of the B2B traffic – you’re right. You'll leave your subscribers wondering why you seem to think bland is better.
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July 25, 2007 in award winning blog, award winning newsletter, Award winning publications, Brand enhancement, build credibility, Building Customer Community, bulk email marketing, company blog, company newsletter, create a newsletter, create email newsletter, create newsletter, creating company newsletter, creating newsletter, direct email marketing, E-Marketing, Email Marketing, Email Newsletter, email tracking, ezine marketing, how to publish a newsletter, how to publish online, html email newsletter, html newsletter, newsletter design, newsletter publishing | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack
Hitting Two Birds With One Stone With SEO
Posted on June 13, 2007 by Kevin G.
It appears that even Google and Yahoo’s search engines can be consolidated in one main service. The search engine, SearchBoth.com allows users to simultaneously search on the Google and Yahoo search engines on the same screen.
The interface is easy to work with and search results are easy to navigate through. Powered by Yellow Pages Corp., it seems to be the easiest solution to win leverage against the two internet powerhouses. Check it out.
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June 13, 2007 in award winning blog, award winning magazine, award winning newsletter, Brand enhancement, build credibility, Business editorial, Business relationships, Corporate Blogging, create newsletter, custom newsletter, Custom publication, Customer Intuition, e-newsletter, Educating Clients, Educating Prospects, email marketing solution, email services, Newsletter Marketing, newsletter outsource solution, Newsletter ROI, Print newsletter | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack
ACES in Bloom
Posted on May 21, 2007 by Vinnie Lacey.
It's not often that we get to pat ourselves on the back here at BeTuitive Publishing. But award season is in full swing, and we are proud to announce our first wins of 2007!
Miller Heiman and BeTuitive Publishing scored top honors at the 2007 ACE Awards, sponsored by the Reno-Tahoe chapter of the American Marketing Association (AMA). AMA has been the leading source for information, knowledge sharing, and development in the marketing profession for over six decades, with over 38,000 members internationally.
The Miller Heiman Sales Performance Journal nabbed an Award of Excellence in the category of Comprehensive Marketing Campaign for BeTuitive and Miller Heiman. Miller Heiman also won awards in the categories of Special Events, Direct Mail Campaign, Web Marketing Campaign and Publicity/Public Relations Campaign.
Congratulations to our friends at Miller Heiman, pictured here with their shiny accolades:
Excellence is Contagious!
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May 21, 2007 in award winning blog, award winning design, award winning magazine, award winning newsletter, Award winning publications, blog publish, Blogging Tools, Blogs, Brand enhancement, build credibility, Building B2B Relationships, Building Customer Community, Building Customer Intuition, company magazine, company newsletter, Custom publication, Custom publications, electronic newsletter, Email blast, Email Marketing | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack
Everybody's Workin' for the Weekend
Posted on May 14, 2007 by Vinnie Lacey.
When was the last time you told a job interviewer you have trouble getting things done? Probably never. We all like to think productivity is our strong suite. In reality, getting things done is a common obstacle, with nuances for every job position and industry.
Not to fear. No, really...c'mon now...take your forehead off the keyboard and get those pencil erasers out of your ears.
There are a few things that anyone can do in today's time-crunched business world to turn unsightly "to do's" into gold star "all done's." Our friends over at Yahoo Finance share these "Five Steps to Being More Productive."
Now excuse me while I go clean out my inbox.
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May 14, 2007 in audio publication, award winning blog, award winning design, award winning magazine, award winning newsletter, Award winning publications, Blog Outsourcing, blog publish, Blogging Tools, Blogs, Brand enhancement, build credibility, Building B2B Relationships, Building Customer Community, Building Customer Intuition, bulk email marketing, business credibility, Business editorial, business magazine, Business Marketing | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack
Custom Publishing Growth
Posted on May 08, 2007 by Kathryn Regina.
A new study by the Custom Publishing Council found that companies are investing more in custom publishing than ever before, the magazine format is gaining in popularity, and the average company has 2.3 custom publishing titles.tags: audio publication | award winning blog | award winning design | award winning newsletter award winning magazine |award winning publications |blog outsourcing |blog publish |blogging tools |blogs |brand enhancement |build credibility |building b2b relationships |building customer community |building customer intuition |bulk email marketing | May 8, 2007 in audio publication, award winning blog, award winning design, award winning magazine, award winning newsletter, Award winning publications, Blog Outsourcing, blog publish, Blogging Tools, Blogs, Brand enhancement, build credibility, Building B2B Relationships, Building Customer Community, Building Customer Intuition, bulk email marketing, business credibility | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack
Refreshing Your Customer: An Ocean of an Idea
Posted on April 20, 2007 by Vinnie Lacey.
Blue Ocean Strategy, as its title suggests, is a book of big ideas. In the business arena, the image of the blue ocean conveys a sense of endless possibility and profitability. And just like a real ocean, that same body of water becomes much more manageable in the larger context of the universe. In the business arena, this is the “strategy” part: the definable set of boundaries that makes creating an ocean an attainable goal.
Inherent to Blue Ocean Strategy is dissatisfaction with the status quo of business behavior in the marketplace. This is not the book of a comfortable middle manager; entrepreneurs, however, will feel right at home. The thesis is essentially this: In an increasingly competitive and homogenous-looking marketplace, companies wishing to hit a home run must abandon the traditional rat race. Instead, they should seek to “create uncontested market space and make the competition irrelevant.”
Authors W. Chan Kim and Renee Mauborgne root the blue ocean strategy in the concept of “value innovation”: that a company only truly creates a blue ocean when it pursues differentiation and low cost simultaneously. A company cannot embrace innovation for the sake of innovation, lest it find itself in a“bloody” red ocean with the competition—a zero-sum game of one-upmanship.
To back up their findings, Kim and Mauborgne took the strategic move as their unit of measurement, studying companies and their relevant business players in multiple industries from 1880 to 2000. The stories behind these real-life examples give legs to their findings and subsequent theories.
Three principles of the blue ocean strategy
The creation and implementation of the blue ocean strategy may at first appear a daunting task. It certainly requires turning a critical eye inward, challenging practices that an organization has always done and takes for granted.
For your convenience, I enumerated three principles of the blue ocean strategy—along with real-life examples—that I found the most fascinating. Hopefully they inspire you to create your own blue ocean of uncontested market space.
1. Simplify, simplify, simplify. As part of the strategy for creating a blue ocean, a company must not only look at what it can add to an industry, but also what it can subtract. In creating its approach a company must ask, “What factors can be reduced or eliminated from what the industry takes for granted?”
Case in point: Cirque du Soleil. This innovative entertainment hybrid not only offered a theatrical twist to the usual circus visit, it also cut down on the most draining and unattractive features of a typical circus. By eliminating animals (too expensive to maintain), star performers (too unfamiliar compared to movie stars) and expensive aisle concessions (too poorly perceived), Cirque du Soleil created a wholly different and efficient entertainment option that attracted customers in droves.
2. Find Non-customers. When a company looks to maximize the size of its blue ocean, it must venture outside of existing demand. This challenges the status quo of focusing on existing customers and driving for further segmentation among target audiences.
This is exactly what took place with Casella Wines’ [yellow tail] brand of wine. Casella examined why people chose not to drink wine (perception of pretension, complicated choices, price) and formulated a streamlined offering of two simple wines with a basic, hip branding and design. The focus wasn’t on capturing existing wine drinkers, but rather converting beer and liquor drinkers into Yellow Tail aficionados.
3. Get a Leader. “Tipping point” leadership—that is, the internal person or persons who can inspire fundamental changes on a mass level—drives a successful blue ocean strategy.
Take the case of New York City police commissioner Bill Bratton, who faced seemingly insurmountable odds against rising crime rates when he was appointed in the early 1990s. Bratton was able to recognize certain areas of “disproportionate influence” that were contributing to the bulk of the city’s problems.
Despite being trapped in a cash-strapped public sector, Bratton executed fundamental changes in these key areas. This required doing things very differently, calling into question some long-standing practices, and working under tight time constraints. But it’s hard to argue with success: New York became the safest large city in the US under his leadership. More importantly, he set into motion policies that continue to be used (and copied) in policing districts today.
Blue Ocean or puddle in disguise?
Ironically, what I found most attractive about Blue Ocean Strategy was also what I found most frustrating. While the book supposedly outlines a “new” approach to strategic thinking, I would hesitate to say it breaks new ground in that arena.
The book does offer a systematic way to think about the process of creating new, uncontested market space—but great companies have also been innovating around the underlying principles for years. And it is, of course, impossible for me to test how creating my own blue ocean from scratch would actually play out. The authors do not offer examples of blue ocean strategies sinking.
That may not, however, be the relevant lesson. As I said from the beginning, this is a book of big ideas. Big ideas are not always easily categorized. Nor are they inhibited by silly little things like budget numbers or consumer trends—or long explanations in books. The value of Blue Ocean may simply be the realization that one can look at an industry, and in turn its own company, in a very different light. Only you can determine what the spark of an idea is really worth. Cue the dramatic violins.
Perhaps the cleverest thing about Blue Ocean Strategy is that I walked away from the book inspired by the success stories. Pet concepts like “value innovation,” “visual strategy fair,” and “six paths framework” remained on the tip of my tongue. Suddenly I remembered that despite the hype, Starbucks still sells coffee, Borders sells books, and iTunes, music. Blue Ocean Strategy has sold over a million copies worldwide; yet hundreds, if not thousands, of newly published business books sit idle each year, never to see the light of a best seller list. And that’s the genius of creating the blue ocean of blue ocean strategies.
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April 20, 2007 in award winning newsletter, Award winning publications, Blogs, Brand enhancement, build credibility, Building B2B Relationships, Building Customer Community, Building Customer Intuition, business credibility, Business editorial, Business publications, Business relationships, E-Marketing, Email Marketing, Interactive Marketing, Marketing Communication, marketing solutions, mass email, money magazine, Newsletter ROI | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack