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
The BI Marriage: Accuracy with Strategy
Posted on October 17, 2007 by Kevin G.
I was reading a great article today about setting up a solid BI system for mid-to-large sized companies.
Garry Garis, author of the article notes, “You do not get a second chance to be wrong and these companies know that their credibility is vital to sustaining customer relationships and ultimately, profitability.”The foundations of a BI system must be solid if anything is able to be built upon it. The accuracy of information is key.
Being able to effectively leverage information to make better business decisions is a powerful strategy if done correctly. Knowing where you get your information, how it is processed and to who it should go to is only half of the battle. Garis offers some key points on how to ensure you have a solid strategy with your accurate information.
tags: Brand Enhancement | Build Credibility | Build Credibility
Building B2B Relationships | BBuilding Customer Community Building Customer Intuition |Business Credibility |Business Editorial |Business Magazine |Business Marketing |Business Newsletter |Business Publications |Business Relationships |Company Newsletter |BCompany Newsletter Sample |Company Newsletters |Company Publication |Corporate Blogging |Corporate Magazine |Corporate Newsletter |Corporate Publications
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October 17, 2007 in Brand enhancement, build credibility, Building B2B Relationships, Building Customer Community, Building Customer Intuition, business credibility, Business editorial, business magazine, Business Marketing, Business newsletter, Business publications, Business relationships, company newsletter, company newsletter sample, Company newsletters, Company publication, Corporate Blogging, corporate magazine, Corporate newsletter, Corporate publications | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack
Six Productivity Tips
Posted on August 02, 2007 by Kathryn Regina.
I love that Brazen Careerist. Really, I just love her title. But I think her article on productivity offers some helpful insights as well. If you want to get more done in less time--and who doesn't?--you should check it out. My favorite tip is "focus on outcome."tags: blogs | company blog | create a newsletter | corporate blogging corporate newsletter |custom publishing |customer magazine |E-Marketing |electronic magazine |email service |email tracking |ezine tracking |grow relationships |magazine design |magazine outsourcing |newsletter |newsletter design |newsletter printing |nurturing relationships |publish online
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August 2, 2007 in award winning blog, Blogs, build credibility, business credibility, Business editorial, business magazine, company blog, company newsletter, Corporate Blogging, corporate magazine, Corporate publications, create newsletter, Custom publisher, Custom publishing, E-Marketing, e-newsletter, e-zine, Email Marketing, email service, ezine, ezine marketing, grow relationships, how to publish online, magazine design, magazine outsourcing, marketing newsletter, newsletter design | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack
Grass-rooted Publishing...by Tree
Posted on March 05, 2007 by Vinnie Lacey.
Glancing through the Chicago Tribune on my morning commute, I read a fascinating article about the tumultuous Darfur region in Sudan. Instead of the typical stories of genocide and rape, the article focused on a young woman from El Fasher (the capital of the North Darfur state) named Awatif Ahmed Isshag. Isshag began a handwritten monthly newsletter covering local events, arts and religion nearly 10 years ago, and found a colorful way to distribute her articles by pasting decorated pages to a large piece of wood and hanging the creation from a tree outside her parents' home. These days, the 24-year-old journalist's grass-roots periodical often confronts the often tragic circumstances in the region, with Isshag conducting all her own interviews and information gathering. Passersby eat it up, some traveling several miles to read her installments. Isshag faces pressing issues--threats to her safety, constant insecurity, the loss of relatives--but she bravely soldiers through it all. "Journalism," she says, "is a profession of risk."
I'll refrain from giving any ill-conceived comparisons to custom publishing, but it's interesting how the struggle to accumulate and disseminate important information can bind us across cultures. Isshag has found incredibly creative--and brave--means to deliver her message to the community who needs it. A community that has largely been without a voice, but where one courageous woman is carving out quite the readership.
If only every publication could take such risks. Catch up on Isshag's story here.
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March 5, 2007 in audio publication, award winning magazine, award winning newsletter, Blog Outsourcing, blog publish, CMO, company blog, company magazine, company newsletter, Company newsletters, Company publication, Corporate Blogging, corporate magazine, Corporate newsletter, create a newsletter | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack
Posted on February 19, 2007 by Vinnie Lacey.
In the business of custom publishing, we here at BeTuitive always have to be mindful of copyright and plagiarism. After all, word-smithing is part of what we do, day in and day out. Not to mention that a crucial aspect of our credibility is ensuring the originality and authenticity of the work we produce, both for ourselves and our clients.
But are we, as the model of capitalist societies, too obsessed with the claims of private ownership in our created works? Has the rush to stake claim to their seemingly inalienable rights destroyed the public domain that these works also naturally reside in?
The author Jonathan Lethem gives an excellent treatment of these questions in this month's Harper's Magazine. Lethem's mini position paper, "The Ecstasy of Influence," got me thinking about what we are quick to deem worthy of protection these days. The article does get rather heavy at times, as a good position paper should, but I found some of his ruminations very interesting and worth the time. One of my favorites is Lethem's distinction between a market economy and a gift economy.
Check it out.
tags: Opt-in Email Marketing | Company Blog | Comapny Newsletter | Creating Newsletter Customer Retention |Electronic Newsletter |E newsletter |E mail newsletter |Ezine |Newsletter |Newsletter Service |Newsletter Template |Nurturing Relationships |Online Newsletter |Writing Newsletters
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February 19, 2007 in audio publication, award winning design, award winning magazine, Blog Outsourcing, blog publish, Blogs, Brand enhancement, Building B2B Relationships, Business newsletter, CMO, Company publication, Corporate Blogging, corporate magazine, Corporate newsletter, create a newsletter | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack
A Strike Against the Beast
Posted on February 15, 2007 by Kevin G.
We’ve all heard the story about the little guy scoring one for his team against an impossible opponent. Movies like The Mighty Ducks or Rocky might illustrate this in the most obvious way, but it is rare to find this in the online or technical world. A hacker might be offered a six-figure salary from a major corporation, but that is about it.
Copiepresse, a Belgium copyright protection group, recently won a court battle against Google. It seems unheard of, but Google can do wrong…for some. Google’s providing of news stories with headlines, article snippets, and related pictures initially got them in trouble with the Belgium group back in February 2006. Many of the articles were available only by paid subscriptions to the 18 French-language news journals.
Though Google has lost the battle, it certainly has not lost the war. Often describing court battles as, “business negotiation being done in a courtroom,” Google will continue to contest the verdict as it pushes conventional wisdom on contemporary business practice.
tags: Bulk Email Marketing | Creating Company Newsletter | Electronic Newsletter | Email Marketing Email Marketing Campaign |E Email Services | Email Tracking | Newsletter Design | Newsletter Format | Newsletter Outsourcing Solution | Newsletter Sample | Nurturing Relationships | Online Newsletter | Opt-in Newsletter |Online Newsletter
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February 15, 2007 in award winning blog, Award winning publications, Blog Outsourcing, Building B2B Relationships, Building Customer Community, Building Customer Intuition, business magazine, Business Marketing, company blog, company magazine, company newsletter sample, Company newsletters, corporate magazine, Corporate newsletter | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack
Sales 4.0: Not Your Kid Brother's Lemonade Stand
Posted on February 12, 2007 by Vinnie Lacey.
Call me a skeptic, but am I wrong to suspect technology has complicated--not streamlined--the sales processes? My simple measuring stick: more information generally equals more headaches. We're swamped at home; we're swamped in the workplace. Give me one more place to read information on a potential lead, track my calls, and network network network, and I just might transition into a promising career in ditch digging.
But don't call me a pessimist just yet. I'm giving it a shot. Diving in headfirst. Enlighten me oh wondrous, endless information age. Make me a fool for your coy clicks, a sucker for your blips and beeps and colorful images. I'm ready for an electronic co-dependent relationship.
My guiding light? A recent Inc. article entitled "Turning Sales into Science" which boasts, "Your bottom line may never be the same" in the era of "Sales 2.0." (Side note: In our line of business, I get the idea of effective branding, but isn't the "2.0" moniker getting a little tired? I have no more patience for such vacuous naming and capricious numbering. But if that's the game, then I'm playing by my own rules. My blog is hereby dubbed Sales 4.0. Take that.)
For the next two weeks I will be whisked away into the e-wonder that is the networking site LinkedIn (called MySpace for businesspeople, but apparently without the cute photos) and the business directory/lead generator Spoke.
Check in the next two months to track my adventures in Sales 4.0. It's gonna be pretty crazy. Umm...I mean...your blogging experience will never be the same.
tags: Bulk Email Marketing | Company Blog | Company Newsletter | Customer Retention Direct Email Marketing |Email Newsletter |Email Marketing |Email Marketing Campaign |Email Marketing Solution |Email Services |Mass Email |Newsletter |Newsletter Marketing |Newsletter Service |Nurturing Relationships
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February 12, 2007 in award winning blog, award winning design, award winning magazine, blog publish, Blogging Tools, Blogs, Building Customer Community, Building Customer Intuition, bulk email marketing, Business editorial, Business relationships, CMO, company newsletter, Company publication, corporate magazine, Corporate publications | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack
It's my Truthiness and I'll Stick to It
Posted on January 25, 2007 by Kevin G.
I always make it a top priority to stay on top of news developing throughout the day. Spending time at the New York Times and CNN web pages gives me a good portion of my world news, but I always try to keep myself well-rounded. I’m a little bit country and a little bit Rock’n Roll – but mostly rock.
So, another source I commonly utilize for my news intake is the always credible program, the Colbert Report, on Comedy Central. Ok, I may not use it directly as a news source, but how can you deny a show that counts the times Nancy Pelosi blinked during the president’s recent State of the Union address? A reason why I choose to stay out of politics all together.
Anyways, the show is great, but I was intrigued to see that the Colbert Report now utilizes a blog. It’s is always great to establish relationships in the blogosphere. So how about it Steven? I’ll comment on yours if you comment on mine. Let’s build synergy…for the people.
tags: Opt-in Email Marketing | Company Newsletter | Creating Company Newsletter | Direct Email Marketing Enewsletter |Email Marketing |Email Marketing Solution |Email Services |Ezine |Newsletter |Newsletter Format |Newsletter Sample |Newsletter Template |Nurturing Relationships |Online Newsletter
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January 25, 2007 in audio publication, award winning magazine, Award winning publications, Blogging Tools, Brand enhancement, Building Customer Community, bulk email marketing, business magazine, Business newsletter, CMO, company magazine, Company newsletters, Corporate Blogging, corporate magazine, Corporate newsletter | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack
A Winging Sales Plan
Posted on January 22, 2007 by Vinnie Lacey.
By day I help customers make informed decisions on custom publications to improve their business and add value to their relationships; by night I perform, direct and sit in rapt attention of some of the most amazing improvisational theater that this fine city has to offer. As the locals know, Chicago is the mecca for improv and sketch comedy in America, with institutions like Second City, IO (formerly ImprovOlympic) and the Annoyance Theater carrying the torch on social and political satire. At its finest, it's nearly impossible to walk away from a show without an interesting reflection on the human experience. And...oh yes, it's downright hilarious.
Because I am so passionate about the art, I often look for connections between improv and my personal life--discovering answers to important questions like what motivates me, what brings me joy and what leaves me downright frustrated. And as a recent Washington Post article brought to mind, improv remains just as relevant to the world of business.
I was particularly struck by one of the big questions the author raises: How can you teach people to be funny? The query is all too familiar to any improv director wondering how to lead spontaneity, prompt genius, and tackle any other number of seemingly insurmountable oxymorons. Whew.
What I found from my several years of performing and short time directing is this: it's rarely successful to just tell someone what they are doing wrong; the direction that sticks is always a matter of discovery. So I try to lead through challenges (hey, try taking an exaggerated pose before delivering each line!) and repetition (you just said something significant--say it again!). These strategies have been far more effective than my default 20-minute tirade on the merits of "yes anding" your scene partner. And far more rewarding: witnessing the light bulb going off in a performer's brain in the middle of a scene is a pure delight.
How does this relate to the world of sales? I'm willing to bet few complex business deals have ever met success with a colorful brochure, a strong handshake, and a canned sales pitch. That--like my previous bad direction--is simply telling. And telling gets old fast.
So how to reach that promised land where their needs and our solutions thrive in glorious harmony? It's mostly a matter of the right Q & A. The targeted sales questions that lead a customer down a path to discovery--that is, verbalizing YOU as the solution to their imminent problems--is exactly what makes the best ideas stick.
Whether in improv or business, that is the "A HA!" moment that makes it all worthwhile.
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January 22, 2007 in audio publication, award winning design, award winning magazine, award winning newsletter, Blogging Tools, Brand enhancement, build credibility, Building Customer Intuition, bulk email marketing, Business publications, Business relationships, company newsletter, Company publication, corporate magazine, create a newsletter | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack
The Time is Right?
Posted on January 19, 2007 by David Borra.
An article on msnbc.com talks about Bob Barker’s retirement.
At this moment, he doesn’t have a successor. I'm sure CBS has thought about this for some time, but will they find someone to fill Mr. Barker’s shoes and still keep the same amount of interest and success in the show? Or will this be the end of the line for "The Price is Right"?
Since Bob Barker has hosted the show for 35 years it will be interesting to see if CBS just finds a replacement or if they are going to rebrand the show's image.
tags: company blog | company newsletter | create a newsletter | creating company newsletter | creating newsletter |electronic newsletter |email marketing |email marketing campaign |email marketing solution |newsletter design |newsletter format |newsletter marketing |nurturing relationships |online newsletter |direct email marketing
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January 19, 2007 in award winning design, award winning magazine, award winning newsletter, Award winning publications, Blog Outsourcing, Blogging Tools, Building B2B Relationships, Building Customer Community, Building Customer Intuition, bulk email marketing, company blog, company magazine, company newsletter, corporate magazine, Corporate newsletter | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack