Get a FREE place on a new strategic marketing game!  The first 25 people to register will get a FREE place and 8 hours CPD.

Do you want to be a great business leader?  Play online to develop your strategic marketing skills.

Understanding market strategy is one of the most important skills of a great business leader and to help you develop this skill, the Oxford College of Marketing and Market2win are teaming up to find the best strategic marketers on the planet! We are looking for the people who want to develop their strategic skills to succeed at the top.

We are organizing The 2010 Strategic Marketer Competition next year and are looking for people interested in entering.  You do not need to be a strategic leader already, nor even a marketing professional.  But it does help if you have some experience of business and want to develop your strategic marketing skills.

We will be using the Market2win Simulator™ which has already been used by senior executives in corporations and students in universities to develop marketing leadership skills.  It is now available online so that many more people can benefit from it.

Moreover, you do not even need to leave the comfort of your home.  The competition will use the Market2win Simulator which runs over the internet.  You just need a PC or laptop with an internet connection (and Microsoft Word, Excel and Powerpoint installed).

For those that participate, you will get some great personal development including:

  • Learning what strategic marketing is all about
  • Developing your strategic marketing skills in a safe environment
  • Networking with other like-minded professionals
  • Getting a free marketing plan template that you can use for your own business
  • Adding something unique to your CV to really impress your interviewer

For anyone already in the Chartered Institute of Marketing, the competition is also approved for up to 8 hours of Continuous Professional Development (home study) by the CIM.

Each winner will get a certificate personally signed by Professor Malcolm McDonald, Emeritus Professor at Cranfield University, Honorary Professor at Warwick Business School and author of over 40 books on marketing, as a permanent testament of your success.

The entry fee is between £23.00 and £34.50 dependent on how much simulated market intelligence you want to access during the competition. 

Interested?  Answer a few questions at http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/J59VZST so we can allocate you to the game that best fits your preferences and availability.  The survey should take no more than 5 minutes to complete.

We will then recommend a particular game for you to join based on your preferences. Places are limited so please register your interest by completing the survey now.

Be first to win a FREE place!  The first 25 people to register  will not have to pay a penny and will get a FREE place in their recommended game!

Marketing for the Greater Good

It is over 10 years since John Elkington wrote Cannibals with Forks: the Triple Bottom Line of 21st Century Business. In it he talks about the responsibility of business to deliver not only improved profits, but also improvements to their people and the planet.  But getting alignment on all three measures is easier said than done.

Here at Market2win we have setup one of our simulations to look at the planet vs profit issue.  In the simuation we have five businesses all competing on different “green” credentials.  The interesting point is that although the players in the simulation (who adopt the role of the marketing team of each business) start by emphasizing their greenness, once the profits are put under pressure, they rapidly forget their green principles and go for a more profitable strategy (e.g emphasizing low price over low carbon footprint).   This is also true in many businesses  where “greenwash marketing” (putting a green spin on some very ungreen activities) is a common policy.

The lesson here is that to make companies green, they must see a clear connection between the green initiative and greater profits. For example, many hotels now ask you to only place dirty towels on the floor.  This reduces their laundry costs and is also good for the environment.  Good for the planet and good for profits.

Too often, people try to fight the profit motive by appealing to more noble causes.  This, unfortunately, is a battle they will lose as the profit motive will always dominate.  It is better to align your cause with the cause of business and sell it like a business person.  This was reinforced to me this week when I bought the latest Big Issue magazine and read an article by its founder, A. John Bird (for those of you that don’t know, The Big Issue is sold by homeless people in the UK and they keep half the revenue themselves).   In the article, he says how he attended another award ceremony recently and although he didn’t win, he realized that “this one was different. This was for Business Leadership! Yes, for helping to create a business that was about dismantling poverty in the lives of people!  And this was the first, the very first time that The Big Issue was being patted on the back as business leaders!” 

He also goes on to say (and I would agree with this) that The Big Issue can help businesses respond to social crises.  Wrap a good cause in smart business thinking and sell it like a professional. Then there is change.

Top 10 tips for Naming a New Company

Are you starting a new business?  Got a name yet?

Deciding on the name for your business is one of the most important decisions you can make.  A quick look through your local Yellow Pages will show you how many people get this totally wrong.   Many names are either dull, unmemorable, restrictive, complicated or just dumb!  Moreover, unlike a product name, once it is done, it is a real hassle to change it.  The moral is, think about it carefully and get it right first time.

We have helped to get many businesses started in the right way and have developed a FREE sheet with our Top 10 Tips for Naming a New Company.  Simply email us at enquiries@market2win.com and we will gladly send it to you.  It will help you nail a great name and might just make a big difference to your business!

Is the SAM really a single point-of-contact?

Many people talk about their Strategic Account Manager as a single point of contact. But is this wise? It annoys the other customer points of contact in the supplier who thinks the SAM will steal their relationship. It also encourages the customer to ONLY deal with the SAM who then gets overloaded.

I have always encouraged people to talk about the SAM as a single point of coordination. I have found this one word makes a huge difference in how the SAM Programme is perceived both internally and externally. The SAM is like a conductor who coordinates the orchestra to a single piece of music, the account plan.

However, I now think that this is wrong! In this month’s Harvard Business Review, Professor Rosabeth Kanter of the Harvard Business School – talking about Peter Drucker’s legacy – said, “If the twentieth century gave rise to knowledge workers with deep expertise, the twenty-first century will require leaders who can foster integrative thinking and collaboration across fields and specialities. Collaboration, not coordination will be the task of management.”  This makes sense to me.  The SAM is actually more than a conductor interpreting a piece of music.  He/she is there helping to create the music in the first place.  Indeed, the SAM is more like a producer, involved in the whole production, touching every aspect and making sure a great commercial success is produced.

So, the 21st Century SAM: A Single Point of Collaboration? Or better, The Key Point of Collaboration.

Why Strategic Marketing Matters

A couple of months ago, I wrote a presentation called “Why Strategic Marketing Matters” and posted it on the web. It was viewed over 250 times until I changed my slideshare account yesterday.

The presentation is for anyone who wants to understand or explain the difference between sales and marketing. I have used some well known banking collapses to show what happens if the sales department is not given the right strategic direction. 

To see it go to www.slidesharenet.net/EDatM2W

Hope you find it useful!

Best practice presentation on SAM

Earlier this month we got the news that we will again be invited to present at the SAMA European Conference.  SAMA is the world’s foremost authority on best practice strategic accunt management (SAM).  We are presenting “Getting Started with SAM” with our client Cushman & Wakefield Investors.  We have done some outstanding work together in getting SAM going in the context of some turbulent industry background.  If you want to come along to see us, please visit www.strategicaccounts.org for more information.

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