IMC Intuition

Thinking out loud about all things IMC

Archive for September 2010

Finding Inspiration #7 – Creating a Sales Strategy? Read Sun Tzu

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Many of my WVU classmates used to quote “The Art of War” during our discussion posts, so I added it to my post graduate reading list.  It’s not a book that you read cover to cover, but rather you read a section and reflect on what it means.  One of my favorite passages is from the chapter entitled Planning  A Siege:

“So, there are five ways of know who will win.  Those who know when to fight and when not to fight are victorious.  Those who discern when to use many or few troops are victorious.  Those whose upper and lower ranks have the same desire are victorious.  Those who face the unprepared with preparation are victorious.  Those whose generals are able and are not constrained by their governments are victorious.  These five are the ways to know who will win.”*

Each of the five points has an application in sales, and if you look around, you can really see how these basic principles can be incredibly useful in developing sales strategy.  Great communications plans, in my experience, have to be based on sound selling strategies.

*Cleary, Thomas Translation (1988) The Art of War; Sun Tzu.  Boston & London:  Shambhala. p.80-81.


The Sun Tzu page at Amazon:

Finding Inspiration Instead of It Finding you, by Seth Godwin:


Written by Beth Ryan

September 30, 2010 at 8:33 pm

Finding Inspiration #6, Sales Enablement

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I learned a new expression this week, “Sales Enablement.”

The Content Marketing Institute, quoting from the American Marketing Association, offered up these two humbling statistics about sales people –

• Salespeople spend 30 hours a month searching for and creating their own selling materials

 • 90% of marketing deliverables are not used by sales

I know I tend to focus on customer surveys and market research data when designing communications, but this post reminded me that I really need to spend more time with sales people, not only creating the content they need, but geting  it organized in a manner that allows them to quickly retrieve the information.

CMI posted this link  to Jeff Ernst’s new eBook, “The New Rules of Sales Enablement; How to Stop Sabotaging Your Sales Teams and Start Empowering Them for Success.”   It’s a good book, with many good ideas worth considering.


 The Audience Content Marketers Ignore:

“The New Rules of Sales Enablement:

Finding Inspiration Instead of It Finding you, by Seth Godwin:

Written by Beth Ryan

September 22, 2010 at 8:51 pm

Finding Inspiration #5, How Web Video Drives Innovation

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A great video from TED on the exponential growth of web video and the power of the global crowd.


TED link to talk:

Seth Godin’s Commentary:  “Beyond Crowdsourcing”

Finding Inspiration, idea #4 – Create a Content Marketing Plan

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I have always used an information strategy for our website, but with the proliferation of media and changing needs of the audience,  the art and practice of providing useful and transparent  information instead of company-centric corporate-speak (aka Marketing Fu-Fu) is currently called Content Marketing. 

The Content Marketing Institute is offering  a new report, “B2B Content Marketing:  2010 Benchmarks, Budgets and Trends” developed by Marketing Profs and Junta 42, which provides sufficient information to write a Content Marketing Communications Plan for 2011. 

Switching from an advertising-centric to a content marketing-centered plan is this week’s  idea to help my company get more value for every marketing dollar they invest and provide our customers with what they really need — actionable information.

Links in this post: 

B2B Content Marketing Report:

Content Marketing Institute Newsletter:

Marketing Profs:

Marketing Profs, Content Marketing Vital to B2B Marketers:  

Junta 42:

Finding Inspiration Instead of It Finding you, by Seth Godin :

Finding Inspiration, idea #3 – Do you share your SWOT?

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I’m still working with Seth’s Godin’s challenge to find daily inspiration by posting a good idea for your favorite company on a regular basis.  

Everyone knows that any good communications plan contains a SWOT analysis.  They are so very helpful, particularly when working through a creative brief, but I’m thinking that too often we sit on our own private SWOT analysis instead of putting it out to the crowd as a reality check. 

 I did this recently working as part of an IABC committee and got some really great perspective.

You mean it’s not all about me and my opinion?  Darn, time to share that SWOT and be open to some new ideas!


What the heck is a SWOT analysis?

Interested in Seth’s Challenge?

Written by Beth Ryan

September 8, 2010 at 8:22 pm

Finding Inspiration, idea #2: Debrief after the Trade Show

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I’m still thinking about Seth Godin’s challenge to find inspiration by regularly posting an actionable idea for your favorite company, so this week I’m recognizing that a very constructive strategy for better trade show evaluation is to have a debriefing meeting as soon as everyone returns from the show.  (Yes, donuts will be served)

This tactic works well for evaluating our seminars, but typically, after a trade show, the staff are busy following up on inquiries, and I make the final evaluation based strictly on the numbers.  We just don’t take the 20  minutes for a group think, missing out on the good ideas we could be generating.

Understanding how the booth facilitated conversations, what promotions and materials worked best for the sales staff will not only enable me to design a more productive booth in the future, it will give the sales staff an opportunity to compare notes and brainstorm ideas while the event is still fresh in their minds. 

De-brief, it’s on my checklist.

 Interested in Seth’s Challenge?