55th anniversary of this classic

theodore levitt

Photo: marketing.ca

Still regarded as one of the landmark pieces published by Harvard Business Review, Theodore Levitt’s Marketing Myopia is as spot on today as it was when first published in July/August 1960.  I first read it as “required reading” when I attended B-School, and make a point of re-reading it every couple of years. Continue reading

How to create effective business strategies

broombesoom/Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

broombesoom/Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

I’ll sound two notes of caution.  First, coming up with a business strategy is not hard – it’s done thousands of times a day. The challenge lies in coming up with one that performs; that is not an easy task.  Second, formulating business strategy is a complex affair comprised of many moving parts and subtleties.  This post can only highlight a few key principles. Continue reading

The two reasons why tech companies fail (Part 2)

Loren Javier/Flickr (BB BY-ND - 2.0)

Loren Javier/Flickr (BB BY-ND – 2.0)

Recap of Part 1

Technology companies fail for one of two reasons: inferior strategy or inferior implementation relative to competition. Strategies built on the foundation of the 3 Cs – Company, Customers, Competitors – lead to effective and durable outcomes. The model illustrated in Part 1 (Michael Porter’s 3 generic competitive strategies coupled with a customer-driven marketing approach) provides a useful framework.  Read Part 1 here. Continue reading

The two reasons why tech companies fail (Part 1)

Anxious Athlete Waiting at Starting Line

tableatny/Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

Though the content of this post applies universally to any business and industry, the lessons served for technology firms are pointed ones. Fast-paced, capital-guzzling and exponentially expanding, the tech industry is characterized by perilously short product life cycles and even shorter market attention spans. A misstep in another industry can often lead to a business fatality in the technology sector. Continue reading

Marketing extends well beyond the marketing department

Martin Fisch/Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Martin Fisch/Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Marketing is too important to be left to the marketing department.” – HP co-founder David Packard

In my recent post about a ‘new’ marketing model (illustrated below) I was not clear about an important point: this is a company-wide model for Marketing, not merely a framework for the marketing department. The marketing performed by Apple, Amazon and American Express is not limited to the activities within its marketing department. This post should help clarify. Continue reading

The “4 Ps” of marketing laid to rest


Liz West/Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

In 1960, E. Jerome McCarthy conceived the well-known marketing framework – the 4Ps: Product, Place, Price, Promotion. In the era of consumer packaged goods and print-broadcast media the four Ps framework provided an elegantly simple model for building a marketing strategy. Fifty-five years later, however, the 4Ps framework can no longer do the heavy lifting. In its place is a new framework, better suited to the realities of a networked market. Continue reading

Closing the gap between Sales and Marketing

I’ve yet to find an organization that claims its sales department acts on 100% of the leads generated by Marketing. But I’ve encountered plenty that hit a brick wall trying to get lead acceptance above 50% or 60%.

Low lead acceptance, however, is a symptom of a more basic problem. Though mismanagement is frequently suspected, the real issue more often lies in misalignment between the Sales and Marketing functions. Continue reading

Seven steps that assure success in entering the U.S. market

Thomas Hawk / Flickr (CC BY-NC 2.0)

Thomas Hawk / Flickr (CC BY-NC 2.0)










The U.S. is the biggest-spending IT country by a wide margin. In software alone, the U.S. accounted for 55% of the $540 billion market in 2013. It’s hard for a serious IT player not to have the U.S. in its sights.

Large, substantial – a huge open field big enough for all, right?

Yet, there’s another couple of sobering statistics that companies that evaluate U.S. market entry overlook: 110,000 software companies operated in America in 2013; only 37% of IT companies are still in operation after 4 years.

Menacingly competitive, the huge open field is teeming with hungry wildlife. Continue reading