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Orange Could Be The New Green!

We live in challenging times and although “The Great Recession” might be lessening, we cannot expect our economy to bounce back to pre-recession levels any time soon.

So, we are at best, left with a smaller number of hybrid opportunities that may not initially have the look or feel of the opportunities we became used to in ’04, ’05 and ’06. However, if skillfully analyzed, properly funded and executed, these less than idyllic opportunities can positively affect your bottom line.

In short, we can no longer wait for the light to turn green before we act, we must be ready to move quickly when the light turns orange! This is the only way for small and mid-sized companies to jump start their businesses in this new economy.

It is unlikely, when we are finally out of the grips of this recession, that we can expect to jump into a 6–7 year prosperity bubble. Our post recession recovery period might just provide a 2–4 year window. Thus, when you feel that your light is turning Orange, you must be prepared to move and move quickly.

Put another way, you’ve got to PUT THE PEDAL TO THE METAL!

Posted in Brainstorm Coaching, International Marketing, Marketing Consulting, Small Business Coaching.

You Can’t See the Forest for the Trees

A few weeks ago, at an informal meeting with some of my associates, the idea was raised that in addition to being an effective marketing consultant, I bring another unique skill set to the table. I am – and have been for over 25 years – a damn good one-on-one coach!

During this time, I’ve helped many clients to successfully focus on a wide range of effective business disciplines including:

• Strategic Planning
• Product Development
• Distribution Concepts
• Corporate Culture
• Team Building
• Family Business Interactions
• Mergers & Acquisitions
…and much more

The longer we talked about the possibility of establishing a much more formalized coaching service, the more intrigued we all became and very quickly, great ideas began to flow!

This was an exciting, yet somewhat embarrassing moment for me. You see, I spend a great deal of time with clients helping them to develop relevant products and services around their core business offerings. However, when the discussion turned to me and my business, I initially missed this obvious coaching opportunity that is synergistic to my core business. Yup… I couldn’t see the forest for the trees!

The next morning I created a list of people I’ve worked with both as a marketing consultant and a coach. The list turned out to be quite extensive.

Now I am truly excited about my new more formalized coaching practice. I know that this is a profession that I will enjoy immensely because it will allow me to bring real value to my old and new clients. With close to three decades of proven “know how,” I have much to offer key players at organizations who are confronting change (and who isn’t confronting change?) – So whether it’s issues around new companies, new technologies, new products, new markets, new competition, new management, etc., I’ve been there, and… I can help to transform a company’s core issues into successful initiatives.

I would greatly appreciate your thoughts and recommendations on my newly expanded coaching venture and I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Posted in Brainstorm Coaching, Small Business Coaching.

How are you readying your company for the economic upturn?

Yes, we still have a long way to go before full recovery, however, without a plan to move forward when the market becomes more viable, you could be left in the dust!

The following is a proactive concept that could help companies prepare for the gradual upturn.

Begin by training your management team and sales force to contact your customers, prospective customers and former customers regarding their opinions about business activity in the next six to twelve months and their interest in purchasing your products and/or services during this period. Once this information, along with intelligence about several other pertinent topics has been gathered, all of this data would be tabulated, interpreted and presented in a report to key members of your management and sales departments. Although it might be desirable to have this study prepared by an independent market research organization, we are still in tough economic times and in most cases money is short. Also, by having your own people establish contact with customers, you will be making a more positive impression about your company, its products and its employees.

Based on this informal customer research study, develop a sales and marketing plan that will take advantage of this new information. This plan should be built in a modular way, thus providing you with a great amount of flexibility should the market shift up or down. This plan should include such cost effective and highly measurable initiatives as; special interactive promotions, content driven web marketing, the use of social media platforms, blogs, podcasts, webinars, search engine optimization activities, key word utilization, targeted email campaigns, online videos, PR news wire outreach, web analytics, and perhaps the use of barter to purchase advertising media.

In addition to providing greater sales and profits, this plan would help to expand your vision, develop increased corporate momentum and keep your organization on course for planned growth.

Even if it may not be prudent to launch your new program at this time, it would be advisable to build the plan now and have it ready for action when the time is right. Keep in mind that it will take three to five months to complete the research and the marketing and sales plan. Thus by planning now, when the appropriate launch opportunity arises, you will be months ahead of your competition!

As an old Latin scholar once said, “Praemonitas, Praemunitus” (Forewarned is Forearmed).

Posted in Marketing Consulting, Small Business Coaching.

What Is This Thing Called “Small Business Coaching?”

Small Business Coaching is designed for people who: manage start up companies, operate newly acquired companies, control the launch of new products, services and division of larger companies or just want to make their small businesses more productive, efficient and profitable. Small Business Coaching for select management individuals or management groups from smaller organizations is generally more dynamic and fast track oriented than consulting for larger companies. After all, most of these small business executives do not have the luxury of time or large enough budgets to bring their products or services to market in a classic way. They must act fast and be equipped with the necessary tools to out smart and out engineer their competition.

In a way, Small Business Coaching is like training a guerilla force to out-maneuver and out-flank a larger and more cumbersome standing army. However, this small business/guerilla force must have many of the tools that the big boys require, only properly scaled for their respective sizes. These tools include, but are not limited to: a financial plan, a tactical marketing program, an action-oriented strategic sales program, an ongoing monitoring system, a strong team building program… In short, the responsibility of a Small  Business Coach is to help clients identify what they would like to achieve, uncover the most efficient ways to reach their goals, provide ongoing support and encouragement while delivering their services at a moderate cost.
Now that you know more about Small Business Coaching, let’s think about timing. When is the appropriate time to use a coach? On average, you should be working with a coach at least six to nine months before your program is ready to launch. Although our economy is just beginning to turn around and we can only see glimmers of light at the end of the tunnel, this could be the time to carefully develop strategic initiatives that can be ready for the inevitable bounce back. By working well ahead of your planed start date, you can be prepared to launch your new programs as soon as the market indicates. Also, it is fair to assume that in most cases, you will be significantly ahead of your competition!
In closing, think of a Small Business Coach as a true capital asset that is just as important as the acquisition of manufacturing, IT, and research equipment. We are confident that the utilization of a coaching entity can make a significant difference to a small company in these precarious times.

Posted in Marketing Consulting, Small Business Coaching.

Why Not Outsource Your Marketing Department?

For years, we have been talking with clients and prospective clients about the efficiencies of outsourcing all or a portion of their respective marketing department’s services. Clearly, this high quality, cost saving approach is quite relevant in these uncertain economic times.

Thus, we were pleased to recently read the following article by Chris Slocumb in that closely parallels our thinking. (The original article can be found here.)

Many businesses believe that they have only two choices when it comes to marketing support. A company can establish an internal department or it can contract with a full-service advertising agency.

There is however, a third option…outsource all or a portion of the present responsibilities of their in-house marketing departments.

Strategic outsource marketing provides the commitment of an internal source and the capabilities of a full service agency without the high operating costs of either entity.

Comparing Options

If you were to hire a VP- level marketing executive you can expect to pay over $175,000 in salary and benefits just to get started. While this new VP will in most cases be able to develop a marketing strategy, your firm will still have to allocate a considerable budget to creative agencies for tactical execution.
Additionally, using the support of full-service agencies means that you will pay for most of their services even if you don’t use them! In most instances, the operating costs established for each agency department must be absorbed by all agency clients (this is often referred to as overhead).
A strategic marketing management firm combines the best of both worlds. A dedicated senior marketing specialist works with you to develop a marketing strategy designed specifically to meet your companies needs. Under his or her direction, this strategic marketing management firm then provides your company with a full array of marketing expertise under one broad umbrella in order to successfully bring your message to your market. The key advantage of using a marketing outsourcing firm is that you will only pay for what you need-when you need it!

Strategic Outsource Marketing Benefits

Scalable Budgets

The first and most critical benefit of strategic marketing outsourcing is that a company pays only for the services used for the length of time required. The marketing team assigned to your company can be scaled to suit projects of any size or scope. With an in-house team, you have consistent expenses. With an outsourced marketing group, you only pay for resources when you need them.

Breadth of Services

Market research, search engine optimization, online business/ social networks, blogs…marketing technology is changing at lightning speed. Outsource marketing provides access to a team with expertise in virtually every marketing discipline. A “turn-key” marketing outsourcing firm can provide specialists in all marketing disciplines as well as people with broad based expertise in pertinent vertical industries.
Time to Focus on Your Core Competencies

By outsourcing the marketing function, your staff will have more time to focus on the development of your products and services. While at the same time, marketing is being driven effectively by a ‘turn key’ marketing group that will create the marketing plan that will provide sound objectives, strategies, programs, forecasts and budgets.

Industry Resources

Based on years of experience with a broad assortment of suppliers, marketing agencies know who to go to for specialized services at reasonable prices.

Views from the Outside

While an outsource marketing department requires the time to initially learn a companies particular culture, product line, customers…its team members are not burdened by years of ingrained company culture. Marketing/ Management firm members are not afraid to suggest progressive ideas. Additionally, marketing team members may also work on several other outsource teams, this experience often helps them to provide their other clients with fresh and objective approaches that are adaptable to a given clients business.

Thus, as Chris Slocumb has indicated, the reduction of a companies labor costs through the use of a team of marketing professionals who work on a project basis, should prove be a win : win experience for many large and small organizations…Think About It.

Posted in Marketing Consulting.

Introducing the Marketing, Advertising & PR Guerilla Brigade

Before the Vietnam era western military strategists commonly believed that the establishment of a large conventional military force was the best way to insure a high level of security around the globe. However, the larger and more cumbersome these forces became the more they fell prey to highly motivated and flexible military units owing their allegiance to a multitude of popular liberation movements in the Congo, Algeria, Rhodesia, Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan. These are just a few examples of what lean and mean guerilla groups can do against large traditional armies.

During the past several years, there has been a similar revolution going on in the conventional advertising and public relations agency business. It seems that many of the larger and well-healed traditional agencies are presently finding it difficult to maintain their growth and profit levels. To rectify this situation, they are discovering that it is essential to cut back on their overhead just to keep afloat. In the process, they have been forced to lay off thousands of talented people. Some of these out of work individuals have found new traditional jobs while many others have entered the ranks of the freelance guerillas!

While many of the conventional agencies are reorganizing in order to be competitive with their traditional rivals, a new and potent force is emerging in significant numbers. No this group does not maintain offices in downtown high rises, nor do they boast full time staffs of 200. They are simply made up of the  unaffiliated groups of thousands of highly skilled consultants, and free-lancers who effectively operate within the marketing, advertising and publicity communities. Marketing strategists, e-commerce specialists, media planners, researches, creative directors, writers, designers, producers, web developers, SEO specialists… are all available on an as needed basis and at rates that are generally below those charged by conventional agencies. By carefully assembling the necessary talent from this large pool of freelance guerillas, clients can work with skilled professionals who often have specific experience in their respective industries.

There will most likely be a place for full service agencies among large clients who, on a continuous basis, require a great number of strategic programs and campaigns. However, the presence of highly accessible crack guerilla brigades within the reach of most organizations, should constantly remind agencies that to be competitive and profitable in 2010/11, they must work smarter and produce their various projects with the support of outsourcing and new technology initiatives.

Remember agencies, while you are operating from comfortable offices, most of the free lance guerillas are working from Spartan home offices that are armed only with their fertile minds, incredible drive, and a laptop!

Posted in Marketing Consulting.

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Welcome to The Rogovin Group’s New Blog, The Next Step

After spending approximately 30 years in the marketing world, I feel that I do have something valuable to impart however, I need your assistance in helping me to provide you with the relevant marketing information that you want.
Here are several marketing oriented subjects that I am considering for upcoming blogs, please review them and let me know which of these topics are of interest:

  1. Market research techniques
  2. Unique marketing initiatives
  3. Cost-effective budgeting techniques
  4. Internet strategies
  5. Social media techniques for business applications
  6. Search Engine Optimization
  7. Email initiatives
  8. Inbound marketing programs
  9. Calls to action
  10. Lead generation programs
  11. Lead conversion programs
  12. Media promotion concepts
  13. Public relations approaches
  14. Direct mail techniques
  15. Radio advertising/promotional approaches
  16. Measurable television initiatives
  17. Sales incentive concepts
  18. Other marketing oriented subjects that you feel are important

The faster you respond to this request, the more relevant this blog will become.
In advance, thanks for your response to this suggestion.

Posted in Uncategorized.