Personas tell their story, but to whom

The core message and URL for the Microsoft Dynamics CRM (customer relationship management) campaign are right on target, but IMHO Microsoft missed a step (or two) when they built the content at

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Topics: Buyer Personas, Good Use of Personas, Who Needs This, Writing

In search of simple, meaningful marketing

I found this quote on David Meerman Scott’s blog a few weeks ago:

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Topics: B2B, Buyer Personas, Good Use of Personas, Market Research, Positioning & Messaging, Writing

Meeting very interesting people

People sometimes ask me why I have a blog. What possible value does anyone get from sitting at a computer, writing down their thoughts, and publishing them on the Internet? Like the people who ask me this question, I don't have the kind of readers that advertisers are lining up to reach, so we can't expect our blogs to generate revenue. And it takes time, doesn't it?  (The answer is yes.) Who has time to spend on stuff that doesn't impact revenue?

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Topics: Sales people, Writing

End the tyranny of the templates

I want to foster a rebellion against the misuse of templates, a non-trivial barrier if you want to build sales tools that influence real people to buy your stuff and not someone else’s. If we could just recover the time wasted on filling in worksheets and counting words, we could get out of our own muddled heads and into the clarity that arrives when we have grokked a buyer who needs to make a decision.

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Topics: Buyer Personas, Positioning & Messaging, Writing

Choose words carefully to reach personas

I spend a lot of time trying to convince people that a marketer's primary job is to develop buyer personas and think like the customer. Why is this so hard? Because personas are not included in anyone's job description. Nope, marketing is measured by how much stuff it produces and so that's what it does - developing endless data sheets, demos and presentations that talk about the product. Inevitably this manic activity misses the point -- that marketing is meant to motivate a buying influencer to take the next step in the decision process, and that we can't motivate people we don't know.

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Topics: Advertising, B2B, Buyer Personas, Buying Criteria, Product Marketing Redefined, Public Relations, Writing

Resolutions for a prosperous 2007

I wish you a new year filled with joy, prosperity, and successful marketing initiatives. For those who want a roadmap, here are the ten rules from the Effective Product Marketing seminar restated in the form of resolutions. Perhaps one or more of these will inspire you.

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Topics: Advertising, B2B, Positioning & Messaging, Product Marketing Redefined, Sales people, Writing

A great gift idea for sales people

Only two shopping days until Christmas . . . in case you're feverishly trying to find the perfect gift for those hard-to-please sales people in your company, Kristin Zhivago has the answer in her blog today  . . . free shipping is still available.

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Topics: B2B, Good Use of Personas, Product Marketing Redefined, Writing

YOU are TIME Magazine's Person of the Year

Did you hear that TIME Magazine just named YOU its Person of the Year? Yessiree, after much consideration, TIME decided that YOU were "more influential this year, for good or ill," than anyone else in the whole world, including such auspicious nominees as George W. Bush, Kim Jong II, and Hugo Chavez. Are you surprised to learn that YOU contributed as much to the outcome of 2006 as did past recipients Charles Lindbergh, Pope John Paul II or Rudy Giuliani in 1927, 1994 and 2001, respectively?

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Topics: B2B, Public Relations, Writing

Do you really want progress?

Progress is supposed to be a good thing, but have you noticed that people have a built-in resistance to any opportunity that requires change? I just saw a story about a TV network that gave a homeless man $100,000 and within a year he was penniless again. They intentionally chose someone who wasn't insane or addicted to drugs and alcohol, and for a while he did get an apartment, buy a truck, and live almost like a normal person. I say "almost normal" because he refused three job offers and found it more comfortable to sleep on the floor than his bed. There are a lot of aspects to this sad story, but it struck me that resistance to change is built into people's very DNA, even when the opportunity is overwhelming positive. Could it be, then, that the ability to recognize progress and embrace change is the hallmark of successful companies and people?

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Topics: B2B, Positioning & Messaging, Public Relations, Writing

What the bleep is a buyer persona

Thank you for asking – this is definitely my favorite topic.

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Topics: B2B, Buying Criteria, Market Research, Positioning & Messaging, Public Relations, Technology Buyers, Writing


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