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Get “Mastering the Rockefeller Habits” free* when you learn about our marketing management services.

Does your marketing have rhythm? And by “rhythm,” we aren’t asking if you can bust a move. We’re talking about a seamless rhythm of communication within your business and its marketing function. Referenced by business leaders worldwide, “Mastering the Rockefeller Habits” by Verne Harnish uncovers the leadership and management principles used by John D. Rockefeller. […]

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How one college builds trust by educating prospects

Consumers today are better informed about the products or services they’re purchasing than at any other time in history. But it’s not because of marketers. In addition to researching on Google, peer-to-peer review sites like Angie’s List and Yelp have quickly become the most effective way for consumers to learn about business products and services. […]

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Acumen Fund

Nonprofits must differentiate or die

It’s not a fear tactic deployed by marketing agencies to scare the bejesus out of nonprofits. It is, in fact, a hard truth about the nature of the nonprofit sector. Dissimilar, indistinctive and alike will get you killed in any fiercely competitive, over-saturated market – let alone the nonprofit sector. In today’s market, nonprofits (and […]

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Dove Real Beauty Sketches: Responsible Marketing, I think.

If you haven’t already seen this “Dove Real Beauty Sketches” clip that everyone is posting on Facebook, take a gander: Dove once again pulls through in this touching video about how women view themselves in such poor light compared to how others see them. It is sad how women are especially critical of every mole, […]

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Can “cool” sell the Microsoft Surface?

Does cool sell? Let’s take a closer look. Flashy ad featuring an equally flashy product (with incremental innovations), targeted at 20-somethings. Pretty cool right? If you’re an Apple zealot, then you’re probably familiar with Steve Job’s mantra, ‘cool products demand cool pitches’. Needless to say, the iPod “Jet” ad does not disappoint. Now take a […]

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Add positioning to your menu—and hold the carbs

I wrote this years ago. While my eating habits have changed, my opinion on the subject has not. Enjoy. – – – I miss lunch most days. When I do, I usually end up gnawing on a low-carb Atkins bar—much to the amusement of my colleagues (yes, I’m one of those people). So, when I […]

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Marketing puffery never pays

Seems we’ve been up to our eyeballs in positioning and message strategy work at Outsource Marketing lately. Of course, positioning should be the cornerstone of all your marketing communications—without meaningful differentiation, you’ve got nothin’, after all. But your positioning has to be more than simply unique and matter to your prospects. It has to be […]

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Lose your job? Return your car.

As retailer desperation reaches a fever pitch and discount signs pop up everywhere, here’s something a little different: With Hyundai’s Assurance Program, if you lose your job, you can return your car to the dealership. Any automaker could have done this, but they haven’t—yet. And Hyundai did it first. Not only will this drive word […]

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Marketing lessons from Barack Obama

Whether you are red or blue, you can’t deny Barack Obama’s marketing prowess. Here are a few lessons every organization should consider when they are seeking ‘votes’ from prospects: Develop strategies based on consumer insights. The Obama campaign clearly understood where America was hurting most, and developed strategies in response. Build an organization that can […]

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Fail to plan? Plan to fail.

Since 1997 we’ve met with a lot of startups. Some become clients. Some don’t. Sometimes, it’s because we aren’t the right fit for them, or vice-versa. With startups we always want to learn if they are interested in Responsible Marketing or Drive-by Marketing as quickly as possible. In 2005, I met with a startup that […]

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Is CUIL the worst launch ever?

Even though it just launched yesterday, by now you’ve probably heard of CUIL: the new search engine developed by former Googlers claiming it’s the largest, most-efficient search engine on the Internet. Results are grouped by content and instead of a single link and a snippet, longer text is offered, often along with images—a nice usability […]

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Re-positioning requires more than words alone

Few brands ever truly reach the Holy Grail of marketing: Positioning so universal that the brand literally owns a word or phrase in the mind of the consumer. What pops into your mind when I say Starbucks. . . Volvo . . . Geek Squad? That word or phrase represents that brand’s positioning to the […]

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The Republican Party’s depressing new slogan

It doesn’t matter whether you are Republican, Democrat, Independent, Libertarian or Green Party member—this is rich. The House Republicanshave a new fall agenda and a new slogan: The Change You Deserve Their thinking: This agenda is a reflection of House Republicans’ commitment to providing American families with the change they deserve: common-sense solutions to the […]

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Brand Tags reveals what people really think about brands

When speaking, I often do free association with brands, asking the audience to shout out any word or phrase that comes to mind when I name a brand. While most brands own a few words, in my experience, only one brand has delivered consistently: Volvo. When I say it, the words “safety” or “safe” are […]

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I’ll take “responsibility” for $14

Ask a room full of people to shout out the single word that comes to mind when you say “Volvo,” 90% will say “safety.” Owning a meaningful word or phrase in the mind of the consumer is the holy grail of marketing, I’d say. To own a word is expensive and time consuming, isn’t it? […]

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Gary Vaynerchuk on personal branding

My partner, Eric Anderson, has been urging me to profile WineLibraryTV.com host Gary Vaynerchuk since I launched this blog. An avid wine collector, Eric has watched Vaynerchuk’s video blog since its debut. Vaynerchuk’s energy, authenticity and social media savvy caught Eric’s attention, and a few others as well. Vaynerchuk is now one of the Internet […]

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Personal positioning: Marketing yourself in a brand-oriented world

Last week I spoke at a career fair at the University of Washington. My topic was on some of the misconceptions employers and marketers have about Gen Y, but I really wanted talk with them about Personal Positioning. Why discuss Personal Positioning on the Responsible Marketing Blog? Like LeBron James, Angelina Jolie and Barack Obama, […]

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