Subscribe to Thoughts


Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner

Know more
Learn more

Entries in marketing (4)


Fashion Marketing: The New Paradigm

This summer, I spoke at many conferences (Annual Marketing Conference in Lima - Peru/ Fashion Seminars at the University of Trinidad and Tobago/ Luxury Marketing seminars at ISCOM in Paris) and the demand was always the same: "Tell us how Fashion Marketing is changing and what should be done to succeed". There is clearly an acknowledgment that the market, business and marketing environments of Fashion have dramatically changed and those changes require a new approach to succeed in fashion.

The changes happened in several ways:

* The market is now global...which means more opportunities but also more competitors

* The fashion/ luxury market segments have evolved from on segment (absolute luxury) to multiple segments (absolute luxury but also aspirational luxury and affordable luxury)

* The fashion/ luxury consumers are not more "one size fits all"...they are multiple segments dramatically different one to another...and there demanding totally different treatments

* And to make things more complicated, Digital Marketing is profoundly transforming the marketing  mix and particularly the promotional mix across the world.

With all those changes, fashion designers and businesses have to have marketing discipline. If not, they are going to dilute very quickly their limited resources on inappropriate or undistinguishable strategies and activities.

Having marketing discipline means for a particular fashion product idea:

* Have the right marketing objectives

* Focusing on the right target for such objectives

* Developing the right value proposition and positioning strategies for such target

* Developing the right marketing mix components to deliver such value with such positioning to the selected target

..And they have to do so while maintaining the creativity that makes fashion unique.

This is an amazing moment for fashion and luxury...very scary for some...quite motivating for others.

In all cases, the winners will be the ones who will be able to properly balance creative designs with marketing discipline.

Here is an extract of my presentation.

Good reading


Why expecting a better outcome when doing the same things?

Why would small and medium-size businesses expect a different outcome if they always do the same thing? Meaning nothing or the wrong thing for their leads management!

The Top challenges for small and medium-size B2B businesses are very well known: Erratic cash flow, difficulties in acquiring new leads and signing new clients...while their clients are consolidating their support into a smaller number of providers and reducing their budget at the same time.

As an example, in the "2012 State of the Online Marketing Services Industry" by HubSpot, the top challenge for marketing agencies is to better manage their cash flow, by having a more constant and controllable flow of business.

Before being able to control the business flow, one needs to have a flow…To gain this flow, businesses need first to generate leads.

Now, according to the same survey from HubSpot, the second most important challenge for marketing agencies is..."Not enough leads"!

So you are a small or medium-size business and you know that generating leads is the right answer to your biggest cash flow challenge…but your 2nd biggest challenge is generating leads!

And as if it were not enough, generating leads is the easiest part.

According to the National Sales Association, where sales occur in the sales cycle, it is as follows:

2% of sales are made on the 1st contact

3% of sales are made on the 2nd contact

5% of sales are made on the 3rd contact

10% of sales are made on the 4th contact

80% of sales are made on the 5th-12th contact

How many times did you ever reach the 3rd contact stage or the 5th contact stage for your leads or even worst the 1st contact stage? Do you have the time? Do you have the infrastructure? Do you have the talent?

So let me reset it…As a small or medium-size business, your core issue is generating and managing cash flow…To do so, you need sales leads but generating leads is your core sales challenge and even if you had leads, they might not pay off without following through.

As for many (if not all) insurmountable challenges, one needs to get back to basics.

To generate sales from leads, businesses need to generate the leads but even more importantly manage those leads.

Better business results imply a performing and systematic leads management process in place, that you can turn off and on as needed, to manage your projects flow...A big client left or is not yet there?...Open the leads generation and management faucet...Too many projects?...Reduce its flow.

What does an efficient leads management look like?

  • A set of appropriate leads sources and a formal qualification process 
  • A systematic and targeted follow ups mechanism
  • A clear set of milestones for leads management activities between the different parties involved
  • A dedicated attention and systematic results tracking
  • A unique combination of adaptability and automation

Too complicated…I have a solution for you…Keep It Simple and Stupid first and…Just outsource!

You know you need to generate leads…You know you need to manage those leads effectively to extract the proper value from those…You know you do not have the time and expertise to develop and manage the process…So outsource!

This is the conclusion that many small and medium-size businesses that I worked with for managing their Leads Management process, came to. Yes it costs but in the end, the return is there.

Depending upon the surveys and the analysis, Leads Management Processes are credited with increasing leads conversion by up to 150% and the value per acquired customer by up to 70% (*).

So it is time to get serious with leads management!


Big data and Marketing...who leads who?

I have just read this article on 1to1 Media on Big Data, its huge implications for marketing and how we are short of talents ("McKinsey estimates that by 2018 this deficiency in deep analytical talent will rise to between 140,000 and 190,000 open positions in the United States") to make proper sense of all those data to help marketers make better decisions in a world that is more and more complex.

Some of the professionals interviewed or mentioned in the article indicated appropriately that Marketing Analytics is NOT and can NOT be an IT function. Some others indicated that the recruitment of those talents should be focused on data analysts who have proven their ability to make customer-centric decisions and/or who have experience in business/marketing decisions.

From my stand point, this is only one side of the equation...and actually maybe the wrong side. Let me explain.

Data analysis is here to help people make better decisions.

To do that, one needs to understand data analysis as well as the marketing decisions in question.

As such, a data analyst has to have some knowledge and experience in the type of decisions that a marketer needs to make and...a marketer needs to have some practical knowledge of data analysis to be able to communicate and interact properly and understandably with the data analysist.

In fact, between the 2, the biggest gap is with the Marketers for their knowledge of data analysis and that should be the focus on the gap closing effort. The fact is that those marketers know the decisions that they have to make....They just do not always know to ask properly the right question, to get to the proper help them find make those decisions.

Furthermore, it is only by democratizing the access to data and the practical understanding of data analysis, that the real power of marketing analytics will be unleached. This assessment is renforced by the emergence of online graphical marketing analytics interfaces that everyone and anyone can access.

As such, the key focus should be to educate Business Managers and Marketers (starting in College) to integrate "practical" math and data analysis into their skills set. That way, we will have no shortage.




This is the first post that I am creating on this blog and I felt that a great way to start was to add some controversy. I will claim that aside all the smoke on Digital the end...the core principles of effective marketing remain the same:

  • Understand the needs and wants of the consumers in the market that you are aiming at
  • Identify and understand the competitors on that market
  • Based on this knowledge:
    • Identify your top target
    • For the top target, identify the top competitors to beat
    • Define the value (benefits for price) that you need to propose to your target, to beat those competitors
    • Define the positioning strategy that will support your value proposition for your top target
  • You can then and then only define your optimum marketing mix (Product, Price, Placement-Distribution & Promotion)...including your promotional mix which includes...Digital Marketing

So before you get to the shinny objects of Digital Marketing...a lot has to be decided and this is effective marketing 101