The Marketing of Me in '23

Yesterday on Groundhog Day, it seems that Punxsutawney Phil declared six more weeks of winter.  Certainly, as I sit here in Vermont this AM with the temp at 5 at 8:00 with a forecasted -25 ambient tonight, winta' like Phil is going to stick around for a while.  On balance however, this has been a very mild winter, and although I'm looking out at 18" of snow in front of my office window, when I left Tufts yesterday, there's no sign of any snow in Boston.  

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Tags: Sales Management Best Practices, Tufts Marketing, Teaching at Tufts University, Derby Entrepreneurship Center at Tufts, 2023 Business Planning, 2023 Sales Planning, 2023 Marketing Plans

Just what is Inbound Sales & Marketing?

15 plus years ago, I learned the details of a new concept called "Inbound Marketing" from a young startup called Hubspot.  Since I had known co-founders Brian and Dharmesh, I started to explore their website that first summer just after we moved to the NH beach. I was amazed that they were making all of their detailed content about these very different strategies to be used in Sales and Marketing available on their site for free. I actually kept wondering when Hubspot would email me with a large invoice for all the content i was using, and then I discovered that providing free expert content itself was one of the pillars of Inbound. 

At the time, It made no sense to me to be giving away these jewels of expertise, but I would spend a couple of hours reading with the sun just coming up on the horizon at our new ocean house. I would then print everything out, load it into my beach bag and head out to the sand to devour what for me was an entirely new approach to sales and marketing than what I had learned as a salesguy. 

Process, Tools, Technology & Math seemed to me to be much more practical than just "stopping by and bringing Dunkin' & Doughnuts"

Piece by piece over the next year, I began to put these theories into hard practices coupled with Hubspot technology and realized that we could dramatically increase sales productivity for our customers...assuming that they wanted to learn and practice the science...and the discipline...of Inbound. 

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Tags: HubSpot Tips, Making Tough Choices, Inboound, Derby Entrepreneurship Center@Tufts, 2023 Business Planning, 2023 Sales Planning

Bored at Board Meetings? Change Something Now!

Very much looking forward to a board meeting, where I'm chairman, this morning at 10:00.  As is normal in most companies, positive advances in 2022, a couple of speedbumps and a positive outlook for 2023.  Most importantly, we have a management team and directors all solidly focused on both growth strategies and tactics for the year ahead.  This morning, management will take us through the operating details of their 2023 business plan following the preliminary plan that they presented for board guidance on December 20th.  

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Tags: Derby Entrepreneurship Center@Tufts, 2023 Business Planning, 2023 Sales Planning, 2023 Marketing Plans

Friday 13th - Bad Luck or No Luck at All

If it wasn't for bad luck, you know, I wouldn't have no luck at all

There's a superb classic blues song sung by R&B greats, Ray Charles, Albert King, Stevie Ray Vaughn and my personal favorite Joe Bonamassa, about luck...or in this case...bad luck. 

On Friday the 13th, I thought that it was appropriate to kick off today as we enter the season of 2023 sales and business planning meetings with a couple of thoughts about luck.

Bottom line: Never plan on luck, optimism or even best efforts!  What will happen, will happen only as a result of you and your team's personal involvement and rigid commitment to a planning process this year.

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Tags: business plans, business planning meetings, Derby Entrepreneurship Center at Tufts, 2023 Business Planning

Back at it...in a time that needs courage!

Like many of you, I hunkered down for the past three weeks mostly working, plus I fully realized that anything I had to say in a business blog among a well-meaning tsunami of cards, emails and social posts focused on wonderfulness, warm wishes and joyful times would be not important in an important personal time. 

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Tags: Making Tough Choices, Derby Entrepreneurship Center@Tufts, 2023 Business Planning, 2023 Sales Planning, 2023 Marketing Plans

The Plan is about the Plan which, of course, is the Plan

After graduating from BC, I went into the Peace Corps, and when I came back to the States, with little else than a degree in English and Biology, I was lucky enough to land a job at a large medtech corporation that was hiring interns based on attributes rather than skills and experience. 

Very quickly, I and a group of other rookies hired at the same time for a specific new product, were pushed into an intensive, week-long management training session simply on "planning".  

 

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Tags: Sales Best Practices, Sales Management Best Practices, Derby Entrepreneurship Center at Tufts, 2023 Business Planning, 2023 Sales Planning, 2023 Marketing Plans

The only conditions that count are the conditions in your own head!

Dick Ardia is one of my closest friends!. He's a very successful NJ and NY real estate entrepreneur who has built more than a few companies.  A Vermont neighbor, Dick and I spent many years ATVing in the Green Mountain reserve that borders our land, and during those expeditions deep in the mud and winching out of rivers, I learned from him many of the management basics that I continue to apply in my own business and in my classroom.

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Tags: Sales Optimization, Sales Best Practices, Sales Management Best Practices, Derby Entrepreneurship Center at Tufts, 2023 Business Planning, 2023 Sales Planning, 2023 Marketing Plans, Derby Entrepreneurship Center

Everything is a season...

  • Leaving a wonderful Thanksgiving, we're now full speed ahead into the holiday season
  • With 13-14-more real selling days in the Q4 season, we're updating forecasts daily. 
  • After weeks of working on our 2023 business plan, we're deep in the season of budgeting.



And at Tufts, the reality of the seasonality of the last class of the semester, occurred this Wednesday after 12 weeks of content including 10 technical lectures from my alums and my TAs ranging from pricing to SEO, PR, research, competitive analysis, social ad buying, blogging, the art of presentations, budgeting and much more.  Added to this was one HBS case study, 36 individual value proposition presentations and Hubspot Inbound Marketing certifications. 

Then it all came to a close on Wednesday with a team lunch and a final presentation from another extraordinary marketing executive alum on her process of bringing together her own marketing plan.  Next week are the final 90-minute presentations to their host management of their team projects where 40% of their overall semester grade is decided by the management of their companies on the depth and quality of their marketing plans constructed over the semester.   For me, it's been an extraordinarily exciting semester which has resulted in strong academics and 18 new part-or full-time jobs generated from the course.  

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Tags: Tufts university, Sales Hiring Perfectly, Teaching entrepreneurship, Derby Entrepreneurship Center at Tufts, 2023 Business Planning, 2023 Sales Planning, Derby Entrepreneurship Center

Entrepreneurship starts with Ideas

Last week, I noted with great pride that Pitchbook's annual university rankings of the top producers of U.S. venture capital-backed startup founders listed Tufts in its top 50 universities in the country!  Great to be listed alongside other MA-based universities like MIT, Harvard and BU, who also made the top 50. For me as a Tufts professor, this listing drives directly to the overarching mission of Tufts and its uniqueness to actively promote innovation and research across all of our 11 schools. 
 

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Tags: how to write a business plan, Tufts Entrepreneurship, entrepreneurshipfortherestofus, Teaching at Tufts University, Derby Entrepreneurship Center at Tufts, 2023 Business Planning, 2023 Sales Planning, 2023 Marketing Plans

Millennials as Purchasing Decision Makers!!!

Every morning I'm up at 4:30. First, I ask Alexa to play WBZ 1030 Radio, so I get my "5 Things You Need to Know" with the local news plus what I really care about which is the traffic and weather to gauge my travel time from the NH beach to Boston.  The traffic is always wicked, so  I'm just listening for the big accidents like..."yet another truck got Storrowed early this morning", which if you live in Boston, you know what this means.

 

I then ask Alexa to "Play Bloomberg News", while I click into my newest edition of the WSJ on my iPad and comb through whatever appeals as interesting articles for the day. Last Tuesday, I stopped on this headline of "Millennials Are Changing What It Takes to Succeed in Sales".  

The next day, I was reminded of the same article when one of my most faithful blog readers and repeated entrepreneurs, Jerry Brecher, sent it to me. I'm going to link the article here, but my expectation is that by clicking on it, unless you're a WSJ subscriber, you will not get past their paywall. If you cannot, I would encourage you to hunt down the article and read it thoroughly.  

 


Me & Millennials

I began teaching at MIT 22 years ago and Tufts 17, so where I started in this wonderful profession was initially working with Xers and then mostly with Millennials.  Exciting, extremely smart, powerful in their statements and curiosity, very energetic, fast-paced and always questioning to move ahead and make an impact in the world!  Clearly in numbers, the largest generation: more than the Boomers who carried that badge since the 1940's.

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Tags: Sales Best Practices, Sales Management Best Practices, Derby Entrepreneurship Center@Tufts, 2022 sales planning, Teaching at Tufts University, 2023 Business Planning, 2023 Marketing Plans

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