With the results of Q1 left in the dust of last week, we're already reworking new sales plans for this quarter, hiring and changing a few new team members and taking apart, piece by piece, those perfectly planned lead generation tactics conceived in the dark winter of last January. Some worked, many did not, but blogs and video continue to be clear winners. Certainly, social, but so much of it falls under the classification of "It depends..."
This is going to sell by itself!
Too many times, inexperienced entrepreneurs of all ages will use that deadly phrase. It reminds me of the old Ralph Waldo Emerson cliche of "Build a better mousetrap, and the world will beat a path to your door."
In the cold reality of the science of entrepreneurship, most likely that path will be very narrow if it exists at all. As professional marketers, what we all want is for that small path to become a four-lane highway, and what we know is that will occur only through consistent marketing that doesn't talk about the product at all but highlights the value that the product brings. After all, we really don't need a better mousetrap; we just need to get rid of the mice quickly, efficiently and without looking at squished mice caught in an ugly trap.
A crisp 55 in the Seaport where I am at 7 this morning. Probably 45 down at the Winhall General Store in Vermont and just cold enough to start planning seriously about filling up the woodshed. While the weatha’ dictates my long list of Fall "To-Dos" that need to be done at the NH beach and in the VT hills, with only five more selling days left in the Q, quota success for the balance of this year is all about detailed account planning:
There are certainly more than a few universities both locally and across the country that feature entrepreneurship programs. In fact, every university and most standalone colleges have an entrepreneurship program from the giants of Babson, where entrepreneurship is their DNA, to the halls of MIT, where I also teach, to excellent programs at BU, BC, UNH and across all the campuses of UMass. Very simply, a university cannot be taken seriously without entrepreneurship studies in their program at some level since. in fact, entrepreneurship is not about tech startups. Real entrepreneurship is about innovation and very few universities are as well-equipped as is Tufts, which is recognized as one of the top research universities in the U.S.
Tags: Tufts marketing projects, interns for marketing projects, jack derby professor at Tufts, Derby Entrepreneurship Center@Tufts, 2022 business planning, entrepreneurshipfortherestofus, Teaching at Tufts University, Derby Entrepreneurship Center at Tufts
Gearing up for re-entry into the Derby Entrepreneurship Center@Tufts since in four weeks, I'll need to accelerate from my normal 70 mph day-to-day Derby Management work to 110 mph at Tufts.
That faster pace and my personal excitement of Tufts are the result of the tight integration of my teaching marketing to 36 juniors and seniors who are already signed up in six person teams working on six complex semester-long marketing projects. Of these six projects, three are well-known companies to Derby Management, one is an emerging company begun by one of my alums, another is a startup from a very well-known nutrition scientist here at Tufts, and the remaining is a fascinating consumer healthcare product.
The bottom line of the kickoff on September 7th is that full marketing plans complete with research, strategies, tactics, detailed recommendations and budgets will be presented to their customers for grading during the first week of December.
The 1st class begins with "So, what is Marketing?"
The class actually begins with a 15-minute, rapid-fire, standup 15 question quiz on one of the summer assignments which is to complete what I call "a beach read" of David Meerman's Scott's iconic, 8th edition of The New Rules of Marketing & PR.
That exercise is then followed with my favorite question which I always ask in my kickoff class at Tufts and at MIT. It's a very simple question, and for me a very simple answer, which I do not provide until the whiteboard is filled with answers from the students which typically include words such, "convincing", "selling", "social media", "ads", "PR", "branding", "lead generation", "pricing" and even a few negative words like "tricking" and so on.
Marketing is Everything!
I always go back to the iconic Marketing is Everything article written by Regis McKenna, one of the most influential marketers in history, and one of the small number of individuals who began what is today known as Silicon Valley. I find that the underlying premise of this 30-year-old article is even more critical today given the explosion of choices everyone has in their marketing strategies, tactics, platforms, tools and apps, most of which are powered through AI and bots.
And let's not forget that the hyper-crowded graphic above is only martech and does not include radio, TV, snail mail, billboards or trade shows which continue to have a major role in what we call "marketing"!
The good news is that marketing is everything! The bad news is that marketing is everything! And many non-progressive marketers continue to believe that what they did five years ago, or even last year, is still relevant or sales productive today. The reality is that it may be, likely it is not.
Many of us believe we're pretty good singers in the car or the shower, but only a tiny 1% of 1% of 1% of 1% become paid singers. It's the same with marketing which is why I teach the subject since it's constantly being updated, and the true job of any good marketer is to figure out the highest impact at a cost that fits into a budget that drives sales qualified leads. The result is as simple as that, which is why we always measure CAC as one of our top three primary metrics. The complexity comes in the making of the choices.
marketing Success is making choices...and measuring everything!
The exciting part of our course is the ability to learn and experiment in real time. The students can set in motion the marketing tactics of ads, social channels, PR and which blogs and which events have impact and be able to measure all of that in their Hubspot marketing platforms. All the incoming students must be certified in Inbound Marketing at the beginning of the semester.
Just some thoughts for a late Friday morning to think about over what looks like a spectacular summer weekend, which will find me walking across the street to the NH beach.
At any time, if you want to discuss your own sales and marketing planning for the rest of this year, just connect with me for some quick ideas and feedback. There's no cost to a call or two, plus I love listening and talking about this new rapidly changing world of sales and marketing. It's nothing like the old days of 2020! In the meantime, take a look at our 2022 edition of "Writing the 2022 Winning Sales Plan" , or our Writing the Winning Marketing Plan in 2022.
Tags: sales planning, marketing effectiveness, HubSpot Tips, Tufts marketing projects, free marketing projects from universities, marketing plans, marketing planning, 2020 sales plans, 2022 sales planning, 2022businessplansuccess, Derby Entrepreneurship Center at Tufts
With our final marketing and sales plans now being presented to our six host companies last week and this, the semester is rapidly coming to a close with all that is left to be done is this weekend's final grading.
As in my sales, marketing and business planning consulting work at the firm, grading also comes down to a very formulaic process:
Tags: Tufts marketing projects, Tufts internships, free marketing projects from universities, student intern marketing projects, how to write a sales plan, social entrepreneurship, Derby Entrepreneurship Center@Tufts, 2022businessplansuccess
"We've spent a lot of money on consultants that have not come close to the value received from your Tufts students working with us this semester!"
What's above is a direct quote this week from the VP of Marketing of a well-established healthcare analytics company with deeply experienced management and this was his comment to me and his project team upon completing their 13-week semester.
Tags: sales coaching, sales management coach, sales effectiveness, sales enablement, marketing effectiveness, how to close sales, Tufts marketing projects, interns for marketing projects, how to write a marketing plan, how to write a sales plan, sales readiness, Derby Entrepreneurship Center@Tufts, 2022businessplansuccess
This past Wednesday was the last class for the semester.
What now remains are the final presentations from the six teams of juniors and seniors to the management of their respective companies. This is a very demanding course in which I, my four TAs and seven outside lecturers, all alums from this course, provide deep technical content on the science of marketing structured around the student teams delivering full marketing plans based on the objectives provided by their companies. The TAs and I provide 60% of the project grade while the senior management provides the remaining 40%. For me, it's a perfect blend of introducing my students to the real world of business structured on the same sales and marketing principles of "Process-Tools-Technology-Math & People" that we use in our consulting practice. If you're interested in participating in a marketing project for the fall semester, just connect with me. All of this blends together perfectly with the added benefit that my students are able to select from 40-50 job offers each semester mostly from prior alums from this course.
Tags: closing sales, Tufts marketing projects, free marketing projects from universities, student intern marketing projects, how to write a marketing plan, marketing planning, writing sales plans, delivering great presentations, Derby Entrepreneurship Center@Tufts, 2022businessplansuccess
So, just what is entrepreneurship?
A very appropriate question this morning as we kick off at 10:00 the finals of the annual "Tufts $100K Competition". As the largest non-athletic event at Tufts, the $100K finals today will feature 15 entrepreneur teams divided among three tracks of "General Technology", "Social Impact" and "Healthcare and Life Sciences" reflecting the diversity of research and innovation across all our 11 schools.
Tufts is among the most highly ranked research universities in the U.S. covering every discipline of engineering, nutrition, social impact, medicine, dentistry, and veterinary science. For me, this process beginning earlier this year with hundreds of submissions from students and professors, followed by mentoring sessions leading to quarter and semi competitions and now today's finals provides a perfect example of entrepreneurship at its best!
In my years of having the privilege of teaching at Tufts, "The $100K" has always been a "must-attend" event often including my own students. This year made even more so with the official dedication next week of the Derby Entrepreneurship Center at Tufts.
Obviously, you have a fully booked day packed with zooms, sales discovery meetings and hopefully a deal closing or two, but if you have 30 minutes here and there, or just maybe a couple of hours, click on here and get a free registration for a virtual view.
Entrepreneurship for the rest of us
If you've been reading this blog for a while, you may remember that my family history for generations has been filled with entrepreneurs. My GGF left rural Vermont in 1860 at the age of 17 to "Go West". My grandfather left that same VT village at 22 to open his first retail stores in Harvard and Davis Squares. My father rebelled from the family business by beginning a jazz band on the vaudeville circuit until his father put his foot down saying "enough, you're working in the stores!", which our entire family did for decades.
Interestingly for me personally, the first time that I ever heard the word "entrepreneur" was not at BC, not in the Peace Corps and certainly never in my career at Becton Dickinson. It was not until I attended a lecture at the then tiny volunteer-led startup of the MIT Enterprise Forum that I first understood what the word meant. Becoming active myself as a volunteer and later as Chair of MITEF, I then began my love affair not just with the experiments of starting companies, but with understanding the science and the analytics of what it takes to succeed as an entrepreneur. Years and years later, I think that I finally understand what it takes...I think!
- In excess of 90% of non-restaurant startups are not tech-based as a product or service
- Between 90% and 95% of startups fail
- Most failures occur within 4 years
- Only 0.05% of non-restaurant startups seek organized angel or venture capital
- 75% of those companies that received formal angel or venture funding fail
The bottom line is that succeeding in any startup is wicked difficult, but having said that, today there are extraordinary support mechanisms in every community and especially in major cities which house universities, medical centers and have a rich history of entrepreneurship. For any guidance, you can just connect with me...and countless others in Boston.
With that as background, I'm very excited about speaking on this theme I am developing on "Entrepreneurship for the rest of us" at next week's event being held by The Financial Executives International of Boston at their annual academic awards granting 10 scholarships to Juniors from area colleges and universities and recognizing an Outstanding Senior from each of the schools.
With that, I'm off to today's $100K", but one more Tufts-related request!
With this semester too-quickly winding down, I am already signing up companies for marketing projects for the fall. If you are interested in knowing more about this unique process which provides teams of six juniors and seniors to create detailed marketing plans over the period of the 13-week semester, just let me know, and I will send you an outline and the instructions.
IT'S TIME TO RE-FORECAST YOUR '22 SALES PLAN
As that infamous philosopher, Mike Tyson, once noted "no plan survives the first punch!". It's time this coming week to spend a day with the team and walk through the details of your entire tactical plan for Q2 and Q3.
Here's our 2022 guide to help or why not just connect with me anytime! There's no cost to a call or two, plus I love listening and talking about sales.
Tags: Tufts marketing projects, Tufts university, Tufts internships, entrepreneurship, jack derby professor at Tufts, social entrepreneurship, Derby Entrepreneurship Center@Tufts, 2022businessplansuccess
The end of the day on Thursday found me starting to write this morning's blog on a classic VT spring day:
Tags: marketing effectiveness, marketing productivity, how to close sales, Tufts marketing projects, free marketing projects from universities, how to write a marketing plan, marketing planning, 2022 sales planning, 2022businessplansuccess