Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Entrepreneurs' Forum of Greater Philadelphia Meeting

I attended Entrepreneurs' Forum of Greater Philadelphia Meeting last night. The topic was The Road Ahead, Surviving and Thriving in Today's Economy. This is the second time I have attended an Entrepreneurs' Forum meeting. The meeting is a great place to meet and network with others with an interest in entrepreneurship. I met several interesting people including someone from the marketing department of a local radio station. The meeting focused on the affects of the market on entrepreneurship. One of the panelists mentioned a book, Mastering the Rockefeller Habits: What You Must Do to Increase the Value of Your Growing Firm, by Verne Harnish. I remember years ago someone mentioning the Rockefeller Habits. The copyright of the book is 2002. I added it to my wish list on Amazon. One of the panelists mentioned the importance of focusing on strategy and not on tactics. In military terms strategy is the big picture. Tactics focus on the current circumstances and situation. In today’s economy, a successful organization must keep their focus on the big picture. The current economic situation requires attention but we must not lose the focus on the objectives. Tracking is imperative. How can you know if your marketing is effective without tracking the success? If you make a change to your website how did that affect your page views? You need to test the results to see if they meet expectation. Few can afford the luxury of making a significant change in their marketing with having a reason. Predictive modeling should help estimate the effect of a change. To close the loop you need to compare the actual results with the predictions. If your results don’t match with the predictions can you make a tweak to help improve the results? You must base your decisions on real data and metrics, not on gut feel. An organization needs a high return on marketing activities. If you spent a thousand dollars on marketing to win a thousand dollars in new sales the marketing was a failure. Marketing dollars should have at least a tenfold return on investment. Right now, Internet marketing is the greatest value for the money. Purple Cow: Transform Your Business by Being Remarkable by Seth Godin is another book mentioned by the panel. Organizations must become remarkable to succeed. You must generate buzz and stand out from the crowd.

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