Monthly Archives: February 2006


Innovation is like an avocado

I loved reading Sergio Zyman's comments on The Innovation Illusion in the latest e-newsletter from CMO Magazine.   He hits the nail on the head when he says companies "get hung up on core competencies (what they know how to do) instead of core essence (what consumers will buy from them).  Zyman encourages us to think

We’re jamming!

Here's a copy of a  post made by Larry Bodine, the editor of the LawMarketing portal, on a conference he attended called "Beyond Blogs and Social Networks."  While he was there, he heard a speech about an amazing technique called "jamming."  Even though I had never heard the term before, I'm convinced that "jamming"


In the last six months, I have read numerous articles (too many to cite here) about how CMOs can increase their effectiveness.  In one of them, a retail CMO coins the term "the CEO's CMO." He says a CEO's CMO has three qualities that make the difference between a good CMO and a great CMO:

A new focus on Game Theory

In the fall of 2005 it was announced that the Nobel Prize in economics had been awarded to two academics for their work in using game theory to understand competition and conflict.  This news stimulated McKinsey & Company to reissue an article published originally in a 1997 issue of World Economic Affairs by Hugh G.

Strategy and Positioning in PSFs

This 2004 article, "Strategy and positioning in professional service firms," is composed by Ashish Nanda, a Harvard Business School professor who also teaches in HBS's executive education program.   The first half of the piece is a rather elementary rehash of the differences between PSFs and other business entities.  The second half, however, offers a refresher

Frame it!

During the summer of 2005, I was intrigued by a spate of articles regarding Karl Rove's acumen at "framing issues" for the Bush administration.  In addition to the politically oriented newspaper editorials and op-ed columns, I also noticed the work of Melissa Raffoni, who wrote an article in July 2005 for Harvard Management Update, "Framing:

The future of direct marketing in PSFs

I've begun receiving a magazine called IN Marketing, the magazine of the Direct Marketing Association.  Not surprisingly, it's filled with articles and research about one-to-one marketing programs, including sending customers direct-response e-mails, list management, campaign metrics, personalized web sites, and the like.  It's fair to say that most professional service firms are wrestling with this

We Didn’t See it Coming!

Has anyone else noticed how many "we didn't see it coming" situations there have been recently? Examples from our government abound (Condi Rice's comments on Hamas' winning the Palestinian elections two weeks ago; almost anyone related to our administration, when commenting on Katrina disaster response). But let's be honest: this "we didn't see it coming"

The marketing of intellectual capital

The Economist's October 13, 2005 edition featured a review of a new book by Thomas Davenport, Thinking for a Living (2005, Harvard Business School Press).  It got me thinking about the professional service marketer's conundrum:  communicating with the marketplace about your firm's intellectual capital (its amazing benefits over the intellectual capital of the competitors!), usually

Does Market-driven DNA exist?

In my book Marketplace Masters, I explored the market-driven processes, policies and protocols that successful professional service firms have used to their competitive advantage.  Now I'm wondering, "What prevents professional service firms from implementing these (and other) well-documented effective approaches?"  Over the past year, I've been struck by the amount of Marketing-oriented dysfunction that I