What will you sell? To whom do you sell? Through whom do you sell? Against whom do you sell?

And how will you decide?

Virtual or non-virtual? Deciding on the right format for your business events and meetings

Before 2020, businesses had a lot more choice in the ways in which they delivered meetings, workshops, and other events. For some, like ourselves, virtual meetings were already the norm. After all, why travel an hour for a thirty-minute meeting when you could be more efficient with your time? But what about other business activities such as facilitated workshops or events? At align.me, we have always happily relocated to wherever needed to undertake these activities. But 2020 threw a spanner in the works and demanded everyone shift to virtual formats. As we’re seeing things return to "business READ MORE

2021-03-23T14:58:27+11:00By |Strategy|

Why getting sh*t done doesn’t have to mean busting your chops

More than ever, we need to get a lot done. We’re facing higher output expectations, but most of us don’t have endless resources or huge budgets; we also don’t have a workforce willing to work 60 hours a week. None of these are necessarily bad or wrong, but are they perhaps incompatible? Can we really get more done with less and without burning our staff? I had occasion recently to reflect on this imbalance. I’ve tried to clarify my own thinking rather than ‘cheat’ by ripping pages out of Covey’s 7 Habits (which was the Christmas reading READ MORE

2021-02-16T09:25:03+11:00By |Strategy|

The missed link between tactics and strategy

We know that if you change your strategy, you need to change your tactics. But the reverse is just as true: If you change your tactics, you might be changing your strategy (or at best, contradicting it) unintentionally. In my November blog, I argued that as we start to emerge from a torrid 2020 into an uncertain 2021-2, we have to be ‘OK’ about a seeming contradiction: that stability was still crucial, but we need to be comfortable pivoting both strategically and tactically. I want now to argue that we have to be very intentional about those READ MORE

2021-02-01T08:20:56+11:00By |Strategy|

Should you outsource your B2B marketing? (Yes, probably – here’s why)

Back in 2008, when the global financial crisis hit, many businesses were looking for ways to cut down costs – fast. There was a mass-culling of staff and marketing teams were one of the first to be bid adieu. But those businesses that wanted to keep selling knew they’d need some kind of marketing support. So, they looked for external experts who could help at a lower cost – and outsourced marketing services took off. Over the last several years, outsourcing has really caught on. It’s gone from something only big companies do to something businesses of READ MORE

2020-12-16T14:32:23+11:00By |Strategy|

How the budget, grants, and changing markets will affect business (plus the 4 steps to growth in uncertain times)

In 1966, Robert Kennedy said: "Like it or not, we live in interesting times. They are times of danger and uncertainty, but they are also the most creative of any time in the history of mankind. And everyone here will ultimately be judged - will ultimately judge himself - on the effort he has contributed to building a new world society and the extent to which his ideals and goals have shaped that effort."  If Kennedy were alive today, I wonder what words he would use to describe the time we share and the world we live READ MORE

2020-12-04T10:00:09+11:00By |Strategy|

The cool winds of change won’t stop blowing any time soon

Well, who'd have picked that? Growth was certain. In January 2020, the International Monitory Fund (IMF) expected global demand to rise from the 2.9% we saw in 2019 to 3.3% in 2021 and 3.4% in 2022. Globalisation was still accepted to be obviously good in most advanced economies. Certainly, the US was heading into a period of uncharacteristic insularity, and the UK was busy extracting itself from Europe. But those shifts were already 'priced in', and there was a strong chance that the US would strike a trade deal with China in early 2020. Fast forward ten READ MORE

2021-01-24T17:20:12+11:00By |Strategy|

Marketing on a Budget: What to keep and what to cut

Why is it that marketing is one of the first things to get cut when budgets tighten? The conception amongst B2B business owners is that positioning is a long game and that demand response is low, so taking a hiatus from both forms of marketing won’t make much difference. You could be forgiven for thinking too, in the current climate where online traffic has increased, we're 'over'; webinars again, and content creation is reaching saturation point, that your voice would be drowned out in the digital noise anyway. Sure, customers are reducing spending on 'non-essentials' so minimising READ MORE

2021-03-08T16:58:32+11:00By |Strategy|

6 lessons we learnt running workshops remotely

Virtual workshops can be measurably better than physical workshops if you have the stamina of a bull, can work in three time zones simultaneously, and have the technical dexterity of a 12-year-old. For the rest of us, there’s work to be done to master the craft. For context, we've been building go-to-market plans for B2B companies, large and small, around the world for 20 years. This planning is usually carried out in a workshop setting; we've done about 500 physical workshops (or ‘Funnel Camps’) - usually 2-3 days in duration - in some 30 countries. We’ll typically READ MORE

2021-02-25T15:50:12+11:00By |Strategy|

Double down, go halves, pivot, or panic? Marketing during a crisis

In March, our overriding priority was to get our teams settled in their various homes, and to act with haste. We had to, right? Not panicking, but acting fast. In April, many of us tried to reset to some sort of sane mode of working. In May, we hung on to the systems and processes of that semi-sanity, waiting for the peak. And in June and July, we realised that this is going to be a long, slow dance and the idea of a ‘peak’ was a fancy. We looked for bigger, better ideas. What's Marketing's role READ MORE

2021-02-25T15:51:30+11:00By |Evergreen, Strategy|

3 tips for reengaging with your customers after a disruption

Business disruption happens. We’ve all just experienced what is likely the biggest disruption of a generation (let’s hope). Because of COVID-19, a lot of businesses have dialled back their operations, or stopped completely. A lot of regular customers have stopped buying. It’s been a crazy time for everyone. But as we all emerge from our lockdown stupor, things are picking back up and businesses are getting back into the swing of things. And that means reaching out to their customers and wider audiences. Taking the right approach when reengaging with your audience is vital to warm them READ MORE

2021-02-25T15:51:58+11:00By |Strategy|
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