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Introduction to Marketing That Works

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The excerpt from chapter 1 of "Marketing that Works" explains why you need more than one marketing plan, the impact of the Internet on marketing plans, and marketing challenges in the coming decade.

The Book’s Mission

Truly successful businesses over the long term have achieved greater-than-market levels of profit return to their investors because they have been able to somehow insulate themselves from competitive pressures. If a company cannot insulate itself from competitors, it becomes doomed to market-level rates of return as competitive forces continually attack its profit margins and revenue sources. In this book, we show how entrepreneurial marketing can help firms both large and small to differentiate themselves and insulate themselves from some competitive pressures. The entrepreneurial marketing techniques, concepts, methods, and paradigms we provide will help your venture make more money—extraordinary money—on a sustainable basis. Not only will you be able to position and target your product/service offering to leverage your firm’s distinctive competencies and potential sustainable competitive advantages, but the way you do marketing will make you more efficient than your competition as well.

Marketing, more than technology, is most often the reason for the success or failure of new ventures or new initiatives of mature corporations. Yet there are few detailed guides, and fewer serious studies, on what does and does not work when dealing with these situations. This book is designed to help modern-day marketers make the best use of their time, money, and effort in growing their businesses in a way that gives them some competitively sustainable differential advantage. The book is itself the product of cost-effective, entrepreneurial marketing thinking. There is a target market that has a need for help that we hope to provide. We have seen no books that combine conceptually sound marketing concepts and paradigms with practical guidance on how to apply them in real situations in order to leverage the resources used for marketing and attain sustainable competitive advantage.

This book has a very pragmatic objective. We are not trying to deliver a complete compendium on marketing or on entrepreneurship or intrapreneurship (entrepreneurship within a larger corporation). We cover only marketing concepts, methods, tactics, and strategies that “work”—that is, can add value to real ventures as we move into a more connected “global village” era. We have been guided in our thinking, not only by our academic research and practical experience with dozens of companies, but also by a survey of the Inc. 500 companies conducted jointly by the authors and Inc. Magazine. These results provide new insights into what types of marketing programs and channels are most effective in diverse business settings.

You, our target reader, are someone who needs to get results quickly, and has limited financial resources and people resources—you are someone who often does not have any staff to help with speculative research or analysis. Although some bigger, older companies may have the luxury of waiting for longer-term impact of their marketing and sales strategies, the company we write for has to worry about the short term. Like it or not, for many managers today, and for all startup firms, without a short-term cash flow, the longer term is impossible. Even if you work for a large, “deep pockets” organization, acting as though resources are limited often produces the best results. No matter what size your entity, your responsibility is to get the biggest return from your resources you can. One of the ways this book can help you to be better than your competition is that your competition will still be thinking in outmoded, less-productive ways about marketing. You will be much more able to get increased productivity from your marketing budget and will be able to develop offerings that are part of sustainable competitive advantage.

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