Dear Boss: I quit…………… (An imaginary email)

Dear Boss: Believe me, this is tougher for me to write than for you to read. I’m quitting, effective in two weeks. You deserve to hear why because it affects you directly. When I joined this company 10 years ago, we were at the forefront of technology adoption. If it was new and would help…

What’s a “Go-to-Customer” Plan?

Since the dawn of modern B2B marketing, those entrusted to create “go-to-market” plans typically spent eons analyzing markets and posed some obvious questions: What market(s) should we pursue? Why should we pursue these markets? How do our key markets differ from each other? What revenue and share results can we expect from these markets? Which…

Think Like da Vinci: Be a Genius

For many, our impressions of the great Leonardo da Vinci were shaped by Dan Brown’s wildly famous book, The da Vinci Code.  In it, da Vinci and his secret society progeny of generationally-connected elites are riddled with enigmas wrapped in mystery. From our modern perspective, it is all sleuth and magic – a veritable puzzle…

Unleash Your Inner Granny

In 1995, I attended a conference of digital elites in Arizona called Agenda. Technology mavens like Gates, Ellison and McNealy were there, less to sell than to mingle through who was doing what and how they were doing it.  Powerful VCs and Angels who could stroke checks faster than the GSA on a Vegas boondoggle…

Buzz Kill of Arrogant Marketing

My Mom always told me, “Don’t toot your own horn. Let others do it for you.”  To some, this counsel runs counter to how Freud’s id has us wired and requires far too much patience and reliance on others to execute properly. In a society that fawns foolishly over red carpet poses from talentless reality…

Question Marketing

Several years ago while brainstorming with a team at an agency searching for a name for their creative process, I tossed out a phrase, quite by accident, that stopped discussions on a dime: Question Marketing. Recognizing an “ah-ha: moment had occurred, the team jumped on the phrase like white on rice and ugly on an…

A writer’s intervention

“There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.” Ernest Hemingway Always amazed but never astonished at how tech companies tell stories, I sometimes experience pangs of sadness when I read butchered sentences riddled with off-putting words. Bouncy, unbalanced constructions and aimless meanderings make me woozy, like a…

R.I.P. CMO (circa 2014)

As managing director of the marketing practice at TechCXO, I serve as a fractional CMO for several tech companies. So, it might seem strange for me to forecast the pending demise of the Chief Marketing Officer title. Career suicide? Hardly. Marketing’s role continues to expand inside most enterprises, driven by the need to get more…

Customer is Always Right and Other Rubbish

In my first job as a stock boy at Toys R Us, an imposing sign barked on the wall in the break room in big block letters: “The customer is always right.” Young, green and inexperienced, I took it as fact and operated accordingly, despite encountering customers at times who were downright mean or deserving…