Here are a few spots to go for intellectual inspiration, useful reference, or just to find out someone else's perspective on us or the business we're in.
If you find any of these sites to be intellectually insulting, or any of the links fail, please let us know.
Get closer to a customer"Marketing Technopia" is defined as becoming so obsessed with your technology that you forget that your real asset is your customer. Don't let it happen to you! Focus on your customers. Understand their needs, their fears, their priorities. Then go make yourself relevant!
The internet can be a great source of "customer perspective". Try checking out the website of a particularly important or challenging customer or prospective customer, just before you leave the office for the drive home, or, from home, immediately before you take a shower or go out pottering in the garden. Use that "intellectual free time" (or "creative inspiration time", as we call it) to ponder how to make what's important to your customer, important to you.
Industry CanadaThe primary commerce-oriented website of the Canadian Government, Strategis is a worthy bookmark. We're listed there, but you'll also find more than 50,000 other Canadian companies providing every conceivable product and service you might need, whether you're already Canadian-based or looking to set up a Canadian subsidiary. A very good Canadian business resource, well organized and user-friendly, with a fast search engine.
(If yours is a Canadian company, you should be in Strategis, too! That kind of thing is a routine part of what we do, almost automatically, for our clients...)
Try this! Go to the "Canadian Company Capabilities" section, and try searching for any of these keyword combinations (be sure you select the "find all of these keywords" option!):
technology sector, strategic marketing, promotion
technology sector, full-service, strategic marketing
technology sector, strategic marketing, advertising, public relations
technology sector, marketing consulting, advertising, media relations
...You get the idea. Other combinations will work, also. In each case, we're one of just a few matches, out of 50,000 companies.
Unique? Well, pretty much, yeah. Told-ya-so!
Incidentally, although this isn't related to our listing in Strategis, ASH Technology Marketing was carefully checked out by Industry Canada and Foreign Affairs Canada, (references checked, management interviewed, the whole nine yards...), and as a result of that investigation we were recommended exclusively by these Canadian Government Departments to at least one European company looking to set up operations in Canada and looking for P/R and other MarCom and strategic help here. It's not the only commendation we've received (see the accolades page for more!) But we're particularly proud of it, partly because the government folks who checked us out were so rigorous! Just thought you should know...
The Center for Ethical Orientation("Toward a global ethic for the global economy")
Most astute CEOs realize the growing importance of ethics in marketing... the Nike labour incidents, and the growth of ethical investment funds are but two barometers.
John Dalla Costa is the founder of the Center for Ethical Orientation, and he has much of interest to say on the subject. (In fact, he has much of interest to say on many subjects... We have quoted him several times on diverse strategic marketing topics here in our own website, and we count ourselves among John's fans.)
This site (C.E.O.-Ethics) is rich with complex graphics, animation, movie clips and dark backgrounds, so it's best viewed from a high-resolution phosphorescent screen (ie not from a laptop) and with a high-speed internet line (or a dose of patience).
The Importance of BrandingThe Center for Ethical Orientation website also has a section devoted to another John Dalla Costa passion: branding. There's an online real-time PowerPoint slideshow introducing branding, and some good articles.
John is an accomplished advertising and strategic marketing guru, and author of "CEOs are the Ultimate Brand Managers", "Marketing for Dummies", "The Ethical Imperative", "Working Wisdom", "Advertising Works", "Meditations on Business", and more. He's been observing and commenting on corporate marketing practices and pitfalls for decades. (Now you begin to understand why he appears in our own selected quotes...) We don't necessarily agree with absolutely everything he says, and not everything applies to the high-tech sector, but we've not found anyone else nearly so wise and prolific in terms of thoughtful insights, unbiased assessments, innovative alternative approaches, and plain old applied common sense for senior marketing professionals and executives. If you like what John has to say, chances are you'll love having us on your team: for the most part, we're preaching the same gospel.
Here again, the site is best viewed from a hi-res desktop (non-laptop) monitor with a fast communications link.
Ponder, and be refreshedIt's not as good as a run in the woods and a soak in the hot-tub, but it's quicker...
The CEO Refresher features a growing collection of "pearls of wisdom" for the CEO... thought-provoking quotes from an eclectic mix of celebrities, gurus and common folk... Henry Kissinger, Oscar Wilde, Antisthenes, Stephen Leacock, William Shakespeare, Bill Gates, John Dalla Costa (of course!!), and many more. These are the kinds of inspirations you might find on the better "Successories" posters... Some examples:
Consistency is the last refuge of the unimaginative. (Oscar Wilde)
Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity. (Elmer Letterman)
When the sea was calm all ships alike showed mastership in floating. (William Shakespeare)
These pearls are actually a sidebar to the main site, which is, in a broader sense, ...
Brain Food for CEOsThe CEO Refresher is a monthly internet news magazine on contemporary topics in creative leadership, competitive strategy, and performance improvement. The Editor and Publisher is Rick Sidorowicz. Each issue contains short articles on leadership, book reviews, models, management tools, quotations, and commentary of interest to those who intend to lead businesses effectively.
Have a look at the article: "The Strategic Thinking Mindset" by Charles Albano. (Contact us for a copy if you have trouble finding it...) And if you're wondering where you could find some strategic thinkers like that, you know what to do...
Tummy food, tooOh, yeah... There's also another sidebar on the site, called "Now You're Cooking", with some promising recipes. Try the brownies! Send us a taste!
Who's Who in Silicon Valley NorthCheck out our listing in The Ottawa Citizen's online guide to high technology leaders here in "Silicon Valley North". This is the electronic sibling of the semi-annual print publication known as "Who's Who in High Tech"... a networking resource and sourcing bible for more than ten years!
While you're there, choose a restaurant, accommodation or entertainment, check the latest sports or hi-tech news... The Ottawa Citizen Online is a good local information resource.
Custom Website RegistrationThere are many ways to increase exposure of your website to search engines. We like addme.com because of the semi-automatic option which lets you easily optimize keyword strings and other information for each search engine. As we learn more and more about the demographics and preferences of the typical "user communities" for each search engine, we can exploit this info to optimize results. (A simple example of this is to vary the submissions to different geographic search engine siblings... you can emphasize different keywords for each of yahoo.com, yahoo.ca, yahoo,nz, yahoo.fr, etc...)
We've used addme.com to register this marketing-wizards site. If you used a search engine to find us, we'd love to hear how well it did the job. Thanks!
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