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Marketing for Results

Grant Johnson

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Top Stories by Grant Johnson

If you haven't revisited your brand architecture in more than a year, it's likely what you're building is a façade, rather than reinforcing a foundation.  Because technology and innovation are inextricably linked, tech companies are continuously introducing new products and services, and in most cases, adding brands and sub-brands into their product portfolios.  Over time, even a sound architecture can begin to crumble under the strain of too many overlapping brand layers. It's not as if tech marketers are trying to create brand disorder and chaos, it's just that  inattention to brand architecture necessarily results in inefficient brand structures.  When I was at FileNet (now part of IBM), the company had already made a smart decision to consolidate disparate brand identities under the master brand FileNet.  Nevertheless, after several years of acquisitions and a ... (more)

Marketing Your Way Out of The Recession

It's anyone's guess when the recession bottoms out and we get back to growth.  Rather than remain in a "state" of denial - like California did for too long - or adopt a hunker down mentality - "let's just ride this one out" - as many companies have, there's a middle path of taking proactive measures steps now, so that when growth reappears, your company is better positioned to gain an unfair share of the increased customer demand that will be there to harvest.  Here are a few considerations to come out will your guns ablazing. Get back to basics.  One of my colleagues recently s... (more)

Sales & Marketing: Why Can’t We All Just Get Along?

Over the past 15 years waging war in the technology marketplace, I’ve come to appreciate that the first battle for marketing is often the one fought inside a company between sales and marketing.  Let’s face it, the two functions are often at odds due to the he fundamental schism of one function primarily rewarded for delivering near term results, i.e. get sales this quarter, and the other function primarily rewarded for creating competitive advantage and building brand preference. It’s no wonder there’s a lot of finger pointing in the hallways and conference rooms across America... (more)

Pick the CEO, Not the Company

Most organizational experts will tell you that when joining an organization, the company's culture is the key to determining whether you will thrive or suffer in a given work environment.  While this is true for a mid-level manager or individual contributor, the closer you get to the top, the less a culture matters and the more the CEO's leadership and management style impact your work satisfaction. I learned this when early in my career I was a director at a privately held company that was acquired by a much large public company.  In a matter of a few weeks our approachable, per... (more)

Technology Brand Development Essentials

Having created and shaped several successful brands over the past decade, including FrontBridge (acquired by Microsoft) and FileNet (acquired by IBM), there are a few fundamentals that are key to successful brand development. It has to start at the top with the CEO supporting an investment in branding and disciplined brand management. Without that, it’s a non-starter. Given technology companies are continuously innovating and changing products, the brand strategy has to be differentiated and relevant to target markets and the executional guidelines have to be consistently applied... (more)