Mapping Makes Money, Full Stop

Why are more businesses turning to mapping? The software is becoming easier to use and less expensive. Mapping software is designed to link information from a company’s back-end databases and to display data such as sales patterns, results of marketing campaigns, or concentrations of potential clients. Many programs are now meant for sales or marketing employees rather than techies. The Internet is also playing a role, allowing for more users at a lower cost.

mmmfsTerritory alignment has always been mapping’s most classic use. In their basic forms, mapping programs help managers decide the most effective deployment of their sales and service forces to balance account loads and achieve the biggest profits. They can also help managers recommend which accounts a salesperson should try to cover each day, ensure territories are geographically compact, and estimate driving time associated with servicing an account.

“When you think about it, the majority of all data that companies collect can be tied back to a physical address and can be displayed on a map,” says Jim Brown, vice president of TerrAlign, a Reston, Virginia-based company that specializes in sales and marketing consulting and mapping software. “So it isn’t surprising that mapping can be a powerful tool for understanding a business, its markets, and its customers.”

But before executives invest in a tool, they have to know how to choose Read the rest of this entry »


Paris Is Beyond Compare

My wife and I just returned from Paris. This statement is not to be misconstrued as being pompous or pretentious. If I had wanted to be pretentious, I would have begun with Bonjour or Comment t’allez-vous or Ou est la plume de ma tante to show off my French vocabulary. Actually we were celebrating our anniversary and Paris was a logical romantic choice. The romantic aspect of Paris is not entirely relevant, but relevance is not my thing either, as my marketing background will easily attest to. On the other hand, it is important to set the scene for what I am about to say. Be assured that what follows will have something to do with our industry. The powers-that-be at Global Cosmetic Industry have set specific guidelines for me and although they are flexible, they include being Read the rest of this entry »


Getting Rich Isn’t Easy: These Rules Can Help

wgwWomen get wealthy in a lot of ways. They start their own businesses (Jenny Craig, Oprah Winfrey, Martha Stewart), run giant corporations (Pat Russo at Lucent, Anne Mulcahy at Xerox), or forecast the stock market (Abby Joseph Cohen at Goldman Sachs). They achieve their positions through brains, talent, drive, and luck. Once they make their money, they’re usually pretty smart about handling it. So let’s look at what the do (not necessarily what they say) and learn.


Before you start throwing plates at my head (“Jane, you dummy, who couldn’t live on less than a million–or $10 million–a year?”), let me hasten to say (crash, bang!) that I’m talking about the folks who not only earn big bucks, Read the rest of this entry »


Living Longer Tips: Are You Using Them?

lltWow, would I love to inherit my 93-year-old Nana’s longevity. This pistol in pantyhose still has her own Manhattan apartment and only recently retired from her bookkeeping career. She surfs the Internet, plays bridge regularly with her gal pals, and can tick off the birth date of everyone in our clan, right down to the youngest great-grandchild. There’s just one hitch, my husband reminds me: Nana is on his side of the family.

Point taken. But experts now say that I might actually have more to gain by following Nana’s example than I would if I shared her bloodline. In fact, an explosion of research has found that how you approach life and the choices you make play major roles in how long and well you’ll live. Here’s what experts on aging say you can do to stay young at heart for a long time to come. Read the rest of this entry »


Let’s Talk Anti-Aging for Women

ltaafwChances are good that if you own an antiaging cream, it’s for your face. We’re so focused on our reflection that we forget there’s other territory affected by time: the skin below our necks. While this thought may depress you (“Oh, great, now I’ve got to start looking for wrinkles on my back!”), it’s meant to be encouraging. “The skin on the body is so neglected that just by regularly using something–anything–you can make a visible difference,” says Nicholas Perricone, M.D., assistant professor of clinical dermatology at Yale University.

Products for the body are more effective than ever, because skin-care companies–including Estee Lauder, Jergens, Lubriderm, Neutrogena, and Olay–are tweaking formulas used in facial products to target thicker-skinned, less-sensitive areas. That often involves increasing concentrations of active antiaging ingredients such as alpha hydroxy acids, vitamin C, and retinol. So read on to find out how to get younger-looking skin–without having to join a gym or police what you put in your mouth! Read the rest of this entry »


The Diary Of A Perfect Wife??

pwIt is a matter of pride with me that the refrigerator is always stocked with my husband’s favorite brand of orange juice, and that the bathroom cupboard has a full complement of his beloved Dr. Bronner’s peppermint soap and that absurdly expensive Eau Sauvage stick deodorant. I make fresh lemonade every weekend in the summer (a seriously labor-intensive process); in winter the freezer is lined with individual serving-size containers of homemade peasant soup. Not to put too fine a point on it, I wait on this guy hand and foot.

In the interest of full disclosure, where he far outscores me (I keep score; he doesn’t) is in the generosity-of-spirit part of the marriage (which some might argue carries a higher degree of difficulty than dropping shirts off at the laundry). Take both kids to school so I can sleep a few extra minutes? Sure, he’ll do it. Go willingly with me to my 20th high school reunion, where, for five hours, he’ll have to listen to people he barely knows tell stories about people he hasn’t met? Of course. By contrast, when he asked me to accompany him to his college reunion–let the record show that I’d already been to three previous ones–I responded as I would to a root canal: Fine, if I’m sedated. Read the rest of this entry »


Out-Competing The Competition – The RIGHT Way

Most businesses have failed to learn from all the other competitive disciplines before them. You fight one competitor at a time, and you develop a strategy that beats competitors one at a time. There is no competition – there are only competitors.

I tried to understand why so many businesses fail to build competitor-specific strategies. I believe this is based on three reasons. First is the real lack of strategy at the brand level. I believe that while strategy is widely employed in plotting the future of the firm in terms of what businesses to buy, what countries to enter or what resources to own, little strategic attention is given to how one brand will beat another brand in the market.

If strategy is the way a brand endeavors to differentiate Read the rest of this entry »


Let’s Get Exclusive!

A key to understanding the power of exclusivity can be found in a statement by database marketing consultant Fred Newell in Discount Merchandiser (September 1998), “Marketers must learn to understand customers and customers’ perceptions of value.”

Collectors are willing to pay anywhere from $10 to $50 annually to “join a club” (i.e. put their names in a database), because they get something with a very high perceived value. This usually includes an exclusive “gift” – a doll, bear, or other collectible item that nonmembers can’t get – as well as newsletters, membership cards, buttons, posters, catalogs, the opportunity to purchase special “club edition” pieces, hats, T-shirts, or jewelry, and to attend special club events. These are all items and benefits that don’t cost the marketer a lot, but have a high value to the collector.

Many of the clubs benefit retailers by requiring members to redeem certificates for the club edition pieces at a retail store. This not only gives the retailer a cut of the selling price, but also brings highly qualified buyers into the store, where they will Read the rest of this entry »