Author Archives: Malcolm Wicks

Should I research Competitors?

It's easy to become a bit paranoid about competitors, especially when it seems like they are winning more business than you are. The temptation is to spend a lot of

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What makes a good supplier great?

A great supplier is one who retains a larger than average percentage of existing customers and finds it easier than competitors to attract new customers.  But what is it that

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Your customers love you – or do they?

Many suppliers of products or services are over optimistic in thinking that their customers love them.  Perhaps this is because they don't asked customers what they really think about their

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Customer feedback

Often the most interesting and useful customer feedback doesn't come from Sales or Marketing. It comes from functions that deal directly with the customer such as Customer Services, Logistics and

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Why is a good business plan important?

I see a business plan as the touchstone to test all major business decisions and and to ultimately help build the objectives of everyone in the organisation.  It's therefore more

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Loyalty – dogs are loyal customers are not

Customers buy from you for a range of different reasons based on their perceptions and the relative value that they place on: price, relationship, product/service, expertise and trust. There are

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Should marketing and sales be separate functions?

I'm often asked if Marketing and Sales should be combined into just one function.  I always answer in the same way.  It’'s not about where they report but what they

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How to get a Marketing budget approved

It seems to have become an automatic reaction for us marketing people to say don't cut the Marketing budget in difficult times. To me this is rather naive. The vast

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Why Marketing plans fail

Treating a Marketing plan as a stand alone document is a sure way to reduce it's impact and make it to hard to get budget approval. I've carried out Marketing

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What networking events work best?

I spent 6 years looking after events for IoD Berkshire and spent a lot of time asking members what events worked for them. The common answer was events that draw

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Definition of innovation

Innovation is anything that makes life better for customers, easier for staff and cheaper for the business. The best innovations do all three at once.   Blog: home              

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Delighting customers is just Marketing blah blah

Most customers don't actually want to be "delighted" they just want their expectations to be met and companies to deliver as promised. Successful companies that really do care about their

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Help with business strategy

Lots of management teams are unsettled by the current "dynamic" business environment.  Some react by doing nothing and hoping things will just turn out OK. Rarely a good idea!  Others

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Is poor customer service a big problem

It could represent a big problem but I want to raise a "Not always" flag. What customers want is to be treated consistently. That can be consistently good or consistently

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Don’t cut costs across the board

In tough economic times it’s very tempting to cut costs across the board.  In the heat and urgency of the moment it's an easy thing to do. The problem is

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Why business plans succeed

Some of the most brilliant plans and strategies never get implemented. The problem is often communicating the strategy in a simple and easy to understand manner to a lot of

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Meeting customer expectations

One of the myths is that meeting customer expectations or providing a better customer experience means spending lots of money.  In a lot of situations it costs very little or

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2014 the year of understanding customers

2014 is the year of understanding customers Many of us think we understand our customers but then they take some action which really surprises us.  Like not giving us an

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