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What comes first: the budget or the plan?

Why a test fund should be in your 2019 budget request

It’s hard to believe 2019 budgeting and planning efforts are already underway. Unfortunately, the state of business today often means budgets are due before planning even starts. That can make it difficult to significantly change a marketing program from year to year because it’s hard to request a budget without knowing what you’re requesting a budget for.

How to combat that challenge? I’d advocate for building in a “test fund” for 2019, which will allow your team to try new things – say, an emerging social media platform or a new customer engagement technique – even if you haven’t fully scoped what those activities look like yet. That said, it might be easier for you to get a test fund approved if you have at…

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Sales vs Marketing – A false choice, and 3 ways to keep it that way

Generally speaking, the end of summer is very bittersweet, for while we are saying goodbye to long summer evenings and perhaps an extended period of re-charging, many organizations are dusting off their planning caps and hosting the first of many forecasting sessions to begin outlining the business plans, objectives and resources required to conquer the upcoming calendar year.

And what’s usually first up on these agendas? Budgets.

Almost all organizations of scale are structured with separate marketing and sales teams, which works well functionally to account for certain divisions of labor, but operationally can lead to consternation and even contention when it comes to allocating budgets. Inevitably, each department will jockey for more funding, pitting two…

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7 habits of highly effective digital marketers

The late Steven R. Covey identified “7 Habits” that helped business people around the globe become more effective. Today, consider the following 7 habits to become more effective digital marketers.

  1. Align your marketing and communications spend with your target audiences’ information consumption. If you’re investing more in analog media and channels than you are in digital, you may be out of balance.
    Starting point: Survey your audiences to understand where they prefer to consume content. If you’re not game for doing a survey, search for industry reports on audience preferences. Use these insights to calibrate your communications mix. For example, if your audience is on social media and you’re running print ads, you’re likely missing an opportunity.
  2. Measure key…
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Merger objection lawsuits getting tougher for plaintiffs’ attorneys

The easy money business of merger and acquisition lawsuits may be getting more difficult for the plaintiffs’ law firms that specialize in these questionable class actions, according to new data from Cornerstone Research* and some recent legal decisions.

In the nearly three years since the Delaware Court of Chancery first signaled its hostility to the proliferation of so-called disclosure-only merger lawsuits (culminating in the landmark In re Trulia, Inc. Stockholder Litigation decision), the sector has undergone considerable turmoil. (See my previous blog post.)

In 2015, the first year impacted by the Delaware court’s change of heart, the percentage of M&A deals valued at more than $100 million that attracted shareholder lawsuits dropped to 84 percent from the…

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Preparing for an IPO? Train employees on 3 areas of public company disclosure

This year is on track to be one of the best ever for the IPO market, with $9 billion raised in January alone – the most capital ever raised in January on record. The momentum grew in the second quarter and is anticipated to continue throughout the remainder of the year. In fact, in a recent interview, New York Stock Exchange President Stacey Cunningham commented on the strength of the market, noting the NYSE alone has raised $19.3 billion on 41 IPOs so far in 2018, and expects a number of companies to come to market next month and even more at the end of the third quarter.

For the investor relations leads helping companies navigate the IPO process, it is a busy and exciting time to say the least. So much to do as you prepare your organization for the moment shares…

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