August 2019    
short stories and essays for marketers -

Grant Lee, CPM
Brand audits for MSMEs: Why and How?

It can be argued that a start-up micro or small business has no brand, because it has no customers, suppliers, and competitors to define the brand. There has been little or no interaction with the entrepreneur and there is little or no experience with the business and its services or products. An MSME start-up may say that their brand is known, and in the same breath refer to their corporate logo.
Defining a business brand is not easy. A brand is the intangible sum of a product's attributes (David Ogilvy). Ogilvy's definition of a product brand can apply to a business brand. It is what people think about when they hear or see the name of a business. The business brand lies in the mind of people. It is realized through the experience of people with the business and its products/services. Brand is not solely a logo. Think of Toronto Raptors vs Trump Organization and what comes to mind.
(3 minutes)
Gaining work by proposal competition can be a
zero-sum game

See the 65 sec. video.
If all that is being considered in marketing tactics is cash moving between a purchaser of services and a supplier, you might be playing a zero-sum game. Zero-sum is a situation in game theory in which one person's gain is equivalent to another's loss, so the net change in wealth or benefit is zero. 

... And, so goes competition for work through proposal competition. It does not matter if 20 are competing for a project through a request for proposal (RFP), or two. The net result is one winner and one, or a collective of losers...

(3 minutes)
Information communication technology (ICT) tools for small enterprises - applied marketing tactics

In 2019, the Tanzania Private Sector Foundation (TPSF) contracted with the Canadian Executive Services Organization (CESO) to provide training on customer analysis and Information Communication Technology (ICT) tools.
TPSF has been providing their members with traditional techniques/services which are quickly becoming obsolete due to improved communication technology, changed needs by members, changed business environment in world markets, and changed government policies on business and investment. As a CESO volunteer adviser, I was assigned to train and mentor newly recruited staff in the membership department. Training and mentoring included a simplified way of recruiting more members using digital tools

(7 minutes)
Value for service begins with credentialed marketers

In the beginning, I frequently heard from licenced professionals with whom I worked that marketing was something nebulous. Back then, marketing was an activity passed along to the well-dressed male with a full mane who could play golf, get choice seats at professional sports events, tell (somewhat) funny jokes at staff parties and client meetings, and feign friendships with everyone, almost.
Then it was the ladies turn. If you were well groomed, spoke well with a sense of humour (that was strained at times in the presence of sexist jokes and lewd comments), and carried yourself with grace and beauty, the marketing coordinator job was a high-heel shoe-in.
In both scenarios that are now too outrageous to be believed, the "nice people" in charge of marketing were oblivious to marketing principles, standards, ethics, strategy, and tactics. They were having a wonderful time that really boiled down to advertising and entertainment at the whim of a boss in the name of marketing.

(3 minutes)
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Grant Lee

Marketing is not an expense. It is an investment in the future of your organization.