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Marketing

James Black shares an evergreen article on brand positioning, developing marketing ideas, and choosing a marketing plan. This fall I had the opportunity to teach Marketing Campaigns: Strategy and Execution in a Masters in Integrated Marketing Program at NYU. It was a unique opportunity to step into the classroom and teach and, in so doing, relearn a lot of core marketing fundamentals. I thought I would share a few key takeaways for me from this class: Developing and Sustaining a…
Umbrex is pleased to welcome Seth McLaughlin with Springfield Advisors. Seth McLaughlin has many years of operating experience that he leverages to be a valuable advisor to his clients. His operating experience includes leading large, national brands at Procter & Gamble and Luxottica (e.g. LensCrafters, Sunglass Hut). His advisory work includes strategy consulting at The Boston Consulting Group and as an independent senior-level advisor. He has in-depth experience with strategic planning, marketing, acquisitions, franchising and turnarounds at both public and…
Winning projects is what independent consultants concentrate on most, but sometimes how you wrap up your work with a client is just as important as how you start the conversation, especially if you hope to win client recommendations. Best practices and tried and tested tips were revealed in Episode 287 of the Umbrex Unleashed podcast, featuring David A Fields, consultant and author of The Irresistible Consultant’s Guide to Winning Clients. Hosted by Will Bachman, the show finds its jumping off point…
David Edelman shares insights on segment-of-one marketing and the complexity of marketing in today’s multi-channel, personalized segmentation. A bit over 30 years ago, I published an early manifesto about the need to take Segment-of-One Marketing seriously. It was before the Internet, before smartphones, and just at the start of when advanced analytics were getting applied to consumer data. Yes, it does make me feel old. But while the examples from the article are now dated, the core precepts seem to…
Sean McCoy shares an older but always relevant post on why marketing departments need to align marketing spend with direction.  The CFO says to the CMO, “Let’s boost marketing spend by 1% this month. Where should we spend it?” The ability to answer that question is true north for Marketing departments in B2C industries. With big data and analytics radically reshaping the marketing function, CMOs now have the power to answer the CFO’s question almost instantly down to the specific…
Umbrex is pleased to welcome Casey Enders with Resolve, Inc. Casey has dedicated her career to advising leaders – including philanthropists and senior executives at Fortune 500 companies, large nonprofits, and the United Nations – on how to strategically evolve their organizations and teams to ensure their operations and people are positioned for the greatest impact. Most recently, she led Unlocking Potential, a nonprofit established in 2017 and dedicated to expanding access to high-quality professional development in the social sector….
Johannes Hoech shares a post that identifies five key components of a strong marketing message. Digital marketing techniques, like “Account-Based Marketing,” for example, heavily depend on high-quality content that can draw a crowd. Now, to stand out from all the other marketing content from organizations trying to get attention also requires offering compelling thought leadership content with a differentiated point of view that highlights your advantages, but without degenerating into a sales pitch. Prospects typically start their “customer journey” by…
Umbrex is pleased to welcome Federico Di Franco.  Federico spent six years at Bain & Co Brazil in commercial and marketing practices for consumer goods companies, airlines and automotive. He loves to create value and lead people in order to achieve their full potential and generate measurable benefits and great impact for companies and organizations. Recognized for assessing operational needs and developing solutions to save costs, improve revenues, and drive commercial full potential initiatives, Federico is happy to collaborate on…
  For everyone who has ever struggled with identifying a clear, concise, and compelling value proposition, Barry Horwitz shares an article that clarifies the issues and identifies the pitfalls.  In his book, Your Music and People, Derek Sivers addresses a problem faced by musicians: being asked to describe the kind of music they play. Saying “all kinds,” doesn’t help. That, according to Sivers, is like saying, “I speak all languages.” Nor does claiming to be unique, since all musicians rely…
Umbrex is pleased to welcome Rob Ristagno with Sterling Woods Group. Rob shows companies how to quickly and profitably grow sales with certainty by using a data-driven market segmentation methodology called Scout X. Now the CEO of the Sterling Woods Group, Ristagno began his career at McKinsey and served as a senior executive at several private equity-owned businesses, including America’s Test Kitchen and Homesite Insurance. He has helped companies big and small, including Visa, Pepsi, and Comcast. His work has…
  James Black provides an update on how COVID-19 forced museums and cultural institutions to reshape how they interact with the public and still provide an engaging experience. As the WSJ noted, “With galleries and museums closed due to Covid-19, online offerings blossomed—giving viewers the chance to experience outstanding exhibitions and masterpieces in a new, digital way.” (12/13/20). From an analysis of the activities of 20+ institutions around the world, completed via desk research and interviews with various CEOs, board…
Umbrex is pleased to welcome Cecile Bernheim with S2E Partners. Cécile created S2E Partners consulting firm in 2014. She advises Boards, CEOs and executive teams of small and mid-cap companies on Strategy-to-Execution and Corporate Governance. Her action is guided by her conviction that “aligned strategy, disciplined execution and good governance lead to greater results” Cecile put her deep understanding of consumers, customers and market dynamics at the service of her clients and delivers valued insights and recommendations. Her professional experience…
  Jeffery Perry shares a post on how business must walk a fine line between delivering content through digital media and overstepping consumer privacy. In the age of data analytics and digital marketing, businesses have grown in the ability to gain insights into consumer needs based on capturing their behavior and tendencies. Consumers want their preferences known and often freely share their information to get more personalized and tailored experiences. At the same time, consumers increasingly want their privacy. This…
Umbrex is pleased to welcome Markus Gremmel. Markus runs his independent consulting and investment firm with focus on sales, marketing, sales partnerships, and development of business models. Markus has a deep industry expertise in cards, payments, consumer lending, and financial services in general, emanating from a variety of senior roles in banking: e.g., Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) at BAWAG Group, non-executive board member of a leading card issuer and ATM operator, board member of a niche bank in debt capital…
  Jason George provides a riveting read on cost and value, cunning tactics, and strategies from behind the scenes of manufacturers and pricing models. Sleep tight The choice of a mattress is fraught with implications, given how much of life is spent asleep and the infrequency of their purchase, not to mention the high price tag. Manufacturers are keenly aware of this and do their best to stoke the wallet-opening concerns of customers, using florid language to highlight coil counts…
Umbrex is pleased to welcome Eduard Saez with Antifragile Solutions.  Eduard Sáez spent 3 years at Bain & Company, mainly focused in M&A and Private Equity practice. After those years, Eduard co-founded a fashion ecommerce startup. He exited the company after selling his equity to an industrial investor, and decided to travel the world for a while. He is currently living in Andorra, working as an independent consultant doing strategy & marketing projects mainly in the fintech space. He also…
Umbrex is pleased to welcome Valerie Warland with VW Management.  Valerie is an independent non executive director based in Luxembourg, with a strong focus on alternative investment structures. She has more than 25 years of experience in the finance industry, where she enjoyed several strategic positions, like PMO director at Alter Domus, leading global alternative fund administrator, financial planning and analysis director at Paypal Europe, management information vice-president in the Dexia Banking Groupe. She started her career as a strategy…
  David A. Fields shares a few key tips on promoting your services through a podcast in the best possible way. Podcasts are (relatively) easy to produce, the barrier to entry is virtually zero, and they’ve become more popular than cabbage patch dolls in the 1980s. Should your consulting firm have a podcast? Probably. Can you leverage the podcast movement to your consulting firm’s advantage? Absolutely. My consulting firm can trace a substantial portion of our revenues to podcasts. Your…
Umbrex is pleased to welcome Alun Thomas with Thema. Alun was with McKinsey’s London office from 1991-95. He joined the Firm as an experienced hire, having designed bits of Aero engines and run a battery factory on the edge of the Sahara desert. After consulting and profit responsible leadership in blue-chips, Alun focussed on helping early stage disruptive B2B businesses. Alun has returned to his roots in West Wales and is particularly interested in initiatives that contribute to the decarbonisation…
Umbrex is pleased to welcome Nigel Dews with GNG Partners in Growth. Nigel has experience in technology, finance, media, telecommunications, energy, FMCG and venture capital. This experience has spanned executive, board and consulting roles in both public and private companies. Nigel began his career as an Economist at the Reserve Bank of Australia before joining McKinsey & Company and working in Sydney, New York and London offices. Nigel has held leadership roles in many growth companies including as CEO of…
Umbrex is pleased to welcome Samantha O’Neill.  Samantha is an independent consultant with expertise in Marketing, Digital strategy and Customer Experience. She was most recently the Chief Marketing Officer for Sun Life Canada where she ran a broad portfolio including Marketing, Customer strategy, the Digital properties (from the strategy through development), and the newly built Customer Experience capabilities. Prior to Sun Life, she was with LoyaltyOne and ran their Analytics function, serving Air Miles’ Partners with advanced analytics to support…
Umbrex is pleased to welcome Piotr Bendykowski. Piotr has led and participated in over a hundred consulting projects at McKinsey, Accenture, KPMG and on his own. He has also spent over 10 years as CFO, CEO, board member and chairman of the board. His industry experience is wide, with most time in financial services and manufacturing. His specialty is rapid and radical improvement of key metrics, for example revenue and income. A strategy expert, he has also worked in finance,…
  Susan Meier shares an always-relevant post on storytelling that explains why brevity, honesty, and making it memorable are key components of a good story well told.  There’s a passage from the childhood classic One Fish Two Fish, Red Fish Blue Fish that I personally consider to be the best story ever told: ‘My hat is old, my teeth are gold. I have a bird I like to hold. My shoe is off, my foot is cold. My shoe is…
  Johannes Hoech shares a practical post and instructional video that explains how to grow more lead generation enquiries with less budget using LinkedIn tools.  As a follow on to MarqetU’s recent blogs on low-cost lead generation approaches for B2B companies to re-start their sales pipelines, MarqetU’s CEO Johannes Hoech recorded this 7 minute instructional video below on how to use LinkedIn Navigator and 4 companion extensions to generate highly targeted leads. The 4 extensions useful for leveraging LinkedIn Navigator’s…
  In this comprehensive report, Angela Thompson shares marketing insights on Black Friday patterning.  Retailers’ promotions during Black Friday were significantly reduced this year; both in number of promotions offered and the richness of those offers Retailers spread out their promotions for a longer period of time to reflect a lower in-store capacity and acknowledge a shift of consumer behavior driven by COVID-19. In order to provide a longer promotional time period, retailers were financially driven to reduce how high they…
  Tommy Kim provides an article that explains how rethinking your brand can help you grow.  The picture of a Lockheed Martin F35 at the opening of this article sends a very clear message. It demonstrates power, pride, quality, stealth, and dominance. Similarly, throughout your life, you will craft a very clear, personal brand for yourself. A brand identity that you want people to identify you with and to remember you by. As you grow and thrive, you will deepen…
Umbrex is pleased to welcome Bart Sichel with bps Captura. Bart is President of bps Captura, which provides independent advisory and consulting to corporate senior leaders, private equity firms, and boards across multiple consumer facing industries.  Bart has hands on experience driving growth, and provides expertise in Marketing, Digital Transformation, Ecommerce, Innovation, Format Renewal, and Customer Loyalty. Bart was Chief Marketing Officer at Burlington Stores, leading Marketing, Ecommerce, and Corporate Strategy, and he was part of the dedicated executive management…
  Jayanth Krishnan provides an article that explains how the revised metrics of CLV2.0, inspired by jobs theory, reveals the limitations of customer lifetime value (CLV) metrics and provides better customer insight, consequently lowering your acquisition cost and creating demand.   Abstract:  CLV is a sound quantitative metric provided the data fed to it has a sound basis in customer’s fundamental approach to making choices. CLV2.0 is a revised metric inspired by Jobs theory, that addresses CLV’s limitations in addition…
Umbrex is pleased to welcome Anthony Howe.  Anthony has worked at three leading consultancies including McKinsey (strategy), AT Kearney (manufacturing/operations) and Accenture (Information Technology).  After leaving consulting, Anthony joined the financial services industry, initially launching a corporate development team for the CEO of a private payments company and then progressing to leadership roles at Wachovia, Wells Fargo and, most recently, USAA. In his most recent role as Head of Strategic Intelligence at USAA, Anthony managed three teams including corporate strategy,…
  When interviewed on the P is for Profit podcast, Susan Meier exposes the biggest myths about branding, identifies what a small business can do to establish its brand and create a competitive advantage, and explains how to make your business relevant to your target audience. A visual artist is just a fancy way of saying, I make art, like, sketching, drawing, sculptures. And that’s what I studied in my undergrad, visual art and making art as well as art…
Umbrex is pleased to welcome Ulrich Schumacher.  Ulrich is an expert in CRM, CEM, e-commerce and marketing; especially in the B2B and B2C retail environment. To date, he has been able to successfully apply his skills in various renowned companies in consulting and line functions. Ulrich is able to lead and realign large marketing areas in a contemporary and future-oriented way. Due to his extensive knowledge in the areas of on- and offline instruments, he achieved concrete marketing successes. He…
Umbrex is pleased to welcome Stefan Faust with < F A U S T >.  Stefan spent 2,5 years at McKinsey, as a generalist consultant, then became a partner at a leading communications consultancy. Followed by 15 years of experience in the banking / wealth management sector, focusing on strategy, programme management & coordination, transformation & change and marketing & communications. He lives in Zurich / Switzerland and practices and teaches yoga and meditation. He is a certified coach and…
Umbrex is pleased to welcome Sara Zanichelli. Sara has 10+ years of strategy consulting experience, as core member of Financial Services Practice at BCG and previously at Simon-Kucher & Partners (recognized as world leader in pricing consultancy). After BCG, she held managerial roles in ING Bank (innovative digital bank, agile pioneer), being responsible for customer value management (marketing, pricing, customer intelligence, complains) and later serving as tribe leader for lending products. Sara spent the last 6 months in Qatar, working…
Umbrex is pleased to welcome Kordt Griepenkerl with Med-Beratung. Kordt  spent five years in the McKinsey healthcare practice in Germany and then worked in leadership positions for the medtech firms Biotronik and Trumpf Medical (now part of Hill-Rom). He covers a wide range of fields from operations to sales and marketing and extensive international experience. He and has been running his own consulting firm  Med-Beratung UG since 2012. Prior to McKinsey, Kordt obtained this PdD in theoretical physics. He lives…
  James Black shares the third article in the  series Seeing 20/20 in 2020. Each post shares steps to help brands and businesses improve their marketing strategies. This article focuses on marketing plans and capabilities.  To kick off the new year, I suggested “20 Questions to Help Your Brand or Business See 20/20 in 2020.” And what a year it has been already! No doubt, COVID-19 is leading many brands/businesses to revisit their marketing plans, but the logic here still…
  In this latest post from Robbie Kellman Baxter, she explains the difference between ad revenue and subscription revenue, subscription pricing, valuable content, and advertising in a subscription-based business.  I have always encouraged organizations to choose a lane when it comes to pricing. The power of subscriptions is that they are a good way to price when you’re solving the subscriber’s problem on an ongoing basis. Subscription pricing aligns the goals of the reader with the ongoing goals of the…
Umbrex is pleased to welcome Chris Moe with Cartograph. Chris Moe joined McKinsey in 2011 as a BA, focusing primarily on Sales & Marketing for B2C companies, across topics including pricing, digital pricing, and growth. After leaving to spend two years at a structured credit hedge fund in NYC, he returned to McKinsey and split between Marketing and Sales and work in Education, focused on University transformations. Chris co-founded Cartograph in 2018, an agency focused exclusively on Amazon consulting for…
  Jonathan Paisner shares his expert insights on branding in this new video series. This week, a 150-second overview of The Branded House vs. The House of Brands. There is a little bit of brand in everything your business says and does. We’ve created this series to give you a little bit of brand thinking to inject into your business strategy, and help you make smarter decisions. So today, let’s spend the next 150 seconds talking about brand architecture.  …
  David Fields explains how to maximize the benefits of video conferencing by encouraging clients to give a testimonial. He provides five stellar tips, including questions to ask to ensure you make the most of the moment.  Your consulting firm’s prospects and clients are settling into the video call format. Other than the relationship-building advantages of video, has this newly-accepted communication medium ushered in any valuable opportunities for your consulting firm? You betcha. Video testimonials are where it’s at. Any…
Umbrex is pleased to welcome Mika Malin. Mika has broad experience in line management and business development roles, as a senior executive and as a management consultant.  He’s tackled complex board level as well as factory floor level business problems as a consultant at the BCG, in a boutique consulting firm and as an independent consultant. Mika has a track record of successfully leading businesses and people with a P&L responsibility, as well as planning and executing strategy and M&A…
Umbrex is pleased to welcome Shubu Mitra with MarCaps.  Shubu is COO of MarCaps and is dedicated to helping clients successfully apply industry leading frameworks, tools and processes to design a modern marketing organization and create a capability development plan.  Prior to co-founding MarCaps LLC, Shubu led Agile Measurement to assist marketers measure, monitor and manage their online and offline marketing, advertising and promotion efforts using agile data-driven approaches. Shubu was also Director of Connection Effectiveness and Productivity at The…
Umbrex is pleased to welcome Swan Sit.  wan Sit is an independent consultant specializing in digital, marketing and strategy. Having spent the past decade of her career accelerating digital into legacy companies, she held two key roles as a Vice President at Nike — overseeing Global Digital Marketing during the Emmy-winning “Dream Crazy” campaign featuring Colin Kaepernick, and running Digital Operations, Product, Supply Chain and Service for a $2B ecommerce business during the Air Jordan 11 Concord launch, the largest…
Umbrex is pleased to welcome Caroline Wooldridge. Caroline Wooldridge spent a few years at BCG after an MBA at Wharton. Since BCG, she has led operations at ~100 person start-up, and most recently spent a year in strategy & transformation work at WeWork. Prior to Wharton, she worked 7 years in marketing and media. She has just left WeWork to begin independent consulting. Caroline has particular experience in transformation, operating models and org structure, strategic planning, board / funding material,…
Umbrex is pleased to welcome George Nahra with GZN Consulting.  George spent four years in the Chicago office of McKinsey, in the retail and sales & marketing practices, serving predominantly retailers and other consumer-facing clients. After leaving McKinsey, he spent several years as a Senior Management Associate at Bridgewater Associates. He then returned to retail, re-joining Abercrombie & Fitch (where he started his career several years earlier) and building the company’s first Strategic Planning function. He then move to Chico’s FAS, a…
  Stephen Wunker explores the emotional connection in marketing and how this connection can be applied to Jobs to be Done to lay out pathways for creating targeted, meaningful, and relevant innovations. The modern Mini Cooper—offered in a variety of eye-popping colors—burst onto the scene in 2001 as a chic version of an old British classic. It quickly became a fixture in trendy urban neighborhoods around the globe. Today, nearly twenty years later, the car still hasn’t lost its freshness:…
  James Black provides a comprehensive list of questions designed to help you build a marketing strategy that can help your business move forward in 2020. Entering the New Year provides a great opportunity to take a quick audit of your brand or business to identify opportunity areas in your 1) customer understanding, 2) go to market strategy and 3) marketing capabilities. These 20 questions are designed as thought-starters to help you get a sense of the state of your…