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Jim Shankle
"The Best Marketing is Education that Entertains...and Engages a Targeted Customer support of C-Level Goals."
"The Best Marketing is Education that Entertains...and Engages a Targeted Customer support of C-Level Goals."

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The Expanding Role Through the Years of the CMO (Chief Marketing Officer)...and Increasing Turnover
As marketing channels and tools grew over the decades, so did the status and responsibilities of top marketing executives. Rising expectations have also led to declining tenure for this increasingly critical position.
The 5 articles in the recent Harvard Business Review are all enlightening. The first one is truly exceptional.
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What happens to your marketing effort when Google search goes away?
REALLY provocative Podcast by +Mark Schaefer and +Tom Webster
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Why Fortune 500s Don’t Invest In Growth
Big companies are "Execution Engines" designed to optimize operations and mitigate risk. However, growth comes from venturing into new arenas with an untested Business Model. That involves risk and a different mindset.

So how do big companies grow?

Read this +Strategyzer Post ( and watch their "Mastering Value Propositions" video on this website -
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Books Recommended for my Fall 2017 Classes
I have been teaching Marketing Strategies in the MBA program at John Brown University ( since 2009. During those years the course has evolved significantly in an effort to keep up with rapid and ongoing changes in the practice of Marketing.

As an example...
When I started, Social Media was in its infancy. Facebook had 150,000,000 users (vs. 2 Billion today) and Twitter 15,000,000 (vs. 325 Million today). As a Baby Boomer, Social Media for Marketing didn't come naturally so I was intimidated by it. However, I knew I needed to learn it to give students a Masters-level view of it.

As I learned more about this, I had a revelation...
It would be easier for me to learn Social Media for application in business Marketing than it would be for my 20-45 year old students to learn what I knew after 40+ years in business. That has proven to be the case. More on that some other time.

Another revelation...
Social Media for Marketing (and the many platforms available to practice it) were just the latest application of one of the traditional "4Ps" of Marketing - Promotion. Frankly, I consider this to be the #ShinyObject of Marketing - important but far from being the most important topic they will learn.

My attitude is that if an organization creates a Product that Fits the Needs of a Customer Segment, they can much more easily target the "Tribe" (Seth Godin - that is looking for their solution. I think Tony Ulwick (see below) has cracked this code.

As students do pre-Class 1 Assignments, they recognize that this course emphasizes the beginning of the Marketing Strategy Process - Marketing Planning - not the end. Their use of the Marketing Framework - starting from their first exercise ( - helps them understand how to do that.

Also note that these professionals (and more) seem to be coalescing around what is captured in the Framework: +Rita McGrath, +Alexander Osterwalder, +Tony Ulwick and Fred Reichheld (

To support this emphasis, here are the books students will use in my Fall 2017 course:

HBR Must Reads: On Strategic Marketing - The best articles ever published by Harvard Business Review on the timeless truths of Marketing Strategy. Included is the classic Marketing Myopia by Ted Levitt.

The End of Competitive Advantage by +Rita McGrath. Students do not need to buy this book since there are many good YouTube videos available that gets the point across. The point?: Business Models in the 21st century are no longer sustainable.

Business Model Generation - This book by +Alexander Osterwalder of +Strategyzer shows how to update Business Models that otherwise will be "disrupted" (based on McGrath's observations).
In a nutshell, a Business Model Canvas shows how the organization creates value for itself.
72 pages of this book are available for free (

Value Proposition Design - This second book by +Strategyzer focuses on the critical "Product (Value Proposition)" and "Market" (Customer Segment) components of the Business Model Canvas.
In a nutshell, a Value Proposition Canvas shows how the organization creates value for its Customers.
100 pages of this book are available for free (

What Customers Want - In this ground-breaking book, +Tony Ulwick founder and CEO of +Strategyn - shows how to go about understanding Customers Needs and applying that knowledge successfully. Outcome-Driven Innovation is a rigorous, non-traditional approach to market research using a process his organization developed, refined and used with clients for 25 years. The organization has been able to generate 80%+ Returns on new products their clients introduced as a result of these insights. ODI is the application process that Clayton Christensen - - termed "Jobs-To-Be-Done" in The Innovator's Solution. However, ODI goes much further than that.

Jobs To Be Done - Students are not required to get this book but probably will want to. It is an update of the above book by +Tony Ulwick with an introduction by +Alexander Osterwalder.

Blue Ocean Shift - This book (to be published in September) is apparently an update of Blue Ocean Strategy (which I adopted the last two times I taught). I like BOS because it is a great theory and offers some tips organizations can use to get there. We use some of their case studies to help students complete their Framework Assignments. This new book supposedly will offer a step-by-step process organizations can use to get to "Blue Oceans". It will be interesting to see if students get more from this book or those by +Tony Ulwick since both books claim their processes identify "white space" opportunities in Markets.

The 4 Billion Dollar Tweet - This simple but surprisingly comprehensive book by Ryan Holmes, founder and CEO of +Hootsuite ( explains Social Marketing to older, senior-level executives. We will still follow and discuss social media gurus +Mark Schaefer and +Jay Baer but no longer adopt their books.

__The Ultimate Question 2.0_ - We will not adopt this book by Fred Reichheld but will incorporate his groundbreaking Net Promoter System ( We'll apply it using Google Forms as confidential Surveys that students will take every couple of weeks to rate my performance as an instructor. I like to say "I thrive on feedback." but must admit it can sting in early classes as students find themselves overwhelmed by a class that is far different from what they expected. Usually by the end my NPS gets to about 70.

Note there is no textbook listed. For several years I adopted Marketing Strategy by Ferrell and Hartline ( but as I heard once, "When textbooks are published they are 3 years out of date." Considering how Marketing changes so quickly that's not acceptable. Consequently, in addition to the timeless books above, I will find articles online (numerous) that cover what the textbook teaches.

Anybody out there have comments or recommendations that would make the course even better?

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As +JeffBezos says, "Their profit is my opportunity."
Why is Amazon worth more than all of its “direct” rivals combined?
Amazon Innovative Culture + Business Model Portfolio = Great Valuation - Strategyzer Blog - The Extraordinary Size of Amazon in One Chart

It’s fascinating how Amazon, an eCommerce retailer, is more valuable than all of its retail rivals altogether. How is this possible?
Amazon’s innovation culture, and ability to create a strong business model portfolio, allows the company to expand into many areas.

#mbamarketingstrategies #JBUMBA #MBAMS
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Fake News About Walmart
Actually not so much fake as deceptive.
Twitter -
In this Twitter post by +Brian Solis, you link to a +Wall Street Journal article about how Walmart stopped the free booze after hours at and other recent acquisitions. It makes +Walmart sound like a bunch of stiff moralists and implies that they are attempting to change the culture of acquisitions which will backfire and result in failure.

HOWEVER, near the very end of the article you discover that, in fact:
"Wal-Mart reversed course. In recent weeks Jet brought back Thursday night happy hour in the office—generally beer, wine and food. 'It’s a pretty big signal from Wal-Mart that they were able to be flexible,' says Mr. Hanlon."

Deceptive for those who didn't read to the end.
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One of the downsides of Social Media...but with a fix.
h/t +Krishna De
Snap Maps on Snapchat - what you need to know to keep your teens safe online - video tutorial

I wrote about the new feature on Snapchat that was released this week - read the article here

I also voiced my concerns about online safety for our young people and it seems I am not alone thinking this with the police in the UK issuing safety warnings in terms of the issue of locations being shown on the map

So as the parent of three teens, and someone who knows one or two things about social media and online safety, both professionally and personally, here is a quick video that shows you as a parent what you need to know about the app so that you can have an informed conversation with your teen about when and how they can enable 'Ghost Mode' so they will not be found on the Snap Map.

I hope it helps - Snapchat is far from intuitive in terms of making this an easy feature to find - you have to be in 'selfie mode' and pinch the screen to get to the map.

Please share to parents or guardians of teens if you find this a helpful tip.

#SnapMap #Snapchat #onlinesafety
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5 TED Talks Every Business Owner Needs to Watch
Whether you are an entrepreneur or not, everyone today must think like one because anyone can suddenly become an independent contractor (aka "Unemployed"). Watch these videos to get into the entrepreneurial mindset.
- On hiring the right talent
- On leading a team through change
- On creating a social media strategy
- On losing control of your brand
- On building a business that lasts
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7 Ways to Get Recruiters to Notice You on LinkedIn
LinkedIn now has over 450 million members with just over 100 million of unique monthly viewers. Used by 98% of recruiters, there is no denying the importance of having a presence on this platform.

Everyone should consider themselves to be an independent contractor...especially if they work in a W-2 job for someone else. Keep your LinkedIn Profile polished using the 7 recommendations listed here - #MBAMarketingStrategies
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Very worthwhile cause. Join us at Sassafras Springs Winery (we won't be imbibing :) May 11th (this week).
Josh's Bearclaw Benefit
Josh's Bearclaw Benefit
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