AdVerb is dead: long live ‘SPE Update’

After more than 12 years, we’ve retired AdVerb – the long-running Ballistix periodical.

We’ve replaced AdVerb with SPE Update – an email update of new posts, as I publish them, on my blog.

As you probably know, my blog has been in existence for some time now. But I’ve been frustrated by the fact that most of the content is hidden away. This is sad if you share my (entirely unbiased) opinion that some of the content is pretty damn impressive!

Consider just these recent posts, for example:

And my next news item bodes well for the quality of future posts!

Let’s re-start the conversation

If you used to be a member of my old Yahoo group, you’ll remember that this forum facilitated an ongoing (and energetic debate). I’m hoping to re-start this on my blog. Accordingly, as you read posts in this update, please click-through to the blog to review comments and join the conversation.

A book in the works

We’re happy to have just inked an agreement with Greenleaf Book Group in Austin Texas – who will be publishing my forthcoming book (tentatively entitled ‘The Machine’).

This will be a traditional book (not a compilation of articles).  It’s my intention for it to be a comprehensive treaty on Sales Process Engineering – both the theory and its application.

I’ve penciled out a day a week to write this book – and my target is to produce one chapter draft each week. It’s my intention to post each chapter on my blog as I complete it, meaning it’ll arrive in your inbox within hours (if you’d like to be notified faster, just follow me on Twitter: @justinroffmarsh).

On new media

I’m frequently asked for my opinion on new media (blogs, Twitter and all that).

I may post on this in the next month or so, but let me share some quick thoughts (in part, because I can’t bear to publish something that doesn’t add at least some value).

Obviously, there’s a lot that’s new about new media.  The technology, for one.

But, there’s a lot that’s not so new. You may recall that, years ago, I used to spruik about a concept called Relationship-centric Marketing. The basic idea is that you should approach a sale in two stages:

  1. First, win a relationship, by establishing yourself as a thought leader, publishing a periodical (and a manifesto), running events and, as a consequence of all that, acquiring subscribers
  2. Second, manage your subscriber-base in such a way as to harvest a rich crop of sales opportunities (and ultimately sales)

Now, there’s nothing wrong with this model (it’s one I’ve always adopted, for example). However, for most organizations it’s impractical, for one of three reasons:

  1. The organization sells a low-involvement product
  2. The organization isn’t a thought leader and doesn’t have the (not insignificant) resources required to become one in the short term
  3. In the short run there are much, much, greater gains to be had by reengineering the sales function

Proceeding cautiously

So, here’s my opinion on new media. On the one hand, I’m excited, because it slashes the costs associated with establishing and maintaining thought leadership.

On the other hand, I’m reticent to issue a general call to arms (as so many others have) for the same reasons I stopped spruiking about Relationship-centric Marketing some years ago.

So, if you do take some first steps with new media, terrific (it’s fun to be an early adopter!) But, my advice is to proceed cautiously. If you’re already a thought leader, you don’t need my input, you’re already well and truly on your way.  But if you’re not, perhaps your first objective should be to simply get acquainted.  Stick with the basics: personal LinkedIn and Facebook profiles, and a Twitter account. Oh, and set up a Google Reader account and and search for (and subscribe to) a few blogs relating to subjects in which you’re interested.

Remember focus is less about what you choose to do than it is about the many things you choose not to do! (With thanks to Eli Goldratt, who stressed this point at this years annual TOC conference.)