The Most Common Strategy Mistakes

I recently read this article from the Harvard Business School Working Knowledge newsletter.  It is an excerpt of an interview between the author (Joan Magretta) and Michael E. Porter, renowned authority on competition and strategy.

 Even though it is an excerpt, the Q & A format touches on the key mistakes we all can relate to as business operators.  They are the sort of missteps we wish we could avoid.  They are wasteful of time and other resources; yet we appear unable (perhaps unwilling) to remedy the situation.

 According to the interview, businesses make several common strategy mistakes, including the following:

  1. The biggest of all mistakes is competing to be the best, going down the same path as everybody else and thinking that somehow you can achieve better results.  This is a hard race to win.  So many managers confuse operational effectiveness with strategy.
  2. Another common mistake is confusing marketing with strategy.  It’s natural for strategy to arise from a focus on customers and their needs.  So in many companies, strategy is built around the value proposition, which is the demand side of the equation.  But a robust strategy requires a tailored value chain — it’s about the supply side as well, the unique configuration of activities that delivers value.
  3. It is a mistake to overestimate strengths.  This is indicative of an inward-looking bias observed in many organizations.
  4. A common mistake is getting the definition of the business wrong, or getting the geographic scope wrong. Are you really a global operation?
  5. The worst mistake — and the most common one — is not having a strategy at all.  Most executives think they have a strategy when they really don’t, at least not a strategy that meets any kind of rigorous, economically grounded definition.

 As I indicated in the opening paragraph, these mistakes are familiar.  We are guilty of committing some, or all, and know of businesses in the same trap. Why then do these mistakes persist?  What is responsible for the failure to strategize –in the economically meaningful sense?

 According to Porter, many barriers distract, deter, and divert managers from making clear strategic choices.  Some of the most significant barriers come from the many hidden biases embedded in internal systems, organizational structures, and decision-making processes.

 He sums things up as follows: “Strategy links choices on the demand side with the unique choices about the value chain (the supply side). You can’t have competitive advantage without both” – Michael E. Porter.

CLICK HERE to read the article.  There is a link to information about Joan Magretta’s book, which distills Porter’s core concepts and frameworks into a concise guide for business practitioners.



© Rachel Agheyisi, Report Content Writer, Report Content Writer’s Bolg, 2012


How Is Your Writing?

Guilty as charged!  Yes, those of us who make our living as business writers sometimes live in “another world” and write in a manner that is meaningful to the relatively few inhabitants of that world.  Our sophistication becomes synonymous with how many codes and industry jargon we can throw into the narrative.  The benefit for the intended reader (who, in the b2b marketplace, is usually the customer), is completely relegated to secondary consideration.

 The result is miscommunication, failure to communicate, missed opportunities, and wasted resources.

 If all of this sounds familiar, there’s help.

 I recommend this report (The Gobbledygook Manifesto) from David Meerman Scott.  It is intelligent and straight-to-the-point.  Among other things, he states this “golden” rule worth repeating:  “when you write, start with your buyers, not with your product” (page 7). It looks like a great mantra for writers everywhere, myself included.

 Do yourself a favor; click here and grab a copy of this report.

© Rachel Agheyisi, Report Content Writer, Report Content Writer’s Blog, 2012


What Is Your Marketing Strategy?

David Meerman Scott“Imagine you’re the head of marketing at a theme park, and you’re charged with announcing a major new attraction.  What would you do?

 That’s how David Meerman Scott introduces this manual (ebook) he published in 2008.

 He goes on to share some of his insights on the power of viral marketing using resources that are (now) readily available to everyone.  These resources/tools include  free and informative Web content, a network of people to light the fire (a.k.a., “fire starters”, “rainmakers”), and links that make content sharing easy.  He explains how these relatively obvious tools become phenomenal in the mind and hands of the creative marketer.

 We can all tap into, and replicate the viral marketing success formula.

 CLICK HERE to get your free copy of this informative manual.


©Rachel Agheyisi, Report Content Writer, Report Content Writer’s Blog, 2012

Book Recomendation – Emotional Equations

I’m glad to be back to doing one of my favorite things, which is reading books (particularly of the print variety). I pre-ordered this latest book (Emotional Equations:  Simple Truths for Creating Happiness + Success) from Chip Conley.  When it arrived, I dug right in because I’d heard the author speak at a webinar in 2011 and was curious to see if his book matched his words.  So far, I’m deeply amazed by Conley’s authenticity and insights.  What a timely resource for all seeking fresh ways to create tools for personal meaning, happiness and success.  I am glad I bought the print version because this is not a book to be rushed, but one to be STUDIED.  It is indeed designed to be a manual for life: professional and personal.  I have a good feeling that by the time I work my through it, my copy will be marked up in bright yellow highlights.  I recommend this book for your 2012 reading list.

 CLICK HERE and check out this book!


© Rachel Agheyisi, Report Content Writer, Report Content Writer’s Blog, 2012

Small Biz Success Summit – Special Offer Deadline

Small Biz Success Summit 2012Thursday, January 19th, is the last day to get 50% off the ticket to the upcoming Small Biz Success Summit.

 Small Biz Success Summit 2012 is the online conference for small businesses that want to master social media marketing, brought to you by Social Media Examiner.

 This online conference is all about using social media to gain more exposure, increase traffic, better engage customers (and prospects) and increase your sales. And it’s just for small businesses.

 The summit includes 25 well-known small business social media pros, including John Jantsch (author, Duct Tape Marketing), Anita Campbell (founder, Small Business Trends), Michael Stelzner (founder, Social Media Examiner and author, Launch), Mari Smith (co-author, Facebook Marketing), Jesse Stay (author, Google+ for Dummies), Hollis Thomases (author, Twitter Marketing), David Siteman Garland (founder, “The Rise to the Top” and author, Smarter, Faster, Cheaper), Joe Pulizzi (founder, Content Marketing Institute and co-author, Get Content, Get Customers), Brian Clark (founder, Copyblogger Media), Lee Odden (founder, TopRank Online Marketing), Ramon Ray (founder, Small Biz Technology and author, Technology Solutions for Growing Businesses) and Lewis Howes (co-author, LinkedWorking)–just to mention a few.

 All the presenters are actual small business owners.  They’ll share extensive case studies and how-to sessions, including how they use Google+, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, blogs and video to beat the competition.

 Here’s a sample of the topics the summit will cover:

  •  From Social to Sales: 4 Steps for Growing Your Small Business Revenue;
  • How Small Businesses Are Growing With Facebook (Case Studies);
  • 10 Google+ Tips for Every Small Business Owner;
  • Mastering LinkedIn for Small Business Success;
  • 7 Unique Blogging Strategies to Explode Your Company’s Traffic, Trust Factor and Brand.

 Go here to see all the sessions.

 Hundreds of your peers have already signed up! Click here to save 50% (the discount expires on Thursday), and get a free sample class (see upper right yellow box).

Register now for Small Biz Success Summit 2012 (the 50% discount offer expires on Thursday, January 19).


The organizers have added nine great bonuses worth more than $491 for early registrants. These are high-value video courses. When you sign up for the event, you get all of these included at no extra cost

 Here’s a sample of the valuable bonuses you’ll be getting:

  • 7 Proven Strategies to Grow and Engage Your Facebook Fans;
  • 20 Actionable Techniques to Enhance Your Blog’s Content;
  • Becoming a Dominant Force With Video Blogging;
  • 10 Ways to Bring the Power of Facebook to Your Website.

 Go here now to learn more.

©Rachel Agheyisi, Report Content Writer, Report Content Writer’s Blog, 2012


Six Apps for Enhancing LinkedIn Profiles – Website Magazine

Creative actionable informationYou can find an app store on just about any platform now-a-days, and LinkedIn is no exception.

LinkedIn Applications are designed to enrich a user’s profile, but for those of you that haven’t rummaged through the networking site’s apps, here are a few that have caught our attention.

Click the following link to read about six easy-to-implement apps for your LinkedIn presence:

Six Apps for Enhancing LinkedIn Profiles – Website Magazine – Website Magazine.



© Copyright Rachel Agheyisi, Report Content Writer, Report Content Writer’s Blog, 2012

Landing Page Design Trends for 2012 – Website Magazine

Creative actionable informationTurn Down the Volume and Hear the Cash Register Sing!

Business website designs have become increasingly “quieter”over the past couple of years.

Internet professionals have come to realize that when executed properly, a Web page can still achieve rock-star results with a more classical approach. This trend will only become more evident in 2012, and it is especially important in the case of landing pages.

“You don’t want landing pages to shout at your visitors, or have many elements on the page competing for their attention,”says Tim Ash, CEO of landing page optimization firm SiteTuners.“The most effective pages you’ll see will have a Zen-like simplicity to them, and the desired call-to-action should naturally arise out of this background of stillness.”

So, for anyone considering a website redesign this year, the advice is . . . well, simple. Try turning the volume down a few notches and instead aspire to achieving a harmonious hum. And by no means should you be trying to outshout the competition— that is so last decade.

Click the following link for some landing page design trends to be watching for —and executing — in 2012:

Landing Page Design Trends for 2012 – Website Magazine – Website Magazine.

If you like this information, please pass it on.


© Copyright Rachel Agheyisi, Report Content Writer, and Report Content Writer’s Blog, 2012