Customer Focus

  • Ensuring a Successful Business Merger

    The motivation behind a business merger, whether you're the buyer or the seller, is to create synergy between two firms, forming value that is greater than what the individual businesses brought to the table on their own. A well-executed merger can be a great idea for both companies because it should result in enhanced capabilities, increased shareholder value, better operational efficiency, and cost reductions. Yet there's a cautionary fact for all middle market leaders to consider, whether they're the target company or the acquiring one: more than half of all mergers fail, for a number of different reasons we'll go into later.

      Read More >
  • As Global Resources Become More Scarce, Build Flexibility Into Your Middle Market Business

    When it comes to global resources, such as energy, raw materials, and transportation and communications infrastructure, the world is changing faster today than ever before. What does this mean for your middle market business? You already know: the ever-accelerating pace of global change means your company needs to get better (and faster) at managing this change. 

      Read More >
  • Business Trip? Four Situations Demanding One

    The business trip isn't what it used to be. These days there's an ever-increasing pressure to reduce travel budgets. In addition, improving technology is enabling more business communication through teleconferences, video conferences, and social media. Because of these trends, the majority of middle market business executives are traveling less today than before the recession. According to a Forbes Insights study, 58 percent of executives reported taking fewer business trips.

      Read More >
  • 4 Follow Up Strategies to Nurture Customer Relationships

    Midmarket firms should enact consistent follow up and contact strategies in order to stay at the forefront of their customers' thinking. You know the saying, "out of sight, out of mind"? It holds true for how you maintain valued relationships with existing customers. Think about how busy your customers are. They don't mean to forget you, but especially in the busy middle market sector, it's easy to focus on particular issues while putting other situations on the back burner. It's up to you to find different ways to be at the top of your customers' priority lists when they need a product or service that you can provide. Here are four suggestions for doing just that:

      Read More >
  • Middle Market in Texas: Wortham Insurance

    The National Center for the Middle Market (NCMM) just returned from a great trip in Texas, where we traveled to Dallas, Austin, San Antonio, and Houston. In our conversations, we noted the impressive feeling of growth the energy boom has created. People are flocking to the state in search of the plentiful jobs. Overall, it's an exciting time to be in the Lone Star State, and our conversations with middle market executives, business organization leaders, and policymakers were enlightening.

      Read More >
  • What We Are Hearing in Texas

    Contributor's Note: The NCMM is hitting the road this year, traveling coast to coast to visit the states with the most mid-market companies, including California, Florida, Illinois, Ohio, New York, and Texas. This special series summarizes dozens of discussions with chambers, associations, policy makers, and business executives to hear about the opportunities, challenges, and growth prospects for mid-sized firms.

      Read More >
  • What We Are Hearing in New York

    Contributor's Note: The NCMM is hitting the road this year, traveling coast to coast to visit the states with the most mid-market companies, including California, Florida, Illinois, Ohio, New York, and Texas. This special series summarizes dozens of discussions with chambers, associations, and business executives to hear about the opportunities, challenges, and growth prospects for mid-sized firms.

      Read More >
  • Growing a Business Requires That You Nurture Your Customers

    You're driving your company's sales strategy toward growing a business, both in terms of revenue and profits. How do you use your customer mix to make that happen? Sales isn't random; you can control the ratio of new to old. It depends on where you commit resources. You need to control cost of sales. As a middle market company, you are generally fighting it out with competitors. Growth is a concern, profits are needed to fuel expansion, and as the leader, you are consistently navigating your company through turbulent waters.  Read More >
  • Maximizing Sponsorship Opportunities Requires a Coherent Strategy

    By Rob Carey

    In 2013, spending on the sponsorship of sports, entertainment, cause, and cultural events rose by 4.5 percent to $19.8 billion total among North American companies. For 2014, that figure is expected to rise a bit more slowly — 4.3 percent — according to consulting and measurement firm IEG. But while digital media (particularly social and mobile) seems to be luring some money away from this channel, middle market firms that learn to complement their digital marketing channels with sponsorship opportunities will see significant gains among their target audience.

      Read More >
  • The Viral Myth: How to Create Content That Gets Shared

    In the digital era, every company would love to create a video that goes viral. Millions of impressions — at a fraction of the cost of television advertising — is an alluring prospect, fueled by examples like the massive success of the "Will It Blend" videos by Blendtec, a Utah-based middle market company. But most companies do it all wrong, says online video expert Tim Street, digital show runner for Ape Digital. "People fail at creating viral videos because they create by committee, don't know the ingredients, don't have a launch plan, and don't know how to care for a video once it's released," he says. Just as sure-thing Hollywood blockbusters sometimes falter, you can never guarantee that a video will explode. Savvy middle market companies recognize they have less leeway to fail than major movie studios, so here are Street's tips for creating compelling content that's likely to hit the mark.

      Read More >
  • 6 Tips to Make a Case Study Work for Your Company

    The case study is a standard tool of business classes. But there's another type of case study: the user story. Rather than looking for the complete extended dissection of a business problem, this piece tries to present through context the advantages of a product, service, method, or concept. User stories are a staple for large corporations, which want to present their best faces both to the press and to potential customers. However, there is no reason that only giants can use this marketing technique. Middle market companies can make great use of such case studies, but you want to approach them the right way.

      Read More >

In Collaboration With