The Service Marketing Mix

Understanding the 7 Principles

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One of the reasons service executives struggle when attempting to grow their businesses is they try to apply product-marketing concepts to service marketing. This is like trying to hammer a square peg into a round hole.  The 4 P’s marketing mix is one such concept that works great for products but not for services.  It’s based on the theory that the success of a company’s marketing program is based on how well the company manages strategies and tactics related to product (i.e., design, form/factor, etc.), price, promotion (e.g., sales, advertising, etc.), and place (i.e., distribution).

The problem is that these 4 P’s do not apply to services. First, service products are intangible and difficult to describe.  This begs the question, how can you promote something that is difficult to describe?  Another problem for service marketers is that place has a very fuzzy connotation in service marketing because there are multiple entities involved in service distribution. Sometimes they cooperate, other times they collaborate, and still other times they compete.  Services can be offered by one entity, ordered through another, and delivered by a third.  Without well-defined product, promotion and place strategies, all that is left is price and that becomes a slippery slope for service marketing.  Sales and marketing can never be just about prices because customers will always find a way to negotiate price.  In product marketing, the 4 P’s makes it possible for a seller to justify the price.

For the past 20 years, I’ve devoted a great deal of time and resources to understanding this dilemma, in the process developing my own theory about service marketing.  I determined that a Successful Service Marketing™ mix is actually based not on 4 but on 7 key principles.  These principles are:

  1. PORTFOLIO: Often described in terms of a service-level commitment, such as 24/7 with a four-hour response time. The more distinctions you can make to define your service portfolio, the more likely you will be to fulfill the needs of prospective customers.
  2.  PROVIDER: Tangible elements of your service infrastructure, such as your call center, self-service portals, enterprise systems and service technology that make it possible to deliver on the promise of your service portfolio.
  3. PROCESS: The steps your customer must take to request the service, and the tasks that occur to deliver the service. For example, performing front-end call screening and diagnostics before dispatching a field technician.
  4. PERFORMANCE: Evidence that you can deliver on your promise, such as KPIs, customer satisfaction results and customer testimonials.
  5. PERCEPTION: Your ability to win business and retain satisfied customers is based on your ability to influence their perception of you. This goes beyond simply promotion through advertising, branding, and communications. It gets to the essence of who you are, what you stand for, and how you portray yourself in the market.
  6. PLACE: Services distribution channels can be complex.   Quite often, consumers can purchase service from one place, order or request it from another place, and have it delivered to them at a third place (e.g., onsite, depot, remote, etc.).  Sometimes it’s the same company delivering this service. Other times it’s not.  Regardless, the service marketing mix must deal with these complexities.
  7. PRICE: Of course, there is always the issue of price. The important thing to remember is that price is a function of value in use and perception that consumers have about your company (i.e., expertise, experience, capability).

Many people have asked me why I haven’t included “People” as one of the Ps in my service marketing mix.  While people are important to the success of any endeavor, I feel very strongly that their ability to deliver exceptional results is a function of the 7 Ps that I’ve identified above and not the other way around.  Ordinary people can achieve extraordinary results when there are great strategies and tools in place.

Please let me know what you liked about this blog and your key takeaways.  If you’ve found this blog of value and think your colleagues or business associates could benefit from it, kindly share it with them.

If you are really interested in achieving extraordinary results, then check out my online training course where you will learn strategies, tactics, and insights for Successful Service Marketing™.As a starter, I’ve put together a brief video that describes the course content. You can access it here

 

Strategic Concepts that Fuel Revenue Growth

The Basics of Service Marketing Theory

Fuel Growth

It probably comes as no surprise that service executives are often focused on finding ways to increase top line revenue, boost profits, and expand market share. Indeed, these are usually among the most important initiatives that service executives pursue when it comes to charting the future of their business.

In order to achieve results, service executives need to master three fundamental or strategic concepts about service marketing.  It is important to understand these strategic concepts because they form the underling theory of service marketing, and – as you will read below – theory is what forms the basis of our reality.  By understanding service marketing theory, you can shift your perspective from product marketing to service marketing. Without this shift you can never expect to implement a Successful Service Marketing™ strategy.

One of the most critical strategic concepts of service marketing is that perception is just as important as reality.  Ultimately, the perception that a customer has about a service provider is what influences their decision to work with that service provider.  In other words, customers buy both perception and reality.  As a service provider, you must influence their perception of your capabilities.  Customers need to trust that you have the capacity to deliver service before you actually deliver it.  It’s not just the actual service that they are buying that creates value; it’s your ability to manage their perception that creates value.  Perception is what sells; your performance is what keeps them coming back.  Reality must equal perception otherwise you will have an unhappy customer on your hands.

A second strategic concept that service marketers need to understand is that customers pay more for services over the lifetime of a product than they do when purchasing the product itself.  In fact, they may pay as much as 8-10 times more for services than what they originally pay for the product. This may seem like an absurd statement at first glance. However, consider the fact that the customer may own or operate a piece of equipment for five to ten years or more.  Over that period of time they may require a broad spectrum of services ranging from installations, to remote support, to field service, to replacement parts, to training, and so on.  Clearly the dollars can add up over time.

The third concept has to do with understanding the relationship between “value in use” and time.  Value in use is about understanding the cost to your customer in absence of the service.  This is typically a function of time. Some services are mission critical.  If they are not performed in a timely manner, the customer may lose a lot of money by not having the service available.  You need to understand value in use in order to effectively price your services and articulate the value of what you can provide.  Most services are valued in terms of time. That’s because downtime equals money lost in the service world. The longer it takes to obtain service, the more costly it becomes for the customer.  The quicker the service is performed, the more valuable it is to the customer.  By understanding your customers’ wants from the standpoint of time, you can develop service offerings that meet these needs.  Furthermore, if you can meet the strictest of time requirements, than you can command a premium price for your service particularly if it is on a mission-critical product or application.

By mastering these strategic concepts you will begin to observe a shift in the way you think about service marketing.  This shift will help you become more effective in implementing marketing strategies that lead to higher revenues, greater profits, and increased profit share.  If you are really interested in achieving these outcomes, then check out my online training course where you will learn strategies, tactics, and insights for Successful Service Marketing. ™ As a starter, I’ve put together a brief video that describes the course content. You can access it here.

Please let me know what you liked about this blog and your key takeaways.  If you’ve found this blog of value and think your colleagues or business associates could benefit from it, kindly share it with them.

Keys to Successful Service Marketing

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Service Marketing was a relatively new concept when I began my consulting career back in the 1980s.   High-tech service companies were just starting to run as profit centers and focus on marketing their services.  As a result, there was very little attention placed on service marketing in business schools at that time. The emphasis was on product marketing.  All the marketing literature and textbooks, all the courses, and all the conventional wisdom on the topic of marketing were centered on products.  I learned very early in my career that it is extremely difficult to market services using product-marketing ideas.  It was like trying to hammer a square peg into a round hole!

I really wanted to help my clients solve their service-marketing challenges so I began an amazing journey of helping these clients discover, develop, and implement best practices for successful service marketing.  First, I learned as much as I could about product marketing and then looked at which aspects applied to service marketing and which didn’t.  Basically, I reverse engineered product marketing to determine lessons I could learn when it came to a different kind of marketing altogether.

Second, I identified companies who already were doing a good job at service marketing. In other words, they had already gone a long way to crack the code of service marketing.  I researched what they were doing well and advised clients to model their success on these early exemplars.  In essence, I bench-marked the best practices in service marketing and then showed my clients how to implement them.

Third, I found in one individual a great teacher, mentor, and coach who helped me excel at service marketing.  That person was my late father, Donald Blumberg.  A prolific author and speaker on the subject of service strategy, he taught me what it takes to build a profitable service business and guided me in establishing my own perspectives on service marketing.

As a result of our collaboration, I developed my own understandings about successful service marketing.  I started to write articles and give speeches on service marketing, which led to more consulting work, which in turn led to greater learning on my part.  Over time, I became an expert at service marketing as I helped my clients increase revenues, boost profit margins, and improve market share.

I’m sharing this information because I want you to know that you can achieve these results, too.  More importantly, you can accomplish them in a fraction of the time it took me.  You don’t need to spend years reverse engineering product marketing or bench-marking best practices.  Instead, I’ve created a new online training course that will provide you with strategies, tactics, and insights for Successful Service Marketing. ™ As a starter, I’ve put together a brief video that describes the course content. You can access it here.  I am also providing a $100 discount on the purchase of this course during the month of May.  To take advantage of this discount, enter code SMK100 when you register.

Please let me know what you liked about this blog and your key takeaways.  If you’ve found this blog of value and think your colleagues or business associates could benefit from it, then kindly share it with them.

 

Why Businesses Need to Adopt Mobile Marketing Plans Today

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This guest blog post was written by Sophorn Chhay. Sophorn is the marketing guy at Trumpia, the most complete SMS software with mass mobile messaging, smart targeting and automation. Follow Sophorn on Twitter(@Trumpia)

Each year, mobile marketing grows stronger. The world currently hosts over 3.65 billion unique smartphone users. Industries are expanding rapidly, facilitating the consumer’s need for deep, dynamic mobile connectivity.

To stand out, companies need to rework communicative and marketing outreaches to play upon mobile’s far-reaching impact. Creating a winning campaign takes time, but actionable plans certainly exist. Check out the following reasons companies are opting for smartphone support, and double-check your brand’s strategy for a watertight platform capable of harnessing the power of mobile.

One: Mobile Interaction Boosts Reaction

In the past, Internet-based content was vital to a modern marketer’s toolkit. Businesses now, however, are relying on mobile contact for interaction. 58 percent of consumers experiencing one-way communication tell their friends and family about it. Dynamic feedback has become the norm, and real-time SMS strategies, strategically media outreach and mobile web support are laying the future’s foundation.

Two: Mobile Coupons are Highly Redeemable

In 2015, SMS-delivered coupons experienced an open rate 10 times higher than printed coupons. Mobile coupons are highly convenient, and their discounts are commonly sought by day-to-day consumers. Because SMS, again, is a two-way street, brands can create custom-tailored offers. Mobile coupons both attract and retain customers, opening the doors to ongoing loyalty rewards.

Three: Mobile Apps are Taking Over

Mobile apps have become preferred engagement platforms in recent years. In fact, 20 percent of American buyers are considered to be “mobile app addicts.” They install, on average, 17 apps per month. The mobile marketing industry’s inclination to boost customer involvement via apps is telling of the mobile world’s overall health. Mobile apps are quickly becoming advertisement breeding grounds, and companies holding an app-centric course are prospering.

Four: SMS is a Preferred Communication Platform

Over 205 billion emails are sent daily. Unfortunately, they’re being ignored for text messages. While email open rates vary by industry, most companies experience an average open rate of 20 to 40 percent. Texts, however, experience an astounding 90 percent open rate. Consumers are reading texts, and they’re engaging brands at deep, intuitive levels. After 2016, brands unable to enchant buyers by way of text will be more than a few steps behind. Sure, email is still a viable marketing tool, but it fails to compete against SMS’s inherent communicative power.

Five: MMS is Even Better than SMS

MMS messages strike more conversations than SMS messages do. Many mobile marketers are redefining their strategies upon media-centric engagement strategies. Viral videos offered through Facebook and YouTube might be effective—but few platforms can compete with texting.

MMS content is highly shareable. It’s preferred by mobile marketing’s biggest fan-base, too. Millennials are viewing, sharing, voting on and even creating mobile video content. While Snapchat sparked much of the MMS craze, it’s currently unable to content with several of the business world’s creative initiatives. Branded SMS messages have a limit of 160 characters, while MMS messages can jam-pack thousands of words within a single video. Check out this article, and find out how your MMS strategy compares to baseline SMS approaches.

It’s important to understand the mobile world’s trajectory. The Internet of Things, alongside much of the business world’s contingency on immediacy, has made smartphone-centric marketing incomparable. Your brand, your workers, your strategy and your consumer base need mobile connectivity. The smartphone has created a paradigm shift, and it’s hitting the professional world hard. Double-check your strategy, find a gap for mobile and expand a smartphone-centric plan from within.

What’s Next?

What do you think of what I’ve covered so far? Will you adopt mobile as your tool for marketing?  I would love to read your comments below.

Jumpstart your business by grabbing your free copy of Sophorn’s powerful Mobile Marketing Success Kit.

Service Pricing Best Practices

Price imageWhen was the last time you took a serious look at your company’s service pricing strategy? I worked with a client last year who hadn’t many any significant changes to their pricing in almost 20 years. While they made minor adjustments over the years to reflect competitive pressures, they never re-evaluated the basic assumptions and core calculations around their published price list. They realized they might have a pricing problem when they noticed that they weren’t wining as many competitive bids. In addition, the bids they did win were not very profitable.

It might be time for your company to re-examine its pricing strategy if you find yourself in a similar situation. Before you rush into a complete overhaul of your price book, it is important to have a clear objective of what you are trying to achieve with your pricing. Remember, pricing is a marketing function and marketing is all about perception so how you price your services will influence your outcomes in the market. For example, your objective might be to take market share from a well-entrenched competitor. Alternatively, it might be to avoid leaving money on the table. It might be to accelerate penetration into a new market or it might be to simply cover your costs and/or subsidize another part of your business. It is very likely that the pricing will be different depending on which objective you choose. Once you have determined your objective you can start work on establishing your pricing strategy. There are three (3) perspectives you need to consider when determining your optimal price.

Competitive Price: This is the price that your competitors charge. It is best if you can build or get access to a database on competitive pricing. This will help you understand what the highest, lowest, mean and median price points are within your market.

Market Perceptions: It is important that you have a good grasp of market price sensitivity. You’ll want to understand at what point the price is perceived to be too cheap that quality is questionable, a bargain, getting expensive, or too expensive to afford. The answer will help you understand the optimal range at which you can price your services. One of the best ways to obtain this information is through survey research.

Your price & cost structure: It is important that you consider your current cost when re-evaluating your price strategy. Obviously, you must know this if you are going to set prices high enough to cover your cost if that’s your objective. You’ll also have a better understanding of how much margin you can achieve under different price scenarios when you have this information at hand.

These perspectives provide the constraints you need to optimize your objective. For example, if your objective is to take market share from a competitor through a more aggressive price strategy, than you need to not only know where your current price is in relation to your competitor(s) but you’ll also need to know what price range the market (i.e., customers, prospects) perceives as optimal. You may run the risk of pricing your service too low that the market perceives the price as too cheap to be of any value. On the other hand, it may be difficult to win business by raising your price if the market already perceives your price as too expensive and your price point is already significantly higher than your closest competitor. However, you can justify an increase if you are perceived as a bargain even if your price is higher than your closest competitor.

Hopefully, it is becoming clear to you why these perspectives are so important in establishing your pricing strategy. Let’s get back to the client that I mentioned at the beginning of this post. I took them through a similar analysis and we were able to establish a new pricing strategy that has resulted in them winning more business at a higher margin. It was surprising to learn that they didn’t have to lower prices across the board to remain competitive. In fact, they could rationalize a price increase for some of their services and still remain competitive.

In summary, the key takeaways when it comes to developing an optimal price strategy are 1) get clear about your desired outcome, 2) make sure you have the relevant data points you need to evaluate pricing alternatives, and 3) adopt an analytical approach. Think you might need to overhaul your pricing strategy? Feel free to schedule a free consultation to discuss how we might be able to help.

Using Customer Insights to Generate New Service Revenue

It Pays to Listen

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An Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) of medical devices that I worked with a few years ago was experiencing flat revenue growth in their service division. The truth was that all their service competitors were experiencing flat line growth. Conventional wisdom was that these troubles were due to the economy. Fortunately, forward thinking service executives in this OEM were willing to test this assumption. They conducted market research to determine how well they were meeting customer requirements and identify new opportunities to better serve them.

Their research efforts uncovered some remarkable findings. First, they learned that customers required longer hours of coverage and faster response time than they were currently offered. Second, they learned that a segment of their customer base needed additional training on how to properly operate and use the equipment. Third, the findings revealed that another segment of  their customer base were self-maintainers and required additional technical support when it came to troubleshooting and replacing parts. Fourth, a large segment of their customer base was receptive to purchasing a managed service contract that covered similar devices operating on their premise. Most importantly, the survey results revealed that customers were willing to a pay a premium over and above what they were currently paying for their basic coverage to receive managed services.  The net result was this company was able to able achieve a 20% per year service revenue growth rate by offering these new services to customers.

Obviously, the key to revenue growth rests in listening to want your customers want and need. However, some companies face challenges when it comes to implementing a formal, structured process for converting customer insights into new service offerings and revenue streams. Here is a framework that many companies have used to garner new insights and perspective about new service offerings:
Evaluate demand for the current service portfolio: It is important to understand which offerings are selling well within your customer base and which are not. Service offerings that have stalled in the market maybe just the area you need to tweak and refine in order for customers to purchase more.

Analyze your competitors’ service offerings: How does your service portfolio align to those of your competitors? Are there any service offerings that you are lacking or that you competitor doesn’t offer? These insights will help you understand where there may be opportunities to develop new offerings or eliminate those that are no longer needed. You still need to test these assumptions with your customers to determine the best course of action.

Consider the customers’ perspective: A great way to brainstorm new ideas for service offerings is by considering the customers’ perspective. You may want to consider customer usage patterns, the environment in which they operate, typical problems they encounter or try to solve. For example, customer usage patterns may identify opportunities to expand hours of coverage. Problems with inter-operability or with the quality of production output may provide opportunities to offer new services associated with technical assistance and application support.

This framework will help in identify the right questions to ask your customers about they want or don’t want it terms of service offerings. Knowing what questions to ask is just the first step in designing or refining your service portfolio. You still need to answer the questions and model the results.

Big Data and Analytics provide a powerful and robust solution for achieving this outcome. An alternative is to rely on more traditional approaches like surveys and focus groups. No matter which approach you choose, periodically validating your customer preferences will have great long term pay-offs for your company.

Now it’s your turn. I’d love to hear back from you. Please share with me your results. What did you learn when you listened to your customers? What actions or decisions did you take based on this information? How did it help your business? Thanks in advance for sharing and continuing this conversation with others who can benefit from your experience.

Go Wide and Go Deep

Tips for beating your competition

Go deep - Go wide

Your service revenues have remained flat for the last three (3) years and nothing seems to move the needle on the revenue dial. You’ve stayed in touch with customers and provided them with all sorts of incentives to contract with you yet attachment rates have remained low. Why aren’t customers buying from you? Your field organization believes it because of competition. Others voices in your company think that your service organization is no match for the competition in terms of its capabilities. So why aren’t  you winning your share of business?

Let’s assume for a minute that your field organization is correct in asserting that competition is a threat to service revenue growth. How well do you really know your competition?  It is important to  answer this question in terms of direct and indirect competitors. A direct competitor is a company that offers the same primary services to the same customer base. In the OEM service world, this could be a Third Party Maintainer (TPM) or another OEM with multi-vendor service (MVS) capabilities. An indirect competitor is a company that offers the same or similar services as part of a wider service offering or that offers a good or service that can serve as a viable substitute. Depending on the industry, this may be a Systems Integrator, Consulting firm, Facilities Management, or Business Process Outsourcing Company.

Now that you know who your competitors are you can start to analyze how these companies compete with you. Once you do this you can develop a strategy to win back business. All too often, service providers especially OEMs think that competition is only on the basis of price. They believe that their competitors are under cutting them on price or giving service away for free. The knee jerk response is to play the quality card. In other words, the service provider who is losing market share makes the claim that the lower priced competitor provides inferior service and/or their work is more prone to defects because they are so cheap. For example, they may point to the level of training the techs receive (e.g., factory trained versus on the job training) or workmanship of spare parts (e.g., genuine versus generic). This tactic seldom works because it is difficult to back this up. Unless customers experience a defect in service, the argument carriers little weight in getting customers to switch.

The truth is that your customers will want to do business with you if you add more value than anyone else. Rather than compete on the basis of price or quality, you must find and exploit gaps in your competitors’ service capabilities or service portfolio. The ability to deliver a better, more comprehensive solution is often the true test of quality. A great example about how this works in action is the service division of a major manufacturer of Graphic Imaging technology that was experiencing intense competition from local TPMs. Rather than play the quality card; the service division analyzed the service portfolio and service delivery capabilities of their competitors. They learned their competitors where limited in terms of the geography they covered, their hours of operation, their response time, and parts availability levels.

This analysis led the service division to offer a far superior service portfolio in terms response time, coverage hours, and SLA compliance levels. More importantly, the service division had the systems and processes in place to ensure consistent delivery of these services; something that their local TPM competitors lacked. As a result, the service division was able to significantly increase service market share and improve contract attachment rates.

The takeaway here is that knowing who your competitors are and what they do well is not always obvious. You have to look broadly and deeply at the market. Broadly in terms of understanding both direct and indirect competitors and deeply in terms of how well they meet customer expectations.

Servitization and Revenue Maximization

The Basics That You Must Master

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One of the first consulting projects that I worked on was for Johnson Controls, Inc. (JCI). Our firm was brought in the mid-1980’s’ to help this company develop a service business strategy. A new strategy was required as result of the company’s decision to create one service organization to service all the building equipment sold by JCI. Up until this time, each equipment division operated its own service organization.

The new service organization was structured as a strategic line of business. The management team was given responsibility for generating and managing service revenue. Prior to the creation of the new line of business, the service organizations within JCI did not have to worry too much about revenue. Basically they had a captive market since the product divisions were responsible for selling service contracts and installation projects along with the products they sold. The new organization was now tasked with the responsibility of marketing and selling services directly to the end-users. This was an entirely new concept for the management team of the new business because they could now offer services to any company regardless of whether or not they owned JCI equipment.

The management team came to us for help with developing a go to market strategy and business plan. More specifically, they needed to become crystal clear with respect to their market, their service offering, and pricing approach if they were going to succeed in building a service business. One of their biggest challenges was determining the size of their market. It was foresighted of them to want to know about the size of their market because they’ve gone on to become one of the largest service organizations to the building industry, and certainly a company that is far along the path toward Servitization. I’ve met service executives who skip over this question about market size in their strategic planning process because they struggle with finding an answer. When asked if they know how large their market is, they give a vague answer likes “It’s big” or “the product market is X billion dollars so the service market is some portion of this”.

In order for the JCI executives to get a precise view of the size and growth of the market, we had to help them determine their total addressable market. This is where JCI’s foresightedness came into play. In defining the total addressable market, we helped JCI understand the market was not just equipment manufactured by JCI but equipment sold by other manufacturers. We also asked JCI to consider what else they could service in a building and what types of services they could offer. This led them to expanding their market focus to include a broad array of value-added services on a wide range of building technologies like fire and safety, security systems, and elevators. The definition did not stop there; it also took into account vertical market segmentation and other demographic factors like square footage and age of building.

As result of this strategic planning process, JCI had a comprehensive definition of their total addressable market (TAM). More importantly, they understood their service revenue opportunity on a very granular level; by technology, by service offering, and by vertical market. The work did not stop there. JCI still needed clarity around its Serviceable Available Market (SAM) and Serviceable Obtainable Market (SOM) or target market. In case you were wondering, SAM is the portion of the TAM that a company can reach taking into account various constraints like breadth of its sales channel and competitive factors. The SOM is the percentage of the SAM that a company can realistically capture based on various assumptions (e.g., sales effectiveness, operating capacity, resource allocations, etc.)

Without the diligence that went into defining the TAM, I don’t think that JCI would have grown into the service behemoth they are today. The level of diligence that went into defining the TAM established the foundation for the SAM and SOM. It also became the basis for them to eventually expand into service of Data Center, Energy Management System, and Security and Fire equipment. More importantly, JCI’s results proved that the more distinctions you can make about a market, the more precise your plans can be for penetrating it. The granularity around the TAM and SAM enabled JCI to ask the right strategic questions about what business they are in and what must happened in order for them to maximize market share.

The key takeaway here is that a service business must pay close attention to how it defines its market. It is not enough to simply say the market is “big” or reference market data from an industry analyst, and leave it at that. Companies who achieve outstanding results when it comes to service revenue growth are those who are able to methodically determine the size of their available, addressable, and obtainable market. This is absolutely critical for any company on the Servitization journey.

Guest Post Guidelines

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In the past, I have been asked to contribute articles to other people’s blog posts.   While I have always been open to offering my readers the similar opportunity to read guest posts from other authors, I have never fully communicated my policy to the public. After reading a blog post from Michael Hyatt about his Guest Post Guidelines, I was inspired to write my own.

Effective immediately, I will accept guest posts. Currently, I do not plan to publish more than one post per week. These will likely appear on Tuesday each week.

Content

Your post must be on one of five topics:

  1. Strategy
  2. Technology
  3. Leadership
  4. Sales & Marketing
  5. Operational Excellence

Your post cannot be an advertisement for your product or the equivalent of a sponsored post.

Guidelines

If you would like to submit a guest post to this blog, follow the instructions below for consideration. Only guest posts that meet these criteria will be considered for publishing.

  1. The post must be useful to the readers of this blog and deal with issues that are relevant to Hardware Maintenance, Service Lifecycle Management, Reverse Logistics, and Field Service professionals.
  2. The post must not criticize or condemn software vendors, hardware manufacturers, or service providers.
  3. The post must be grammatically correct and well-written.
  4. The post must not include marketing-related links and must not be self-promotional or sales oriented.
  5. The post may include up to three byline links: one for your blog or Web site, one for your bio or “About” page, and one for your Twitter username (optional).
  6. Guest posts must be original and may not have been published elsewhere online.
  7. You agree not to publish it anywhere else, including your own blog or Web site. You may, however, post a brief “tease” or summary on your site that links to the post.
  8. Guest posts should be at least 500 words long and no more than 800 words.

 

Editing

  • I will likely copyedit your post for grammar, punctuation, spelling, etc. If I make substantive changes (unlikely), I will email the post back to you for your approval before posting.

 

  • I may provide a short introduction or conclusion to your post to provide context or the rationale as to why I think the post is important. I will make sure that my comments are set off from yours stylistically, so that my readers are clear that these are mine and not yours.

 

Disclaimer

The fact that you have written a post and submitted it to me does not in any way obligate me to publish it. I will only publish guest posts that in my sole judgment add value to my readers.

Furthermore, if I do not approve your guest post, I will not explain why I did not approve it or provide any detail.

Submissions

If your post meets the above guidelines:

  1. Please email it to me for consideration. It may take me 2–3 weeks to respond.
  2. Please include a one to two-sentence byline that includes what you do, along with your blog address and your Twitter and/or Facebook address.
  3. Please confirm that you are willing to engage with my readers in the comments about your post. This is hugely important and a non-negotiable. My readers have come to expect this.
  4. Please include the post in the body of the e-mail. DO NOT include it as an attachment. Also, please do not include HTML coding.

 

If I reject your post, you are obviously free to do whatever you want with it, including publishing it elsewhere.