Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Promote and Build Brand Awareness With Unique Promotional Products

When it comes to promoting your business and getting the best return on investment for every dollar you spend, promotional products still remain one of the top ways for businesses to gain customers and maintain client relationships. Although online advertising may seem like a viable solution for a promotional campaign, promotional products can still deliver a lower customer acquisition cost and a better ratio. Promotional products such as coffee mugs, pens, notebooks, water bottles, or cups continue to advertise your brand as long as they are around while on the other hand, once your pay per click budget is gone, so is your online marketing.People are drawn to online marketing, because it seems easy. However, there are many fallbacks to online marketing and paid online advertising campaigns when compared to physical promotional products. For example, when you start advertising online, you have to decide which route you want to take. With more and more customers blocking ads worldwide, it is harder for you to reach your audience. If your customer is not seeing the ad, then you are not getting a conversion. With online advertising, you have to research your targeted market and keywords for that specific market. One wrong keyword and you have blown your budget.If that is not enough, another major drawback to online advertising when compared to utilizing promotional company or brand products is that competitors may click on your ad if you list it via a search engine and it will cost you money. This is a known tactic that some online competitors do and they will even get their friends in on it as well. This will exhaust your budget and leave you without any new customers for your business! Some may think advertising on Facebook is simple and essential but the reality is that it is not easy and it can be difficult to have your ads be relevant to your targeted market.

An embroidered cap or printed t-shirt will continue to advertise your brand long after your online advertising. Promotional products make the best marketing tools. Any business that is serious about creating and maintaining their brand identity utilizes these everyday products to trigger brand recognition in the public.There is a wide range of items available for businesses to distribute that go beyond the standard items. There are items that can be branded with any company like embroidered shirts, clocks, memo holders, key chains, flashlights, anodized knives, metal tape measurers, and much more! All of these give potential customers something physical to remember your business by and make a great impression. Let your regular clients know you appreciate their business by sending them a gift with your custom logo. You will not only make their day with your gift, but you will be subtly advertising your brand.Embroidered shirts, mousepads, and cups with your company's logo cannot be blocked like online ads, nor can the budget be blown overnight like a pay per click campaign. Promotional products have been and still are a viable way to grow and promote your business and brand identity.

Monday, July 28, 2014

From Marketing to Profits - The Circle of Business Life

There are many points on the circle of business life. They're all important, and their individual successes depend entirely on the quality of a few simple concepts - purpose, values, trust, leadership, and communication.Purpose: The reason any business exists must be clearly articulated and supported by the employees. Mission and vision are certainly important but, an understanding of why the business exists and how it benefits its customers has to be a core motivator for the employees as they do their work.Values: These are the standards, principles and practices that the organization will not compromise while conducting business. The employees should willingly buy in to the values and be comfortable practicing them daily.Trust: A high level of trust in any organization speeds processes and projects, reduces costs, increases employee morale and reduces lost time. Trust must be established and expanded up and down throughout the organization.Leadership: Leaders are responsible for being daily examples of the purpose and values that define the business, and for establishing and expanding trust throughout the business. The end result is an organization full of trusting and trustworthy people who want to contribute to its success.Communication: Clear, accurate, timely and appropriate communication is what drives the successful outcomes regarding purpose, values, trust and leadership - communication through words and especially communication through actions.The marketing point on the circle of business life is the place that generates and shares the messages about what the business stands for, how it conducts business, the benefits its products and services provide for its customers, and how it cares about and treats its customers. There could be other messages about how the business contributes to the community and worthwhile causes, how it positively impacts the environment, and more.Marketing is about getting the right message in front of the right decision makers at the right time. There are many ways to deliver marketing messages. Deciding on the right methods for your business is one of the recommendations the marketing person, department or consultant needs to make. I have my favorite methods for my business. It's up to you to decide what's most effective for your business.Selling follows marketing. Even though purchases of some products and services are made as a direct result of a great marketing message most products and services require a selling step before a decision is made. Effective selling requires the ability to ask the right questions in the right way at the right time to learn what's most important for the decision makers when considering how your product or service will meet or exceed their criteria.

As part of the selling process decision makers usually want know about the business behind the product and how they'll be treated after the purchase. A strong belief in the concepts mentioned at the beginning of this article will make this part of the selling process easy.Production and fulfillment come next. This is a big category that varies greatly from business type to business type. Some products can be pulled out of inventory and delivered immediately. Other products require processes like determining a scope of work, design, production, and testing before delivery.Some services can be scheduled and fulfilled in a short time frame. Others may have to consider compatibility with the customer's current equipment, hardware, software, etc. before being implemented.Regardless of the complexity of this process each and every step involves people in one way or another. The more strongly connected these people are to the core concepts that drive the business, the better the results produced.Follow up and customer service are next. Checking in with your customers seven to ten days after they've received their products or used your services is a great habit to develop. Feedback of all kinds is invaluable. It helps you learn what's perceived as good or bad about what you sell. It helps you change false perceptions. It helps you learn about potential new products or services. It helps you learn about your reputation and credibility.Feedback is a gift. Be thankful when you receive it, ask for it when you don't.Monitor, evaluate and plan. These are ongoing processes that should be applied to every aspect of a business. These three simple steps create a focus on continuous improvement. A high level of trust promotes honesty in these processes which produces quality results.This brings us back to marketing again and the circle of business life keeps on rotating.One last thought - everything mentioned above is driven by people. None of these things work correctly without the right people. Hire carefully. Train thoroughly. Manage effectively. Grow your people to become successful as individuals and your business will reach levels of success beyond your expectations.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

The Lone Ranger Is Dead!

The Lone Ranger IS dead and yet many of you, as entrepreneurs, are still acting like one. This has got to stop - if, in fact, you are serious about growing your business, making money and making a difference in the world. What DOES need to happen, in order for you to succeed, is to get engaged with a group of similar-minded, high-achieving entrepreneurs - a master mind group.I DO know what holds many of you back - FEAR and IGNORANCE. I just read post by Seth Godin:In search of a timid trapeze artist"Good luck with that, there aren't any.If you hesitate when leaping from rope to another, you're not going to last very long.And this is at the heart of what makes innovation work in organizations, why industries die, and how painful it is to try to maintain the status quo while also participating in a revolution.Gather up as much speed as you can, find a path and let go. You can't get to the next rope if you're still holding on to this one."There is always fear around the unknown. That excuse is not 'special' to you. I know that when it comes to joining a high-level group of entrepreneurs for the purpose of growing your business, many fears come up - some of which include:- Am I good enough?- Can I do as well?- Am I smart enough?- Are my revenues significant enough?- Have I been in business long enough?- Can I really afford to do this?- What if I fail?- What if I succeed beyond my wildest dreams? (yes, that's a common fear!)And so much more! What if I tell you that you are not alone? I had some of those very same fears when I joined my first high-level group 3 years ago.Here's the thing, though - what if you keep doing what you're doing? How's that working for you right now? I know, for certain, had I not made that decision three years ago (with huge butterflies in my stomach), I would not be running a business well over 6 figures right now!Why am I so adamant about this? Because I know what you don't know.

- I know that if you keep doing what you're doing, you'll keep getting what you're getting.- I know that together, we're all stronger.- I know that a great business coach can teach you essential business and selling skills to help you grow your business faster than you can do it on your own.- I know that having the support and love of fellow master-minders is priceless!- I know that more heads are better than one.- I know that I am not making the costly mistakes (re-inventing the wheel) that I would if left to my own devices.- I know that I am reaping the benefit of learning from a coach who is also working with her own coaches.- I know that I can practice new techniques in a safe environment.- I know that I am not alone - these people understand me. (my family doesn't have a clue what I do, LOL)- I know that I am learning from the other 12 'experts' in my master mind group - phenomenal resources right at my fingertips!And there are so many more reasons that I commit to being part of a high level master mind group. We are known as the Hell Raisers 1 - and I love that!Are you serious about growing your business? Do you want to make some real money this year?"Life is a checkerboard, and the player opposite you is time. If you hesitate before moving, or neglect to move promptly, your men will be wiped off the board by time. You are playing against a partner who will not tolerate indecision!" - Napolean HillThis also applies to your business! Is this the year you pack it in? Is this the year you declare bankruptcy? Is this the year you get a J.O.B and give up on your dream?All I have to say about that is shame on you, then! When the answers, the support, the learning - is all at your fingertips. But you let F.E.A.R. get in your way.All you need to do, this year, - right now - is to make a decision. Find yourself the right coach, get involved in a master mind group, learn what you need to know to succeed - and the world will be a better place.To the 'Lone Ranger' - let's all say - R.I.P.!!!!

Friday, July 25, 2014

Tips on How to Go Viral

Many of us have had the opportunity to witness or partake in the #icebucketchallenge, primarily benefiting ALS. This phenomenon is being witnessed all around the world with people seeing on their Facebook news feed, YouTube and in the news people donating to charity, pouring ice water on their heads, or both.If you Google "Ice Bucket Challenge", you will get over 182 million results. According to a presentation compiled by CROWD Companies, YouTube has stated they had over 2 million videos related to the challenge on their site. Facebook has had over 28 million people participating in the challenge by liking, sharing or uploading videos. ALS continues to raise money and to date has raised over $85 million, which is 34 times as much as they raised during the same period last year.Today, everyone wants to have the same success in having their own content or initiative going viral. There are some definite tips that you should consider with regard to making your material go viral:* Be positive - The experts agree. You want to have positive content for a greater likelihood of going viral. The Ice Bucket Challenge is positive, sharable and it is meant to help support a good cause - in addition to being fun.* Hit an emotional trigger - This is something that marketers have been trying to do since time immemorial. You want to make sure your content hits some emotion. The challenge is clever and funny. Seeing videos of your friends and celebrities having a good time is great to share. The best advertisements and commercials similarly touch upon an emotional driver that elicits a response.

* Easy to share - To me, this is one of the most important aspects of having content go viral. People need to be able to find your content. In today's world, social media and social networking is everything. With the Challenge, people have been able to use Facebook, YouTube and Twitter, for example, to easily share video with their followers and beyond.* Make it simple - The Ice Bucket Challenge is very straightforward and easy to understand, although there are some variations. In order to complete the challenge, you need to video yourself within 24 hours, it only takes approximately two minutes of your time and you need to either pour ice water over your head, donate to charity or both. It's not complicated.* Call to action - If you look at the best advertisements, commercials or the Challenge, there is a call to action. Some sense of urgency is built into the viral content. In the instance of the Ice Bucket Challenge, you need to complete the Challenge within 24 hours, take a video and challenge three other people.Many marketers and organizations have been speaking to me about being able to do something similar to the Ice Bucket Challenge. It is important to remember that there have been winning viral campaigns prior to the Challenge, which means there will be others once the Ice Bucket Challenge fades. All it takes is a little ingenuity and thinking out of the box to do something that is fun and will help raise awareness for your organization.© 2014 Not Your Father's Charity. All rights reserved.

Taylor Swift Vs Spotify: A Product Manager Problem

Guess what: we don't buy music any more. Nope, gone are the days that we'd go out to the store and pay US$15 for the latest album from our favorite artist. iTunes and downloadable music pretty much killed this market. However, it turns out that something brand new has shown up that is killing iTunes and the downloadable music market: Spotify.Why Doesn't Taylor Swift Like Spotify?In the brave new world of streaming music you and I no longer purchase music. Instead, what we do is we sign up for a subscription to a music streaming service. There are a number of them with names that we all recognize now: Pandora, Beats, Spotify, etc. For a fee these services will allow us to tell them what kind of music we like (Rock, Country, Soul, etc.) and they'll pick out music that matches our tastes and create a never ending sound track for us to listen to. Clearly this has altered the product development definition for music products.This new form of music consumption has been growing like a weed. The RIAA reports that streaming services like Spotify grew 28% in the first-half of 2014 alone and now account for 27% of industry revenue. However, because it is brand new, this means that all of the rules have not yet been determined and that's why Taylor Swift is in a fight with Spotify.So what happened here? Simply put Taylor Swift had a new album come out, 1989, and she and her record company wanted to maximize sales. Her record company talked with Spotify and asked them to limit which of their customers could listen to her new music. First they wanted only paying customers of Spotify (the ones who pay to not hear any ads) to be able to listen to her music. Next, they only wanted customers in Europe where Taylor Swift is trying to build a fan base to be able to hear her new music. Spotify said no and so she pulled her music off of their service.What Should The Spotify Product Managers Do?As a product manager, anytime a supplier is unable to provide you with the parts that you need, you've got a problem on your hands. Clearly Taylor Swift provides a product that Spotify customers enjoy. With her no longer being willing to provide that product, this places Spotify and its product managers in a difficult position that's not going to look good on their product manager resume. If they don't do something, then there is a good chance that at least some of their customers may leave them for other services who do have Taylor Swift products.What these product managers are going to have to realize is that what their customer's really want is music that sounds like Taylor Swift. If they can't have the real thing, then can they have something that sounds close? This is where the power of playlists can come to the aid of Spotify's product managers. For you see, because subscribers leave it up to Spotify to pick what the next song that they'll listen to will be, the concept of playlists was created. A subscriber can create a playlist based on an artist or a theme and then Spotify will pick the sequence of music that matches that playlist.

Since Spotify can no longer provide Taylor Swift songs as a part of a subscriber's playlist selections, the product managers are going to have to get creative. They've already started doing this. Spotify has posted playlists, "A Little Playlist Poetry for Taylor Swift," and, "What to Play While Taylor's Away," including songs from Sam Hunt and Ed Sheeran, to help Swift's fans cope. I would suggest that Spotify product managers should go out and find a singer who sounds just like Taylor Swift and have that performer create covers of Taylor's songs (legally) and then substitute those songs and even new ones where they've had to pull Taylor's songs. What a great opportunity for some unknown artist!What Does All Of This Mean For You?As product managers, we are at the mercy of our product's suppliers. If they stop providing us with what we need to create our product, it is going to have a big impact on the type of product and the quantity of products that we can offer to our customers. The Spotify product managers are facing a situation like this that was never a part of their product manager job description because recording artist Taylor Swift has decided to pull her entire catalog of songs off of the Spotify service.What this means for the Spotify product managers is that when their subscribers have playlists that include Taylor Swift songs, they won't be able to hear what they want to hear. This means that the Spotify product managers are going to have to provide substitutes. It might even open a door for these product managers to find an artist who sounds like Taylor Swift to create songs to fill in the gap.When a supplier is either unwilling or unable to provide us with the parts that we need in order to create our product, a product manager must take action. We don't want to stop providing our product. Instead, we need to find alternatives to the supply that is no longer available. This is exactly what the Spotify product managers need to do. It appears as though they are already taking action to do this and they just might be able to create a service that can get along without Taylor Swift being a part of it.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Research As a Road to Profit

Traditional thinking in the corporate world often places market research on the "expense" side of the ledger -- or worse, research is seen as a costly, time-consuming barrier to program activation."What any executive really wants to know is, 'How is research going to make me money?' Sometimes, the path between market intelligence and the bottom line is murky, so they just see research as that added expense falling into an already large marketing budget," noted Kurt Graves, a former CEO and now Group Chair at Vistage International, a leading executive leadership group.We understand executive push back. But we have legions of examples where research directly helps companies make money. We also see the corollaries - when research saves firms from enormous expenditures on efforts that will fail, or when the lack of research costs a company thousands if not millions in a failed market launch.For example, in a recent product launch in the home products category, we tested general purchase intent for a new product, and then tested purchase intent driven by a creative campaign. The product scored very well - with 85% intent to purchase going into the campaign. The television creative itself boosted the intent to purchase into the 90% range and set a new benchmark for the entire product category.The client launched the product with a $5 million television budget, and the company saw a 900% sales increase - well over their predicted benchmark of 300%.. More than that, the product received prominent shelf placement in stores such as Target and Walmart because the company could show research data to its channel partners, who in turn responded with a high degree of store support, placement, and larger product orders. Days after the launch, channel partners reported having trouble stocking store shelves fast enough.In short, the predictive power of research pushed this product launch into the stratosphere.Research can also be a road to savings.When executives do the "executive thing" and ask questions like "how is research going to help my bottom line" we don't' flinch.Sometimes, researchers can move the sales needle, as in our last blog about how research can drive profit. But sometimes, we're like lawyers - how much would the trouble we just kept you out of have cost your company? We can point to a lot of examples where research can save companies from expensive failures.

In one project dealing with shades and blinds sold in two big-box retailers, we saved a company hundreds of thousands of dollars by using research to kill off a poorly designed merchandising concept.Company product managers were looking for a merchandising solution that would support customers' needs to see, touch, feel and take home material samples for shades. Company designers mocked up a large, handsome kiosk with material samples displayed and take-home samples neatly stored in small drawers. The design center was eye-catching and well branded.But in testing the kiosk in focus groups revealed its fatal flaws. Group participants stood in front of the kiosk for several minutes trying to figure out how it was organized, and what it offered. Several were hesitant to approach the display at all. Savvy shoppers pointed out that in short order, the drawers holding the fabric samples would become a mess. Participants were confused about what to do with the samples, noting they felt they would need permission from a sales associate before selecting samples to take home. In general, shoppers felt the kiosk did very little to communicate about itself and how best to use it. Shoppers rightly pointed out that the whole concept would be best informed by a digital interactive display or online information and ordering center - a great idea but one that would make the entire display even more costly than ever.In all, it was clear this merchandising concept was not ready for prime time and would need a great deal of refinement. The client left with the idea that a digital center might be cheaper, less labor intensive, and more supportive of shoppers needs. This project did not move forward, but the consumer feedback helped the company re-think how best to serve shoppers in their purchase process.A bad idea met a good end and a major chunk of marketing budget was saved for a better cause.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Why You Should Use Online Custom Postcard Printing Services

Custom postcard printing is one of the most favorite and popular marketing options for marketing a business. It is a straightforward and inexpensive way to send a compelling marketing message to potential customers. If you are looking to send a short message about a new service or a product that can stir the interest of prospective clients, then custom postcards are the ideal choice. While there are many services that offer custom postcard printing, the best way to do this is by having them printed online. There are several benefits to a business that will be using inexpensive postcards for any direct marketing campaign. Here are a few advantages of using online custom postcard printing services for your business.Postcards used as part of a direct mail marketing campaign can easily be a great attention grabbers. The customer will not have to open an envelope. A simple, straightforward message can easily be seen and read based on the template and design, which is used for a basic postcard. Many postcards will have a printed image, business logo, or a striking photo that is on the back or the front. Most small businesses are too preoccupied to take the time to design, create and mail out postcards. One option, which will save both money and time for a business, is by printing custom postcards on the Internet. There is no tool that is necessary and there are more than many free templates to use for creating a custom design. The main purpose of a business marketing campaign using postcards is to achieve positive results.Most online custom postcard printing companies that offer these services will often be less expensive. One reason for this is not having the same overhead costs that offline businesses will need to include in the price of the service. Another aspect of using an online printing service is having a variety of design options, which are available. There are several templates available from online services that can be used for printing postcards. The templates can be good stock options for a customized specific design. You can upload your business logo and tagline to use with a postcard design. There are also free templates available for other types of direct mail marketing materials. However, the design for a postcard includes only a catchy message and other marketing ideas.

Many finishing options can be selected when using online custom postcard printing services. Many times the best choice is to use a glossy finish or a matte finish. The option for the finish is based on the preference or a specific need of the business owner. One thing to bear in mind is a premium glossy finish will be resistant to water. Another aspect to bear in mind is a postcard made of durable paper is not likely to be damaged during mailing. You can easily print postcards for a marketing campaign at the office or even at home. There is only an Internet connection that you require to use an online printing service. This means not having to travel to a local business to place an order or pick up a completed order. The details for the design and shipping are discussed online before the order is completed.From the above discussion, it is clear that online custom postcard printing services are a far better and economical option as compared to offline printing services. So, use online custom postcard printing services to market your business in an inexpensive and efficient way!

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Reasons Why Promotional Items Are Beneficial In Business Marketing

Every serious business understands the importance of effective marketing strategies. It is through the marketing plans that a company logo and brand is brought to the public view increasing its visibility. There is no way your customers will know of your existence fast if you don't make efforts to get what you have out there for them. Promotional items such as personalized pens are some of the most effective and easy marketing tools that you can use. You actually stand to gain more benefits using such items to promote your business.1. When using the items, you will stand above your competition. This is because the promotional items offer your business a creative and unique way of getting it known to your target market. It is not something that most companies think about especially with the popularity of social media marketing and others. By going unique, you will make an even bigger impact compared to using what customers are already used to.2. With the items, your business enjoys inexpensive actual advertising solutions. If there is anything that a growing business needs more is cost cutting. This is exactly what marketing using the items will get for your business. With a small amount of money, you can get a huge volume of the items that you have settled for like the pens or even t-shirts. The simple practical items are cheaper to buy especially in bulk and you will therefore cut on advertising costs but at the same time enjoy the benefits of real marketing.

3. You will appeal more to your customers because the items make tangible useful giveaways. This is what makes them most appealing to your target audience. The fact that they are useful means they will be kept for future use and you can be sure as far as they are useful, your message will be passed on over and over again in different areas and settings. In case they land in the hands of a person who does not need the products or services you are offering, they still stand the chance of passing the message to another who is in dire need of what you have to offer. Their usefulness is what makes them valuable to you as a business and to your clients in easing daily lives.4. With the items, you enjoy marketing flexibility. This is because you can purchase only enough to cater for a holiday event or business event that you have. Items such as promotional pens are cheap to buy and you can therefore buy only what you need for a given season changing to a new design and message to meet another season or period. It means, therefore that you can make changes to your advertising without incurring costly expenses when using the promotional items. You can make changes to attract new customers every now and then. They also offer your business a simple but unique way of introducing a new product in the market without straining your finances in the process.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Actions That Can Open Up Communication Channels Using Closed Loop Marketing

Not having adequate knowledge to tap into the hundreds of interested parties that come to your website and leave without a word, can mean a tremendous loss to your business from potential sales leads alone. Closed loop marketing can be unimaginably beneficial to your business, giving you vast amounts of data from your inbound marketing channels which allow you to get in touch with each and every one of those interested parties. If even 50% of these sales leads come up positive, they can have you singing all the way to the bank. So how you do ensure, you have the technology you need to get the data you want, at the time you want it.Tracking Relevant DataWith closed loop marketing you get to understand which data, which page and what service is getting the most attention from interested users. A highly interactive site that draws the user in has all the potential to get and store this information for you. This data can give you a whole lot of leads that can fuel your marketing strategies and sustain the efforts you are undertaking as a business. Moreover this is what you need to fine-tune all your future marketing campaigns meant to target these same users with information they find reliable and useful. No other data can be as resourceful as the one you have generated in-house through such means.Creating a New Route to Useful InformationThe traditional way of informing healthcare professionals about new drugs and products has long since been replaced by more technologically advanced methods, which give saving money and time a new revolutionary touch. eDetailing pharma products now yields the best numbers and results; which not just saves the time of salesmen on the job but of physicians as well, when they have all the information they need at the touch of a button and not just when they are interacting with the sales reps even. This automation has given a new lease of life to pharma companies, giving strength and speed to achieve their target numbers and more importantly to provide necessary information whenever required.

Providing Information is the Need of the HourHaving a great technological infrastructure can only aid your efforts when you need to get your best information to those who are seeking it. In this age when physicians and health care workers find time a very precious commodity, you need eDetailing pharma platforms that can use the time that is available and put across an array of data that is easily readable, understandable and takes up much less time to note. This is in comparison with the traditional methods of sales which have paved the way for a new wave of information that can benefit everyone involved in a huge way. So you have ready information for your sales reps when they are on the road, backed by strong content and the efforts of your marketing team as well.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

What McDonald's Mistake Can Teach Product Managers

Eating at McDonalds is a guilty pleasure that we have all done before. It seems like there is a McDonalds restaurant on just about every corner and when we're in a rush, or simply don't have time to plan a meal, we always know that we can go to McDonalds to get something to eat. However, lately McDonalds sales have been falling in their primary market, the U.S. What has McDonalds done wrong and how can they fix it? Menu ProblemsMcDonalds is a big, successful restaurant that has been around for a long time. You would think that they would have worked out any problems a long time ago. It turns out that this is not the case.What seems to have happened is that McDonalds has lost relevance with a portion of its base of customers. After having talked with this segment of their customer base, McDonalds now believes that they need to solve problems with their menus and start to offer their customers better service.The reason that McDonalds knows that they have a problem is because their bottom line results are showing them that something is wrong. For two consecutive quarters their profits have been going down and they've been especially hard hit in their primary market: the U.S.A.In the past McDonalds added items to its menu that were designed to meet broad tastes. Lately, however, they've been rolling out new menu items very rapidly. This made the McDonalds menu complicated and also included items that their customers found to be too expensive. Cleary they had forgotten about their product development definition. The end result of this was that McDonalds was stuck with a great deal of food that they simply could not sell. This would not look good on anyone's product manager resume.Service ProblemsTo make matters even worse, the service at McDonalds has been going downhill also. The addition of so many new items to the menu has resulted in bottlenecks in the kitchen and this has resulted in slow food preparation time and the perception of poor service.

In order to address its service problem, McDonalds is doing two things. The first is to redesign their kitchen area and add expanded prep tables so that their employees will have more room to prepare the food.McDonalds is also changing how they staff their restaurants. Going forward they are going to be adding more employees during both peak hours and during the weekends. The hope is that this will reduce the amount of time that customers will have to wait for their food to be prepared.What All Of This Means For YouMcDonalds is one of the world's most successful restaurant chains. However, they have been seeing their sales in the U.S. start to slide. Clearly they've been making mistakes and now they need to do something about it.One of the big mistakes that McDonalds made was to make their menu too complicated for their customers to understand. So many new products were introduced in such a short period of time that their customers no longer knew what to expect when they visited. Additionally, all of the new food items caused many service problems to start to show up. Solving problems like this is a part of a basic product manager job description.McDonalds has identified that they are having problems. They will now take steps to fix them. As product managers we need to learn from McDonalds mistakes. Don't introduce too many new products or features too quickly. Additionally, take the time to service what you are delivering well before you try to deliver more. Let the king of fast food show you how it should be done!