Brian Groth's Life at Microsoft

A technologist helping marketing and advertising

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  • Blog Post: Measuring Your Marketing

    How do you know where to invest your marketing dollars, how much to invest, and if you are getting a good return for that investment? I just read " Marketing and the Bottom Line " which covers these topics and stresses the importance of measuring the impact of your marketing. Among other things, it has...
  • Blog Post: Organizational Change Management

    For the last month or two I have been working on a project that has started to see the light of day, at least within Microsoft. It's all about reorganizing part of the company to give more control an ownership to subsidiary managers while creating some global consistency. This has gotten me to learn...
  • Blog Post: The Future of Marketing (is here now)

    I just read three interesting marketing-related articles at www.strategy-business.com : The Future of Advertising Is Now: http://www.strategy-business.com/press/article/06204 Beyond Brand Management: http://www.strategy-business.com/press/article/06205 Growth Champions: http://www.strategy...
  • Blog Post: Sun-Tzu and the Art of Business

    I just did quick read of Sun-Tzu and the Art of Business and got some great points to keep in mind regarding competitors in business: Know yourself, know your competitors, and know your market Think clearly and act decisively, giving clear guidance and ownership Lead with character...
  • Blog Post: Business Acumen

    I just read a good article at Strategy-Business.com called Sharpening Your Business Acumen . It gives examples of GE, BP, Apple, and others and talks about "linking an insightful assessment of the external business landscape with the keen awareness of how money can be made — and then executing the strategy...
  • Blog Post: I've got a new job: Leaving the MTC, joining Windows Live!

    I am moving to the MSN / Windows Live team! I have been working with the Microsoft Technology Centers for a few years now, and have been focused on the "enterprise" customer space for my entire 12 years here at Microsoft. So, it's time to move. I am joining a group within MSN that does product planning...
  • Blog Post: Executing on your Sales Strategy

    I just ran across some interesting information that may help someone out there execute on their sales strategy. The Prime Resource Group lists some common challenges people face, which are: Our marketing strategy message is poorly executed and becomes highly diluted by the time a customer...
  • Blog Post: Customer-Sensing Capability Systems

    You may have heard of this as Expert Systems, Decision Support Systems, Customer-Management Systems (CRM), and probably a dozen others. I just read an interesting article on Strategy+Business about “ customer-sensing capability ” , which is the “organizational capacity to differentiate customers...
  • Blog Post: What’s in a good business plan?

    As I spend Friday night watching The Magnificent Seven , which is based on the Seven Samarai I got to thinking about business plans. OK, they’re not related to business plans, but whatever. I was recently reading an article at Strategy+Business.com called “ Our 10 Most Enduring Ideas ” and “ Execution...
  • Blog Post: Leading & Motivating Others the Dale Caregie Way

    Tonight on http://www.tailrank.com/ , a link to " A Guide to: How to Win Friends & Influence People " came up on and it covers the entire book by Dale Caregie, and specifically also covers Leading and Motivating Others . See the link for details, but the general idea is: Begin with praise and...
  • Blog Post: Problem Solving, the McKinsey Way

    The McKinsey Mind explains how McKinsey & Co . use a fact-based method of problem solving based on the following steps. The following is my interpretation of these steps: What’s the problem? Identifying and isolating the core problem, which is usually based on a competitive, organizational...
  • Blog Post: Leadership Practices, Behaviors, and Commitments

    I have been reading Execution and The Leadership Challenge , which both cover the practices, behaviors, and commitments that a leader should master. The list below is how I merge the topics of these two books into something more logical to me, hopefully for you too. Leader Commitment #1: Challenge...
  • Blog Post: All courseware from the MIT Sloan School of Management

    Did you know that you can get the courseware for a variety of MTC courses online, for free? I can’t imagine spending the time to go through all of the lectures, readings, assignments, exams, labs, and all other materials for each undergraduate and graduate course available. However, if I want to...
  • Blog Post: New approaches to sales and marketing strategies

    When writing a business plan you of course need to think about your Marketing Strategy and Sales Strategy. The Chase Market Velocity blog has an interesting and useful way of looking at traditional approaches for marketing and sales strategies compared to web-based (or more IT centric) approaches. These...
  • Blog Post: Tips for a good Business Plan

    I’ve been thinking of turning a couple of ideas into actual business plans and seeing what becomes of them within Microsoft, so I have been refreshing my knowledge of what’s in a business plan. Joe Hadzima has some good tips to keep in mind when writing one. Thanks to BizzBangBuzz for the link
  • Blog Post: Handbook for a manager

    Business 2.0 has a good article about a handbook of sorts that they say CEOs swear by. Below is my version or interpretation of their list that should really apply to any manager, not just a CEO: Have the right strategy Admit when you don’t understand something, and search for that understanding...
  • Blog Post: Strategy Focused Organization

    Thinking about applying Balanced Scorecard ideas to an organization comes down to making that organization (company, division, team, etc.) focused on the strategy that drives it. You could call this a Strategy Focused Organization. I just watched a nice overview of this idea at www.bscol.com , which...
  • Blog Post: Presentation Tips

    How do you try to pitch an idea to peers or upper management? I use PowerPoint probably more often than I should, but recently I have started to write up my bigger ideas or proposals and use PowerPoint for just the highlights. A couple of good articles I recently ran across are: Elizabeth Lane...
  • Blog Post: Decision Making with businessThink

    I recently read businessThink and got a few good tips out of it. The premise of the book is to remove guesswork out of decision making by following 8 main rules: 1. Check your ego at the door before it shuts out great ideas 2. Create curiosity to uncover opportunity 3. Look for more than one...
  • Blog Post: 360 Degree Review

    A few months ago I participated in a “360 degree review” where my colleagues, manager, peers, and direct reports answer a series of questions about my management and work styles. I recently got the results back and figured the results would go nicely with the other stuff about me in my ongoing “ Business...
  • Blog Post: Balanced Scorecard

    I recently finished reading Balanced Scorecard Step-by-Step by Paul R. Niven and if you manage any part of a business, then I highly suggest reading this book. It’s pretty dry reading, but the concepts and how he guides you through it are very good. Of course, the most difficult part of putting together...
  • Blog Post: The World is Flat

    The World is Flat by Thomas L. Friedman is a great book to read for anyone interested in how the world and business is changing due to technology. He starts out by explaining how the Internet, the fall of the Berlin Wall, outsourcing (and various versions of it), and complex supply chains are creating...
  • Blog Post: Buzz Marketing

    I just read Buzzmarketing by Mark Hughes thoroughly enjoyed the marketing stories about Miller Lite, Britney Spears, Apple Macintosh, Ford Mustang, and others. The meat of the book was also interesting and I am now thinking of ways to use these ideas for the Microsoft Technology Centers . Here is...
  • Blog Post: Recommended Statistics Refresher Info

    In my last entry I asked for some good references for statistics books that I could use as a refresher of what I have forgotten over the years. Here’s what I got: Kevin in Utah: A great book for modeling and forecasting is " Quantitative Business Modeling " the authors are Meredith, Shafer and...
  • Blog Post: Good Statistics Book

    It has been a while since I took any sort of statistics course. As a part of my new job as Business Manager for the Microsoft Technology Centers, I will probably be analyzing historical metrics and coming up with forecasting models. So, can anyone recomend a good statistics refresher book for me to...
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