The Ten-Day MBA Challenge: Day One

by Beth McAuley

Published at 2013-07-14

Day One, July 14, 2013
I have signed on as a student of Steven Silbiger’s Ten-Day MBA program. Silbiger is a senior director of marketing at Plymouth Direct and the author of The Ten-Day MBA, now in its fourth edition (Harper Business, 2012). The book was suggested as summer reading by Tibor Shanto, a columnist with Report on Small Business (@GlobeSmallBiz) and principal of Renbor Sales Solutions Inc. (@TiborShanto).
Silibiger wrote The Ten-Day MBA for those of us who have not studied business administration at the MA level, as well as for those who have. It’s both an introduction to the world of MBA thinking and a refresher for those who need to brush up on the key concepts.
The book is divided into ten days and covers Marketing, Ethics, Accounting, Organizational Behavior, Quantitative Analysis, Finance, Operations, Economics, Strategy, and MBA Minicourses.
While I am not sure I will complete the book in ten days straight, I have it underway and hope to complete “my studies” by mid-August. I’ll be posting mini-highlights along the way to share some of what I’m learning. Plus, if you too need a broader understanding of business administration, maybe this will encourage you to pick up the book and sign-on for the ten-day challenge.
Day 1: Marketing & Consumer Analysis      
Silbiger’s writing is clear and he draws us into the topic with ease. He opens with an overview of the marketing strategy and introduces us to its seven-part process:
  1. Consumer analysis
  2. Market analysis
  3. Review of the competition and self
  4. Review of the distribution channels
  5. Development of a “preliminary” marketing mix
  6. Evaluation of the economics
  7. Revision and extension of steps 1 to 6  
I was hooked as soon as I started reading part one: consumer analysis. I could see the relevance to my business immediately. At The Editing Company, my team of editors offers a range of editing, proofreading, and publishing consulting services.
Review TEC's Editing, Proofreading, and Business Publishing Services.
To begin the consumer analysis, Silbiger encourages us to ask several key questions: Who needs us and why? Who is actually buying our product or our services? What is their buying process?
Going even deeper, is our service a low-involvement service or a high-involvement service? Is it reliable and is it rewarding? Is the purchase of our services planned or is it an impulse buy?
He then describes how we can break down our market into segments. How can we identify the groups who need our services and the groups who use our services? To do this, he defines geographic (where are your customers?), demographic (who are your customers?), psychographic (what do your customers like to do?), and behavioural segmentation (what does your customer like to buy?) – each one of which helps us define our target audience.
Consumer analysis, Silbiger points out, “primes the pump” for shaping our comprehensive marketing strategy.
Relevant Application
Last week, my colleague Jessie and I completed a three-part workshop on Google Analytics with Eric Squair and we are just about to embark on an analysis of our website’s audience segments. 
I am strengthening two very important marketing strategies from the first 16 pages of The Ten-Day MBA: a deeper understanding of the clients who are currently using our services (who our customers are, what professions they work in, why they need our services), and a much broader overview about those who visit our website (how they found us, what they are looking at on our site).
I am excited about having a clearer picture of who TEC’s target audience is and using these data to inform our marketing strategies.
When I’m back, I’ll report a bit more on the remaining six marketing-strategy processes.  

Read about The Ten-Day MBA on Amazon.