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SAOpdx: Sharp Wits and Sharp Knives: Slice and Dice your Competition

Gerding Theater at the Armory
128 NW 11th Ave
Portland, OR 97209, US (map)



Is one of your company's competitors weakened by the economic downturn? Are their signs of a problem?

      * You hear they didn't get a second round of funding.
      * A friend tells you about staff reductions.
      * You're not seeing them at trade shows.
      * Their marketing engine fizzled.
      * Salespeople are calling your firm looking for a new gig.

  What do you do?
  1. Play the waiting game and watch from afar hoping they spiral downward and out of existence
  2. Fuel the fire with an aggressive campaign of your own pointing out the differences between your stable company and this weakened competitor

  Is the law of the jungle appropriate or do we take the high road and wait it out?

  In this session, you'll hear arguments for both sides. You'll hear from marketing and sales professionals who say, "kick em while they're down" and others who say fate will take its course - no extra help required. What's your perspective? What are the ethical boundaries? When does pouncing the weak make you look bad? How can you ratchet up the attack without hurting your credibility? We'll debate how aggressive marketing and sales people can be in today's climate of relatively stronger/weaker competitors. Do salespeople encourage customers to ask for financial statements? What should companies do (if strong or weak) to defend and/or add to their market positions.

  Brian McCarthy, Adjunct Professor, Portland State University School of Business Administration + Oregon Executive MBA Program

  Speaker Panel
  Bill Piwonka, Sr. Director Marketing, Ethics Point
  Bill Booth, Business Development Manager, Babcock and Jenkins
  Kevin Cancilla, Director, Corporate & International Marketing, Tripwire
  Jason Lander, Founder, Vice President of Product & Business Development