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Our Position

Launch Team Blog

Michele Nichols

Recent Posts

Reaching Your Customers' Customers: Market Outlook in Additive Manufacturing & Automation

FABTECH in Chicago represents some of the fastest growing segments in U.S. manufacturing today, including laser marking and automation. Attendees are the ultimate users of many of the technologies we work in: laser diodes, optical assemblies, laser steering systems, coating technology, and capital equipment. Yet many of these companies know little about the end application and the users’ needs.

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Topics: Business Insights, Positioning

Maximizing 2017 in the 4Q: Tips to Optimize Your Revenue and Profits

Quick Wins for the Last Quarter

Welcome to 4Q, where we’re planning for 2018 while trying to close out 2017 strong. Especially in sales and marketing for manufacturing, where we’re balancing capacity, booked revenue and shipped revenue targets, it’s a challenging time. For better sales and marketing alignment and a stronger close to the year, here are some key questions to ask your team:

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Topics: Sales, Strategic Planning, Marketing and Sales Alignment

INBOUND 2017: Marketing Strategies that Keep Up with Changing Customer Behaviors

Members of the Launch team trekked to Boston recently for INBOUND 2017, HubSpot's annual conference on inbound marketing best practices. It was a few team members’ first time attending, but it was a learning experience for all, as well as a chance to visit local Boston clients.

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Topics: Inbound Marketing

Deep Dive into Emerging Markets: Opportunities for Optics in AR & VR

While virtual reality promised and failed to hit 2016 expectations, market projections still show that augmented reality and virtual reality will reach $108B by 2021. Consumer electronics are a high-volume opportunity for U.S. optical manufacturers, but they often remain elusive due to cost constraints. Does augmented reality (AR) or virtual reality (VR) offer some optics and photonics companies a stronghold? Let’s break it down.

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Eating the Elephant: Marketing Tips for Product Managers

More than a Product Manager

The role of the product manager is increasingly important in industries like medical devices, where time to market is accelerating, and optics and photonics, where emerging markets are driving demand for product innovation.  

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Topics: Business Insights, Marketing Strategy

The CEO as Sales Manager: Asking the Right Questions

In growing small and mid-sized companies, the CEO is often the company’s best salesperson. As the company grows, so does the sales team, but the CEO seldom is able to totally abdicate a role in sales.

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Topics: Sales

What’s Next in Medical Devices, and What Does It Mean for Optics?

The medical device market continues its slow and steady growth—projected at 2.8% annually for the next five years—making it an attractive and sustainable space for optics companies positioned to fill emerging needs. But where exactly does your company fit?

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5 Questions to Consider When Planning Your Marketing Budget

There's a lot more to budget planning than deciding how much to spend where. For some, it's setting a right-sized investment in marketing to match their growth goals. For others, it's optimizing their marketing budgets by shifting resources to what's working best todaynamely, online channels. This shift involves a broadened focus on bringing in leads through websites, targeted social media, regular blogging, opt-in email subscribers, etc.

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Topics: Inbound Marketing, Marketing Mix, Marketing Strategy

Entrepreneur to Entrepreneur: Scalable Sales & Marketing Models

At a recent panel discussion, I was asked to share experiences in sales and marketing with an audience of Entrepreneurs’ Organization accelerator founders, along with fellow panelists Don Davis of Empire Automation Systems and Ron Valentine of ITX.

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Topics: Business Insights, Marketing Strategy, Sales

Diversify Your Revenue Base by Increasing Sales in New Optics Markets

As the bull market continues and proposed defense budgets are growing, most optics and photonics companies are reporting strong sales and a general sense of optimism. With that comes a new challenge, though: when your revenue base becomes too concentrated on a single industry or customer, your risk of market pull-back or decreased demand increases.

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