Welcome to the new IntelliSource International website.

For over 15 years IntelliSource has helped clients enlist their customers to convert new prospects. In this age of consumer-to-consumer conversations and sales, customers are the most powerful and compelling voice for your message. This approach has proven so effective for our clients that we asked them to return the favor by helping articulate the IntelliSource difference through their results.

Through this website, you can explore client case studies and videos to see the IntelliSource process in action and gain a better understanding of how we help companies define and dominate the unique markets.

To learn more about working with IntelliSource, watch what CEOs say about their experiences or contact any one of our clients with whom we’ve worked side-by-side to raise capital, increase revenue and profits, and build valuation.

Finally, we hope this website is a conduit for conversation – connecting you with our experts, advisors, and client network to explore your business growth challenges and capitalize on opportunities. So, let’s talk about your business objectives and obstacles. Let’s talk about preparing a funding round. Let’s talk about positioning for an acquisition. Let’s talk about expanding into new markets.

Let’s Talk.

Some years ago, we were working with a client that provided medical product development services. Many of their prospects struggled to manage the run-time between concept and commercialization – let alone profitability. They would burn through their budget short of milestones and fizzle or bleed equity. IntelliSource crafted the position of the “Milestone Methodology to test ideas, not budgets.” It’s a great philosophy for all companies, not just in the medical space, and applies as much to messaging and positioning as it does product development. But how do you achieve it?

Often companies follow a linear progression of steps between concept and commercialization looking something like this:


Companies ideate, fund product development and testing, craft messaging and marketing, and then go to market. The problem is major resources are spent before the most important questions have been asked and answered: does the market want this product/service and what is its value? This ready-fire-aim approach is an uphill battle. Product development is more difficult without a deep understanding of market needs and competing offerings. Messaging tends to become product-centric rather than solution-centric. And it can lead to significant strategic and economic setbacks.

Alternatively, if instead of asking critical customer-facing question on the backend, we ask and answer them on the frontend, a remarkable thing happens. The progression looks more like this:


This is ready-aim-fire; marketing informs product development and becomes an integral part of a system with quicker insights, evolutions, and advancements toward delivering a viable, superior, and valuable offering. By investing in message development concurrently with product development and involving customers in the process, both product and message become solution-based. This results in very compelling and effective messages when you commercialize. Furthermore, for early stage companies few things build value better than a customer validating the concept, market need, and willingness to pay. We see it happen all the time.

While working with our client on a cardiopulmonary bypass pump we employed front-end customer strategy and the milestone methodology. IntelliSource helped craft a presentation to win grant funding for prototype development and testing of the idea. When the prototype had been developed and tested, we interviewed and filmed one of the preeminent pioneers in cardiac surgery admonishing the current practice, claiming the incumbents recognized the problems with their technologies but struggled to overcome them, and lauding our client’s approach as the future standard of care in a multi-billion-dollar market. Furthermore, we crafted a separate video and presentation winning a National Institute of Health pitch fest. Only once armed with a solution-based message backed by expert validation of the concept and commercial potential did our client conduct another funding round to advance through regulatory testing and a path to commercialization.

In another example, IntelliSource arranged first-ever end-user meetings for a leading plastic cable tie manufacturer. During frontend discovery meetings with the end users, we discovered one of their greatest challenges was not the ties or putting them on but rather taking them off. If they cut a cable while removing a tie, miles of cable would have to be rerun. This conversation led to the invention of a new patented cutoff tool which has produced millions in new revenue.

The advantages of frontend market research are innumerable – as much about identifying what to do as identifying what not to do, conserving budgets or pivoting based on the market. Furthermore, when experts in backend sales orchestrate frontend research, they can better ask and uncover the answers to those critical questions – will it sell and is it valuable. Furthermore, frontend customer research provides a tremendous opportunity to foster customer relationships laying the groundwork for testimonials, marketing collateral, and customer-to-customer selling when you do commercialize and go to market. The adage holds true, “Ask for money and you get advice; ask for advice and you get money.” An effective discovery conversation often transitions to a conversation advancing early adopters and development partners.

In strategic positioning, customers are the best calibration of true north to help companies navigate toward high-growth and high-profit opportunities. To learn more about how we work in the trenches with companies to go from defining a position in the competitive landscape to dominating it, read more about our process.

On a scale of 1-10, with 10 being best, rate the quality of products and/or services.

On the same 1-10 scale, rate your ability to market and sell those products and/or services.


After asking hundreds of CEOs these two questions, an overwhelming trend has emerged: most rank products and services an eight or better but marketing and sales a five or worse. This discrepancy is symptomatic of a pervasive double standard in which businesses tolerate (and don’t invest in improving) sub-par performance in marketing and sales which they would never tolerate in product quality. This is driven by two primary reasons:

1. Product excellence is mandatory

2. Sales and marketing are perceived as “soft-cost” investments

The great irony is that achieving product excellence – the primary motivation behind the imbalance – actually requires greater investment in frontend marketing and sales.

Just about every market has casualties of this double standard: quality products that struggle to sell. When companies develop products before testing the market then later develop messaging, they often fail to effectively match product offerings with customer needs. Because the product is of a high quality, they blame marketing and sales and think it a wasted investment. So, to address poor sales they invest in further product development without testing the market. A vicious cycle ensues.

Let’s look for example at the hyper-competitive $90 billion global gaming industry.

In 2005, Sony entered the handheld gaming market with the PlayStation Portable. According to Gizmodo “while the PSP was a technically superior device, it could never compete with the [Nintendo] DS’s durability or price.” Still, Sony continued to invest in their handheld hardware releasing the PSP Go in 2009 – a smaller evolution of the PSP with downloaded games rather than hardware discs. But between 2005 and 2009 the consumer market for small portable entertainment devices with downloadable content had shifted to the smartphone. PSP Go sales were paltry.

In contrast, in November 2016 Nintendo launched the NES Classic Edition, a mini version of a 20-year-old console preloaded with a static library of 30 games. In the roughly five months the console was available, gamers foraged stores and waited in lines to purchase one of the 2.3 million units sold before Nintendo cut off production. Nintendo then rode the wave of popularity to promote their latest generation console and future classic console releases.

What’s the difference between Sony’s PSP Go flop and Nintendo’s NES Classic Edition success? Sony developed a product and then tried to find a market. Nintendo went to the market and discovered an opportunity. One developed an impressive technical achievement few demanded; the other delivered nostalgia. One had a double standard; the other was balanced.

IntelliSource helps clients achieve this balance and build a position around the promise of a result. One such client was Mar-Lee Companies, a plastics OEM with an advanced “Technology Center” that delivered exceptional services but operated at breakeven. During our research, IntelliSource identified the medical device market as one which required the manufacturing expertise and was willing to pay a premium for it. IntelliSource reposition and rebranded the Technology Center “Mar-Lee Medical.” By balancing technical superiority with effective marketing, Mar-Lee was able to position their services to ideal target customers and transform a breakeven operation into breakout success.

Are you guilty of the double standard? A balanced and effective business requires both strategy (knowing where to go) and tactics (knowing how to get there). Learn more about IntelliSource’s approach to both by reading about Our Process.