• Final Mile

Will neurology revolutionize marketing thinking?

The CEO of a leading consumer product company is in deep trouble. The financial performance of the company is not looking good. He needs to immediately take steps to shore up his company’s bottom line. What would the CEO do? Who would he turn to for help? He would probably approach the finance department or the production department or perhaps even the sales department to achieve good results in a short time. Chances that he will depend on his marketing department to show immediate results are very slim. The reason is obvious. Marketing departments are not really trusted for their ability to deliver sure, quick results. As Prof. Nirmalya Kumar of London Business School mentions in his book Marketing as Strategy, “All that marketers want from CEOs is more money to spend”.

What will get the marketers a place in the strategy table of the CEO? As CEOs become more and more accountable in this era of quarterly results and interventionist shareholders, marketing departments of organizations have to deliver consistent and sure results. Marketing departments can no longer hide under the guise of long term brand building, but have to show perceivable effects in the market place in the short term. Every marketing campaign has to show immediate results in the market place.

It is easier said than done. Studies around the world have shown that 9 out of 10 new product launches fail. This is despite billions of dollars being pumped into market research and advertising and promotional campaigns. When other departments of the organizations are working towards a Six Sigma level of perfection, the marketing departments of organisations cannot afford to have Six Sigma level of failure rate.

Despite some of the best brains working in marketing departments around the world, why is there such a huge failure rate in the marketing decisions made around the world?

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