Sunday, January 09, 2005

The New CEO Mandate

Marketing that Delivers Value to Customers and Shareholders

With 98% waste in the marketing budget and 87% in the sales budget, can we continue to treat our marketing and sales activities as an expense item buried in SG&A on our balance sheet? How much more money is your CEO prepared to burn on such inefficiency? Is there any wonder why marketing budgets are the first to be slashed when a company is having difficult times? Clearly, we need to manage our investments in marketing and sales more efficiently.

The mandate issued to CEO’s from one Board of Directors to the next is the same: Increase value for customers and shareholders. For companies that have already downsized several times, the only path left for value creation is to grow revenue. As a consultant to many Fortune 1000 companies and as an observer of the business economy, it is clear that many CEOs fail to optimize their revenue-generating potential. But not for lack of opportunity. In fact, quite the opposite is true. There are so many opportunistic directions that focus is lost. It is a curse of too many options. Yogi Berra was only half right when he coached “if you find a fork in the road, take it.”

The fork to take and take as quickly as possible is the fork that leads to Customers. Aim your systems to focus on a single, consistent image of who each Customer is and whether or not that Customer fits the profile for greatest profitable revenue. If so, then do everything possible to make that Customer successful. Then, and only then, that Customer will reward you with something supremely valuable – his or her loyalty.


At 5:10 PM, Blogger Coordinator said...

Hi there! Interesting blog:-)
Gosh, I hear you about the waste of marketing budget. We spend so much on lead generation programs and most of the time it is a waste of our money. Being a small company, we're limited with how much we spend, so it's critical that we spend wisely. We have found a few channels that consistently perform well, but a lot of them are trial and error.

Any advice on targeting the mid-market segment? We do a lot of targeted marketing, but I have found that finding channels that specifically target the mid-market ($50M - $250M revenue) and advice about how to target the mid-market is difficult. We're rocking with enterprises, but would like to get our message out to the mid-market segment more than we have in the past.


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