Wednesday, June 15, 2005

How Many CEOs Care About Customers?

Everytime I think we marketers are making the shift to customer-centric marketing, I get this rude bucket of ice water pitched in my face. This time it came from reading “Tracking the Trends” in Pepper + Rogers’ 1to1 Magazine. Actually, it was two buckets of ice water packed into one blasting paragraph:

“Business news channel CNBC interviews CEOs every day, and Peppers & Rogers Group recently tracked those interviews for one month. In that time, 23 CEOs discussed their company strategies, and only six used the word customer. And in March, a Deloitte survey of 150 technology CEOs found that only 6 percent say building customer loyalty is their biggest challenge to sustaining growth. They are most concerned with bringing new products to market (27%), hiring salespeople (18%) and developing strategic relationships (15%).”

If this is where our CEOs are, then contextual marketers face a long, grinding uphill battle to get attention in the corner office … where we can make substantial positive impact for the companies we work at.

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