Myths of Big Data

Following up on the last two blogs (link 1 & 2), this one is dedicated to big data. With statements like “data is the new oil”, we may be at the peak of inflated expectations in the hype cycle before the sober reality sets in. Big data has now become a large industry, touted as…

Why Marketers Fail with Analytics?

Last week’s blog, Why CMOs Rarely Become CEOs, was one of my more popular posts on LinkedIn. Over 15,000 visits and 125 comments. The comments were interesting. Most marketers were supportive with, “accurate though depressing”, probably being the summary.

Why CMOs Rarely Become CEOs?

Last week I was with a marketing professor who lamented that in his interactions with public policy makers, he observed that they did not respect marketing. In my book, Marketing as Strategy, I presented data to demonstrate that executives who had grown up in the marketing function rarely made it to the CEO position. For…

Two Biggest Lies in Marketing

There is a common perception that all marketers are liars! I am not going to comment on this. Instead, I will focus on the two biggest lies that I have observed in marketing using an example that was elaborated in my book Value Merchants (co-authored with James Anderson and Jim Narus) targeted to business marketing…

Does Anybody Hate You?

Some years ago, I was with the CEO of a major multinational telecom company and his top team. The firm had over the past decade spent hundreds of millions on advertising. Yet, to the dismay of the CEO, while brand awareness was very high among the consumers; these same consumers were unable to spontaneously recall…

The Tyranny of Choice

Twenty years ago, when teaching at the IMD business school in Switzerland, one of my popular assertions was: “Instead of seeking the customer in each individual, we should seek the individual in each customer.” Today, with technologies such as the internet of things and 3D printing, and with consumers taking to social media, companies have…

Brand Creep: The Challenge of Multi-Brand Portfolios

Many companies have multiple brands within the same category. For example, Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide has W, St Regis, Sheraton and Westin. For a multi-brand portfolio to be successful, each brand must be targeted to a specific segment and must embody a unique selling proposition (USP). Consider Procter & Gamble’s laundry detergent portfolio in…

Why Demographic Segmentation Rarely Works?

Marketing as a corporate function originated out of sales more than a hundred years ago. Rather than simply trying to sell what the company manufactures (the sales concept), the marketing idea was that it made more sense to start by first examining customer needs and then producing what consumers actually need. As Peter Drucker argued:…

Pricing: Why Make Things Worse?

Of all the functions in marketing, pricing is the most important from a profitability perspective. Unfortunately, most managers do not adopt an analytical approach to the pricing process. I cannot go into all the complexities of pricing in a short piece, but I would like to present a counterintuitive insight that is referred to as…

Spray and Pray

“Spray and pray is a derisive term for firing an automatic firearm towards an enemy in long bursts, without making an effort to line up each shot or burst of shots. This is especially prevalent amongst those without benefit of proper training.” The preceding two sentences are from Wikipedia and if you are wondering whether…

Incremental or Radical innovation?

Innovation and leadership are two topics in management which have received so much attention from “gurus” that it is hard to say anything new on these subjects. I rarely read articles on these subjects as they tend to suffer from the “old wine in new bottles” curse. Yet, both topics remain vitally important for building…

Marketing Must Change

As an ex marketing professor, I have always been interested in the evolution of marketing as a discipline. This week an interesting article that I read in Ad Age got me thinking more about the fact that marketing must change or what I observed in my 2004 book, Marketing as Strategy, “markets change faster than…