Being an Academic versus an Executive

Recently, I was invited by the Marketing Strategy Special Interest Group to deliver the keynote address at the European Marketing Academy Conference (EMAC). This annual conference brings together a thousand or so marketing professors from all over the world. My presentation was about the relevance of research done by business school professors for practicing managers….

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…

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:…

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…