Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Strategies for gaining uplift in a downshift

We recently completed our CMO Council, North American board meeting in NYC. The topics were wide ranging but the first topic discussed was an exploration of:

Strategies for gaining uplift in a downshift

Below are my favorites from the discussion and best practices sharing from the board. Many of these might be common sense to some but my experience tells me that most marketers become very focused on doing less of the same rather than doing what’s critical for the long term health of the business.

  1. Pay attention to your best customers…do NOT take them for granted!

  2. Think about “value added” service in addition to the tangible product you are selling?

  3. Redirect discretionary spending to future activity to reassure your current customers that you are positioning for the future vs. advertising and new customer development.

  4. Work more closely with the sales team – no time for turf battles. You will win or lose together…look around there are less of you.

  5. Focus – what is your point of differentiation? Invest in it and nothing else during this difficult period.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Spencer Stuart CMO Summit

I just returned from the Spencer Stuart CMO Summit in NYC where the topic of…What’s Next? Reinventing Marketing for the Next Chapter was discussed by a distinguished panel from great brands like Visa, Walgreen, US Olympic Committee, HP, Franke and others. My key take-aways from the panel discussion were:
1. Marketing in a challenged economy in more important than any other time. Brands and companies that target their reduced resources and are aggressive will be big winners when the economy turns around.
2. Brands, Company’s and their CMO’s must have a singular purpose and focus to unify the organization and to ensure the customer/consumer understands and gets the message.
3. The trend continues away from traditional media to digital. The general consensus was that the leading marketers will have already are in the process of shipping up to 40% of the communication spend to digital (web, social media, etc).
4. The final take-away and probably the most critical was the notion of… Picking your bets as a marketer and than commit and don’t waver!