Thursday, August 24, 2006

Where have all the good CMOs gone?

This study, which is based information from the top 100 consumer brand, is one that should cause pause for any executive with a "M" in their title. Could it be that some CMOs are just MBAs filling a role once occupied by professionals with electric imagination and a pulse on customers' desires...Or is it that those creative professionals atop the "Marketing" tree just don't understand how to measure and market their own success?

Who knows? But all marketing professionals should care.

Study finds CMO tenure becoming shorter

The tenure for chief marketing officers at consumer companies declined to an average 23.2 months from 23.5 months in 2005, according to a report released Wednesday by recruiting firm Spencer Stuart.

Source: BtoBonline

Friday, August 11, 2006

Online Research Doubles Globally, But Telephone Still Most Popular

The Global Market Research Report, conducted every year by ESOMAR, available in September 2006, reveals that the Market Research industry remains healthy with longer term compound annual growth rates of 4-6%. Top line results indicate that global market research turnover tops $23 billion in 2005 with a growth rate of 4.3%. Europe maintains its leading role with 45% of the global market, and the use of online studies grows by 80%.

In fact, the Report demonstrates that online research is now playing a key role in market research around the world, representing 20% of expenditure on data collection methods. This figure nearly has nearly doubled from 2004 to 2005 (11% in 2004).

At the same time face-to-face interviews have dramatically decreased, now representing 21% of data collection compared to 31% in 2004. Telephone interviews are currently the most popular data collection method, representing 22% (relatively stable compared to 2004 with a 2 point decrease). The quantitative/qualitative ratio remains constant with 2004 with roughly an 80/20 split.

Véronique Jeannin, ESOMAR Director General, says "We expect the Industry's healthy growth rate to continue in the near-term… the industry faces challenges of downward pressure on prices (however) as companies pass on savings to clients from conducting online research, which are likely to be offset by demand for results from more sophisticated online research tools."
The fastest growing markets (real growth) include:
Latvia (34%)
China (25%)
Thailand (23%)
Bulgaria (22%)
Malaysia (20%)

The results also show that in growth measurement among the largest markets:
France grew the fastest at 3.2%
Germany (2.8%)
USA (2.1%)
Japan (2%)
UK remains stable with 0.7% real growth

Friday, August 04, 2006

My Mustard Yellow Wall

Dijon mustard yellow, that is. Yes, I have the luxury (some may say bad luck) of looking at a yellow wall. Whereas some may refer to the color of my wall as drab I see it as a step up from white. The funny thing is that when people ask about my office I rarely think to mention its colorful façade.

Why am I telling you this? Do I have some strange penchant for paint? Not really. The point is that all too often in life we pass over the everyday things.

Now, to apply this stop-and-smell-the-roses moment to marketing.

Just like my wall, branding gets stale and can fade. Whether the associated messaging becomes its own dubious cliché, the product or service evolves, or time has rendered it inconsequential, a brand has to be updated and refreshed. There are of course exceptions to the rule – the branding that miraculously stands the test of time – but a brand that has evolved is much more ubiquitous.

So how do you go about refreshing your corporate paint? Just as you can use a roller, a brush or a sponge to paint your wall there are any number of options to refreshing your brand, each of which can serve as its own blog entry…nay…book. Suffice it to say the most important step is to look at your company. How has it grown over the years? What have you learned? Where is your focus? What is your culture? In the dreadful words of Barbara Walters, “If you were a tree, what kind of tree would you be?”

The secret is to let your true colors come through.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

B2B Media and Trade Shows Most Important to Executives

Every B2B executive that wants media coverage from or desires to run ads in the Wall Street Journal, Fortune and The New York Times should read this. I am not saying that these "elite" media outlets are not helpful, but it’s important that B2B companies not summarily dismiss the power of the trade press, websites and tradeshows.

It’s important to own your own back yard before you attempt to buy the entire neighborhood.

B2B Media and Trade Shows Most Important to Executives

A recently published study by Harris Interactive, a report on the importance of Business Media among executives in companies with $5 million or more in annual sales, found that B2B media are held in high regard among executives with a strong majority who consider B2B magazines and websites to be more informative and reliable than general media sources.

The study, conducted between February 2006 and April 2006 with 588 completed interviews, is said to be projectable to the entire B2B industry. A minimum of 40% of the sample was among senior executives who are Vice President level or higher at their company

Key findings include:

  • B2B media have remained an important resource for executives who, on average, report reading 4.2 B2B magazines and visiting 7.4 B2B websites in the past month
  • Senior executives report higher regular usage of B2B magazines than mid-level executives
  • Attendance at trade shows continues to be important, particularly among senior level executives who report attending close to 3 trade shows per year, compared to mid-level executives who report attending close to 2 per year.
  • When asked what source of information executives rely on to do their job best, B2B magazines (41%) comes out on top as the single most mentioned resource, well above any general business media.

Executives report they are more engaged/involved with B2B media than with general business magazines, television and newspapers. In particular, sales representatives and B2B magazines are the most engaging/involving (though four in 10 executives say they are spending less time with sales representatives than they did five years ago), followed closely by B2B trade shows, B2B websites and B2B conferences or seminars.

During all phases of the purchasing process, a synergy of different B2B media offers executives the guidance they want every step of the way. The most used resources throughout the research process, at each level, are:

Start thinking about purchase: B2B websites, B2B sales people, B2B magazines

Begin researching options: B2B websites, B2B sales people, B2B magazines

Narrow down choices:
B2B sales people, B2B websites, B2B magazines
Make a final decision:
B2B sales people, B2B websites, B2B magazines and trade shows
Review after purchase: B2B sales people, B2B websites, B2B magazines

Different B2B media are perceived by executives as having different strengths;

Executive Perception of Top Media Type Strength
Top Strength % Made or
recommended purchase
due to advertisement in this medium
B2B Magazines Trust 57%
B2B Websites Immediacy 49%
Trade shows Raise awareness of products 70%
Source: Harris Interactive, June 2006

Advertisements in different B2B media spur different types of action on the part of executives, according to the study:

  • B2B magazines are a great way to direct executives to the web, either to find additional information (79%) or to make a purchase through the Internet (39%). Almost six in 10 executives (57%) say that an advertisement in a B2B magazine prompted them to purchase or recommend purchase of a product or service.
  • Trade shows also drive executives to seek additional information either on the web (77%), by talking to a sales person (73%) or calling an 800 number (40%). Trade shows, with their hands-on advantage, are great places to make a sale, with seven in 10 (70%) executives purchasing or recommending the purchase of a product or service directly as a result of advertising/promoting at a trade show.
  • Advertising on B2B websites led slightly over one in three (35%) to directly make a purchase over the Internet and half (49%) to purchase or recommend purchase of a product or service.

Source: Center for Media Research