Is China a real threat? If so, is it a good or bad threat?

How bad is the China issue?

Many countries are pondering China’s purpose. Fear is rising.

Chinese money is everywhere. They own ports, farms, mines, airports, big brand companies, supply chains and lots and lots of property and real estate everywhere!

Is there Evil Intent by China?

Is it an economic invasion?

If so, are adequate responses from around the world worthy of those nations?

The USA’s answer is tariffs. Australia’s answer is to avoid talking about it. The Philippines are grateful for anyone’s money. In any country, corruption is easy when public servants aren’t paid enough, or adequate controls are absent.

The question remains, is it some great plan of China to control the world?

The Chinese self-perception is one of entitlement… they deserve to rule. Many Chinese possess a racist belief that they are superior to every other nationality, and the only justification for other nationalities is to serve China’s interests.

Recently a book was published by a Chinese immigrant to Australia that bemoans the perceived injustice of racial discrimination by white Australian’s but ignores the complete absence of human rights for non-Chinese that risk visiting, let alone living, in China. (Gaol first, questions later.)

Chinese don’t seem to be able to embrace empathy with much vigour. 😦

Perhaps this is how Mao Zedong could let 36,000,000 people starve to death for his Great Leap Forward.

I hope there is no Great Leap Forward planned for the future!

My first taste of China was while it was a closed country, and I was on a trade mission. Before they learned “spin”, I saw the real “id” and it was scary! But then I see the social progress in modern-day social behaviour and I wonder if enough Chinese will risk their lives to stand in front of tanks to protect human rights as they did in Tiananmen Square?

Is it a Non-Military Strategy?

The world bows to the wisdom of the great Chinese military genius of the 500BC strategist, Sun Tzu. Many Chinese learn, and follow, the teachings of their past. Sun Tzu said,

“The supreme art of war is to subdue the enemy without fighting.”

Is China’s employing this strategy?

Would it be so bad?

Let’s face it, other leadership hasn’t done the world that much good… look at their record:

  • 1% of the world’s population own 99% of the wealth.
  • Brazil is illegally burning off the Amazon forests.
  • The EEC is breaking down.
  • 1000 children die a day in Africa of starvation – ignored by the western world.
  • The Pacific Ocean is choking on plastic.
  • The world constantly loses the war on drugs despite huge funding.
  • People trafficking and modern-day slavery still exists in many forms.
  • The internet has only served to confuse and irritate with everything from fake news to narcissistic selfies.

There are arguments that a Chinese leadership might be just as bad… so what’s the difference. It might also be better.

I am reminded of the quote (source unknown), “You get the leadership you deserve”

So, if our own leaders fail us – it’s our fault.

And if we end up with Chinese dominated leadership, whose fault is that?

If Politicians Adopted Advanced Business Methods They’d Earn and Hold Power for Decades…

The Australian Labor & Liberal Parties

The Australian Labor Party commenced in the 19th century, as a body representing the needs of trade unions and rural pastoral workers’ groups at that time. Often described as “a band of unhappy amateurs” it has oscillated between strong and vocal support for the White-Australia policy to multiculturalism in the pursuit of votes and power.

The Australian Liberal Party commenced early in the 20th century, formed by Labor dissidents, as an anti-Labor body, with policies of protectionism and opposed to socialism. It has held onto power with a series of mergers with groups varying from women’s movements, youth groups and dying or weaker parties with anti-Labor sentiment, such as the Country Party.

Why Labor & Liberal dominate now

Each was, however, basically formed and has survived on their match to the perceived needs and wants of the Australian population… polarising political preference to Labor vs. Liberal.

Law 8 of the Immutable Laws of Marketing, The Law of Duality, says, “In the long run, every market becomes a two-horse race.” Which is exactly what has happened. From the Workers Party of 1972 to the Clive Palmer United Party of 2019, emotive attempts to foster better government have been made with poorly structured and inappropriately managed efforts of wealthy egos, rather than objective strategists… with appropriate results. The issue is NEITHER Labor or Liberal offerings currently satisfy the existing and future needs of Australia. Voters feel it… hence, the rise of splinter parties, a senate ballot paper that is the size of a table cloth and record-low levels of primary vote.

Based upon the foundation and infrastructure, neither can ‘metamorphosize’ to be what Australia needs… which is not one, but two new and up-to-date political groups.

Inevitably New Australian Political Parties Will Evolve & Dominate

Sooner or Later Smart Politicians Will Make their Move

Law 10 of the Immutable Laws of Marketing, The Law of Division says, “Over time the category will divide and become two categories.”. Australia has observed evidence of this division in the Australian Labor Party Rudd/Gillard contest, before Labor closed public airing of disharmony. It also witnessed the appalling display of rot in the Australian Liberal Party through the Abbot/Turnbull/Dutton/Morrison evolution.

Discontent has never been higher and will continue to exist until a new Party, founded on current Australia values, rises to the fore.

The difficulty is that politicians are mostly graduates in law or political science and not business strategy. I have yet to meet a politician who thinks of Marketing as anything but advertising and promotion (the root of their problems). I have yet to see market research performed in politics as well as it is in FMCG (fast moving consumer goods). I have yet to see political parties embrace sophisticated management tools in the multi-faceted array of marketing communications… from media interviews and other publicity, with advertising (liberal does the worst ads possible), promotions (poor effort and transparent grandstanding) and personal communications (pride cometh before a fall).

I once mentored a PhD student doing her thesis on “what would happen if a political party utilised modern marketing methods) and the preliminary findings indicated it would rise to power and keep it indefinitely. (Sadly, she discontinued her PhD and the work was never published). Politicians have refused to investigate these findings.

Politicians Are Their Own Worst Enemy – at the Cost of the Country

The self-defeating dichotomy is politicians themselves. Revered motivational psychologist, David McClelland identified that politicians crave power and resist advice from outside their power circle… The “men won’t ask for direction” syndrome, magnified to many degrees.

So when you take modern, helpful, constructive, positive, professional and beneficial change proposals to political parties you get polite rejection base upon a “it is my ball and we play by my rules” response.

Even New Zealand’s PM, Jacinda Ardern, is likely to be guilty of power-driven motivation… it is likely that it just so happens she feels the same way as the greater NZ population, and being so in sync, has won the heart of the other parts of the world. However, there will come a time where her personal lust for power and optimal decisions will contravene each other… then watch out!

Australia’s Continuing Political Turmoil and the Way Forward

The truthful barrier to Australia finding wholesome, beneficial and universal (or as best as can be achieved) political leadership is old-fashioned resistance to change. Basically, things will have to get even worse before they get better… and in getting worse will create a legacy that will be difficult to undo or reverse. It will take a consortium of contributors, a very highly skilled team of strategists, and most importantly and difficult, a national representation by achievement-based leaders willing to stand for parliament… people who genuinely will put the good of Australia before themselves, who will check their egos, greed, and gratification and sincerely strive for an invigorated Australia.

Welch Wisdom (How to Grow a Corporation)

The 5th “P” of Marketing is People

Jack Welch is quoted as saying, “The team with the best payers wins!” … a philosophy that helped Jack build GE into a word dominating power.

One of my earliest business management successes was when I ran a team of 120 people up and down the eastern seaboard. My HR strategy was simple… never stop looking!

I devoted 20% of my time to recruitment and training. If I found someone good, I would create a job for them. I wasn’t aware back in those days that 16-18% of any workforce is disengaged (actually trying to sink the boat) and I wasn’t nearly as good a boss as I am now, but I intuitively knew I had to keep working at refining my team to continue growing and to stop fires BEFORE they ignited.

The “C” in the ABC’s of Corporate Cancer stands for Complacency

Buy how many CEO’s do this? How many businesses pay attention to the necessary weeding out of disengaged employees? How many businesses have low-performing team members that are carried by colleagues or subordinates for years, if not decades?

As companies grow, they change. How many organisations keep c-suite executives who were perfect for the role when their business was small, but have long passed their level of competency?

I’m definitely not advocating disloyalty to long term loyal employees… far from it! But genuinely engaged employees are likely to recognise their shortcomings and encourage recruitment of new team members to provide new skills. There is, however, a complacency in organisations, and a misplaced loyalty where emotional support for a long-term employee displaces objectivity and recognition of that employee’s competency. This is a fatal perspective if it undermines competitive advantage or decreases employee engagement.

Building Great Teams

Nonetheless, Boards should be diligent in ensuring that disengaged and unengaged deadwood is identified and dealt with, rather than ignored or tolerated. New talent should be identified and recruited, and team members should be constantly monitored for ongoing performance with teams’ members rotated or replaced just as if they were professional sporting teams… well IF you want to win the premiership!

Do you recall EVERYTHING you learned at Uni?

Do you remember EVERYTHING you learned at Uni?

Many graduates in business, who I have talked with, admit they don’t remember everything they were taught at Uni.

Some confessed cramming just days before an exam, scraping by with a “Pass” and forgetting much of what they learned within months, or weeks, if not days, afterwards.

Insightful ones have wished they remembered the lessons learned when years later they were faced with important decision-making on topics that were discussed in their final capstone subjects.

I certainly experienced this, even as a part-time student who enjoyed the advantage of learning and applying my studies as I went. When I taught at Uni, in particularly in my MBA subjects, I had to relearn and learn the subject matter perfectly, to make sure I was perfectly capable of explaining and elaborating on complex and advanced business models.

My own, most outstanding commercial successes have always been based upon the correct and loyal adoption of some valuable and profound business models, concepts and findings learned in my marketing, business and strategy studies.

40 years of Executive Know-How… crammed into 2 days!

I’ve collated these into a concise and helpful commercial “bundle” that I’m sharing in my upcoming workshop, designed to empower senior managerial, marketing, strategy and planning executives.

Marketing Training for Senior Executives

If any of my LinkedIn connections (or their network) would like to attend, and find out the keys, tricks, methods, tools, rules, laws and models that help medium and large companies make millions, I’ve posted the link below and would be thrilled to see you at the event.

If you’d like to know more, go to https://www.informa.com.au/event/training/a-practical-guide-to-marketing/

Thank you, Clive Palmer

United Australia Party has wasted $7M as a direct result of NOT understanding “Marketing”.

Thanks to Clive Palmer, the world of business, in particular, the world of #Marketing, can see FIRST-HAND how “Marketing” is MUCH more than just advertising, publicity and promotion.

Millions upon millions have been spent, with (in balance) superior advertising media buying, substantive media advertising and exposure, publicity and work or mouth exposure that is a PR promoter’s dream; all contributing to an excellent outcome in terms of brand awareness and unaided brand recall… KPI’s that might be used to paint a picture of a great campaign.

In reality, it is a MAJOR failure in “Marketing” and will secure nominal (if any) significant support for Clive Palmer or his Party, and (post-election) will be heralded as one of Australia most notable political failures.

Thank you, Clive Palmer, for proving the limited power of advertising, publicity and promotion in Marketing.

Thank you, Clive Palmer, for demonstrating how lay-people, who THINK they understand “marketing”, rather than relying on properly educated, trained and experienced specialists, waste millions spending on Marketing Communications, when they should be spending it on Marketing Research & Analysis, Product and Brand development, People development, Process development, Customer Experience, Path to Purchase, and so much more.

Thank you, Clive Palmer, for showing us that financial muscle has limited ability to sway buyers (in this case, voters) if the total offering doesn’t meet the needs and wants of the target audience.

Thank you, Clive Palmer, for redistributing your wealth to the marketing services providers who have profited, the media participants who have enjoyed the display, and for strategic marketing professionals who now have evidence that further proves their importance.

How do you KNOW what your customers want?

“Customers” are NOT identical. A “market” is only a corral of market segments. Until business leaders fully accept that fact, businesses will not do as well as they could, probably flounder at some stage, and ultimately fail as their competitors (who DO “get it”) out-manoeuvre them.

The Most POWERFUL tool in a business strategist’s arsenal is Market Segmentation

For years I have used market segmentation to successfully “breakthrough” and improve the direction of employers’ and clients’ businesses. Market Segmentation is the “secret sauce” which helps businesses find the best customers.

Multi-million-dollar outcomes have followed market segmentation. It simply is the single most powerful tool in the marketing manager’s arsenal of marketing tools.

Identification of market segments almost guarantees optimal decision-making

With superior segmentation, you can identify attractive market segments so you can target and position your marketing mix and best satisfy the needs and wants of your “preferred” primate target audience prospects. This helps you “marry” your capabilities and appeal to the potential customers who desire your unique offering. (Every offering is unique, but that’s another topic.) Market Segmentation secures sustainable competitive advantage and market dominance.

Better customer insight and segmentation

Using proven market research methods, Market Segmentation means you’ll best be able to deliver differentiation strategies that achieve brand loyalty and brand preference.

You can get insight into where your profits come from, how to improve them, and how to best spend your marketing budget to reap the greatest returns.

You get insight and direction for decisions regarding:

* Distribution strategies and channel management

* Product management strategies and brand management

* Pricing and discounting strategies

* Improving demand & identifying high return customers

* New product development

* Brand Equity movements and brand portfolio opportunities

And more!

Market segmentation studies help identify opportunities and threats, competitors and trends… all helping you maximise your competitive marketing advantage.

Are you doomed, or are you set up for success?

Outside of micro businesses (under $5M p.a.) if your business hasn’t undertaken a proper, professional segmentation study in the past three years, you’re cruising for a bruising.

Worse still, if you (or your business leaders) think “marketing” is a word that accurately describes “advertising” and/or “promotion”, you’re likely in for, or already experiencing, a world of pain!

Almost all of the most successful businesses in the world, certainly the most profitable and powerful companies, all undertake annual or bi-annual segmentation studies. It is typical to find businesses that have failed who neither understand the definition of marketing or undertake (proper) market segmentation.

Common Sense

When management meetings happen and someone says, “Everyone wants…”, “Nobody will…” or “Buyers prefer…”, you NOW you’re in trouble: Subjective opinion is no more than unsubstantiated assumption, and “assumptions are the mother of all mistakes”.

It makes perfect common sense to ask… to ask enough people to know, and then if you ask the right questions you get the right answers , and if you ask people what they want and they tell you… and you LISTEN… then it is an effort to go wrong.

Remarkably, this common sense escapes many operational executives who get caught up in micro-economic detail and “can’t see the wood for the trees”.

I wonder if this could explain why businesses fail, and why corporations don’t experience ongoing success and longevity.

Do you agree? Please comment and let’s discuss?

The Biggest Constraint in Commerce is that Only a Small Number of Leaders BELIEVE in the “possible”…

Remember these business quotes?

“There will never be a bigger plane built.” — A Boeing engineer, after the first flight of the 247, a twin-engine plane that holds ten people.

“There is not the slightest indication that nuclear energy will ever be obtainable. It would mean that the atom would have to be shattered at will.” — Albert Einstein, 1932.

With over 50 foreign cars already on sale here, the Japanese auto industry isn’t likely to carve out a big slice of the U.S. market.” — Business Week, August 2, 1968.

“There is no reason anyone would want a computer in their home.” — Ken Olson, president, chairman and founder of Digital Equipment Corp., 1977.

Over my career, I’ve helped many an entrepreneur solidify and achieve his/her dreams, not because I am particularly smart, but for the following two reasons:

  1. Religiously applying strict business analysis disciplines in strategic planning and being harshly objective to the predictive outcomes. If the figures don’t “add up” then no amount of determination and “positive thinking” will turn a lemon onto a diamond.
  2. Believing in the figures even if they seem far-fetched… Sometimes you just have to trust that “shooting for the stars might just land you on the moon”

Nowadays I spend as much of my time helping bigger businesses overcome their self-imposed, limiting perceptions as I do developing new perspectives… with many huge companies refusing to open their minds to their true capabilities.

 

Warren Buffet says this is the “ABC’s of corporate cancer” … A for arrogance, B for Bureaucracy and C for Complacency… My take on it is the wrong people are making top-level governance decisions, which is why my Hierarchies of Marketing model is so important for growth focussed leaders.

 

Anyone wanting a copy of my book on the topic should connect with me on Linked In and request one. Now in its 2nd edition, some people even declare they experience an epiphany after reading it.

It takes a special type of executive to to believe in breakthrough opportunity
It takes a special type of executive to to believe in breakthrough opportunity

Why You Cannot Afford Silos between Sales & Marketing

fighting

What Factors Make Sales People Successful?

I recently shared a Linked In comment, and in my keynote presentations and workshops discuss, a large & intense formal commercial study of selling skills, that showed only two significantly important factors determine a sales person’s success…

  1. How hard salespeople work (calls, preparation, & face-to-face time in front of a prospect or customer, no ‘brass-plating’, procrastination, or poor time-management), and…
  2. The distribution of speaking time between seller & buyer (the greater the percentage of time the buyer spends speaking, the greater the salesperson’s sales success, relative to team peers’ success).

As a throw-away I mentioned that increased average productivity across the whole team of salespeople occurs if they have access to, and understand, properly identified market segments but I probably DDN’T emphasize the point enough that If a company really understands its market segments and responds accordingly, then all the salesperson really has to do is take orders… the selling is already done before the sales meeting.

What Factors Interfere with Sales People being Successful?

Multi-national corporations, in the main, already know a about the world-wide crisis in employee engagement: With only 24% of Australian workers engaged, and with 202% productivity gains to be had from the 76% unengaged, employee engagement & organisational alignment has become TOP priority, particularly in the wake of Millennials displaying even greater need for engagement, than generations past.

An issue that doesn’t receive enough attention is that 18% of any workforce is made up of “disengaged” employees – ones that deliberately want to “sink the ship”. and THAT is seriously lose sales and detrimental to future opportunity!

If silos are known to exist, any decent leader should be tearing them down, YESTERDAY!

But how often do we hear about disconnects between Sales & Marketing teams?

I’m betting silos between research and other departments even interfere with distribution of segment identification and recognition… that information isn’t shared, synergy is lost, and sales results end up being suboptimal across hundreds of industries.

It is an easy bet for me, I have uncovered plenty of situations just like this over my consulting career, from doing marketing audits, deficiency analysis and even in competition analysis… through to ‘war-stories’ from delegates to my workshops who confess this goes on far too often.

Often the problem stems from CEO’s who are too busy with distractions… too complacent towards improving productivity, too cynical to believe that a small investment in correction will deliver a significant ROI, or just fearful that they might be “exposed” as less than 100% competent.

How Badly Do YOU think Silos Interfere with Sales People being Successful?

I’d be interested in any comments, observations, cases in hand, or thoughts readers have as to silos, sales productivity and leadership, relevant to these thoughts.

By the way, I use an approach that has helped FMCG, transport & big pharma grow corporate profits by as much as $250M p.a. that can be used to help all sorts of businesses… If you want to have a peek, check out: http://bit.ly/OpAudit

The Curse of Corporate Business – Why The Mega Companies Are Floundering

Why So Many Huge Companies are Floundering in the Digital Age.

I explain the detailed reasons “why” in my book, “The Four Faces of Marketing” which readers can download below… but summarily, Companies aren’t “good” or “bad” it’s their decision-making leaders that are the important variable!

In larger companies like P&G, Unilever & General Mills, those with operational skills are promoted to strategic positions where they simply don’t have the tools… they are smart, street wise and intuitive, convergent thinkers, but lacking in knowledge and missing the ability to think divergently… They’re like Nokia’s execs, believing, “We did everything right” when they are doing too much wrong… They’re performing “Nero fiddled while Rome burned” management routines… with extraordinary high salaries, and the major shareholders of similar ilk are blind to their shortcomings.

Until these Companies nurture balance in their “Hierarchies of Marketing” they’ll continue to flounder.

Old Warren Buffet really nailed the curse of Corporate Business when he coined the term, “Corporate Cancer” and identified his “ABC’s”… When companies exhibit Arrogance, Bureaucracy and Complacency, they’re either done for, or in for a LOT of pain!

If you’re keen to know more, get my book from http://j.mp/ALLmktg

confused business leaders
Many great executives lose sleep every night wondering “what am I doing wrong?”

Time for a Recruitment Industry Shake-up?

Is it Time to Change the Way We Remunerate Recruiters?

 

As someone who is champion to the science of Marketing, many an executive throws down a gauntlet for me in terms of Marketing innovation: In a recent Pricing Workshop, someone challenged me to develop a better “model of exchange” in recruitment. Well here goes…

 

For a long time, some business leaders have harboured a certain dissatisfaction in the price-value equation for recruitment services in Australia.

 

For employers, there has been a suspicion that recruiters are paid excessively for what they do. For recruiters, there is a perception of the importance of correct recruitment that justifies their high commissions. For applicants, there is a frustration that they have been screened out with inadequate diligence, and that recruiters deliver an inefficient service to both applicants and employers.

 

Recruiters argue commissions of 30% of more for senior and key appointments are justified, citing “costs and overheads” that form an impeccable service. Sophistications such as advanced CV screening, diligent and deep reference-checking, background research, best-quality personality testing and other “overheads” are presented as depth and value in the service provided, giving the employer the best chance of securing an “A-class” candidate.

 

However, recruiters are very quick to limit their liability to a three-month trial period, before the waive all responsibility and leave the joined match to its own future.

 

For quality candidates who refuse to lie or exaggerate in their CV, there is a loss of trust in a system that doesn’t give a honest applicant a “fair go”.

 

A bad appointment can mean the end with blame being purposeless

All too often the employee doesn’t reveal weaknesses or inability to deliver until well past that point… with employers discovering all too late that they should have employed someone else.

 

Recruiters blame their clients for incomplete or inappropriate briefs, or simply the decision responsibility being beyond their mandate.

 

Employers blame recruiters for presenting tool limited a field of appropriate candidates, not consulting in a fiduciary manner, filling the brief rather than offering alternative (better?) options, of simply doing a personality match rather than a skills/competence match.

 

Regardless, a bad appointment can mean loss of profits, milestone negative implications that can extend to downturn, loss of jobs, or even the end of the organisation.

 

A Better Way to Remunerate Recruiters?

It is only right and proper that recruiters who genuinely match the best possible candidate to the right employers be handsomely rewarded.

 

At the other end of the spectrum, it is also unproductive to reward recruiters if they present inappropriate, badly selected, unsuitable or inadequately competent candidates.

 

An alternative Model to Reward Recruiters

What if recruiters could be rewarded for quality of employee service?

What if recruiters could be rewarded for duration of employee service?

What if recruiters could be rewarded for contribution to employee performance?

Wouldn’t it be fairer if recruiters shared in employees’ bonuses?

Wouldn’t it be fairer if recruiters shared in employees’ salary increases?

Wouldn’t it be fairer if recruiters shared in employees’ career progression?

I wonder if it is time to reward recruiters with a superior win/win/win approach?

How about rewarding recruiters on a longer-term basis? What if they were paid an override for every year of service? 10 years in the job would be a great appointment – worthy of a handsome commission. 18 months of hair-pulling agony, sub-optimal results, and organisational disharmony not rewarded significantly means recruiters have “skin-in-the game”.

The override could include bonuses and pay-rises… that would be fair too, while NOT receiving huge commissions for appointing short-duration candidates would also be fair.

 

FEEDBACK Please!

I genuinely would like to hear comments on this … form recruiters, employers AND candidates… it could be an opportunity to bring about constructive change… but if it is not, I’d like to hear other thoughts.

Is Your CEO a Fraud, Fake or Failure About to Happen?

CEO evaluation, identify a good CEO
Is your CEO a Time-bomb?

They say, “Cream Rises to the Top”, and generally it does… rancid or not!

How can you determine if the CEO, leading the Company you have your life savings invested in, or who is the employer controlling your professional and financial future, or is the head of the organisation you’re counting on for your security… is adequate for the job?

 

Here’s some symptoms to look out for that are sure give-aways your CEO is NOT up to the job.

 

1. CEO gives employees, investors and stakeholders no idea of the Company’s Mission and Vision statements.

Particularly staff, but everyone who contributes to the business, should understand their “reason for getting out of bed in the morning”. Without direction, how can people apply initiative, work as a team, and contribute top “the cause”? The answer is they can’t, and frustration, boredom, and complacency prosper, becoming the “norm”. For customers, if you say a “the lowest cost air-travel possible, their expectations come in ‘line’ and less customer dissatisfaction & complaints follow, with less costs, less staff pressure, … etc. (you get the picture.)

When CEO’s arrogantly boast profits inherited or experienced due to incidental or fragile circumstances (usually circumstantial) you want to watch out for short term profits that don’t dissipate faster than they came.

 

2. The CEO doesn’t understand the Hierarchies of Marketing.

My favourite quote for this year is borrowed from David Packard, of Hewlett-Packard fame, who said, “marketing is too important to be left to the marketing people”.  He was expressing an understanding of STRATEGIC MARKETING, in a world where OPERATIONAL marketing people are the functional folk who manage our daily marketing activities.

If your CEO doesn’t intimately understand the Hierarchies of Marketing, he’ll be loading his team with operational people delivering clever tactics, but in the absence of a single holistic strategy. Business will be reactive not active, budgets will be way out, production shortfalls and overruns, desperate discounting and high pressure sales drives… pressure, pressure, pressure, cost, cost, cost… while R&D will be minimised, market research will be nominal or “postponed till next financial period, and so on.

In the words so Sun Tzu, “Strategy without tactics is the slowest route to victory. Tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat.”

 

3. The CEO doesn’t Thoroughly Understand that Ethical Options are a Huge Business Opportunity and Not the Problem

Social media, the internet and globalisation, and all the communication ramifications have changed the game… It is often said, “Those that don’t observe the mistakes of history are bound to repeat them” and history has proven – so often – that when the “masses” discover contempt from the “elite”, heads role!

There is no reason a corporation can prosper and be immortal… companies don’t fail, its leaders who fail to run them properly who fail.

People want ethics and need satisfaction… it is up to C-level executives to deliver and they will secure customer loyalty. What’s incredible is that innovation using creates blue-ocean opportunities, and companies that deliver always prosper even more so. Imagine if tobacco companies had self-controlled their greed and capitalised on customer goodwill and brand equity? Marlboro was the 7th most popular brand in the world – it COULD have spawned industries! Imagine if building industry had introduced an innovation to replace its asbestos voluntarily at any of the times points since 1918 when it was discovered to be dangerous. Ethical leadership could have created HUGE opportunity in every time this was ratified, in 1933, 1942, 1943, 1947, 1949, 1953, 1955, 1960 and 1964. Ethical leadership would have led to R&D with something better/safer/ newer. They could have “upsold” and avoided the legacy of corporate criminality. Imagine if petrol companies hadn’t bought up and buried alternative energy patents decades ago when they wanted to protect their businesses… So many companies might still exist if their CEO’s had vision through an ethical high-road expressed in Corporate Values.

 

4. The CEO Takes Bonuses and High Salary Regardless of Company Performance

Any CEO who puts personal gain before their Company can’t be trusted to lead. If they don’t have “skin in the game”, a sense of balance, dedication to employees, customers and shareholders before themselves, a higher purpose than personal wealth, beware.

 

4. The CEO Doesn’t Intimately Understand the Importance of Balancing all the Elements of the Marketing Mix.

If your CEO perceives the word, ”Marketing”, to mean sales, selling, promotion, advertising, getting people to buy stuff, marketing communications , and doesn’t recognise the 8 “P’s” of Marketing… you’re doomed.

 

My firm surveyed every Australian IPO over 3 years during the 2000’s and found almost everyone, WITHOUT a Marketing qualification of the Board, experienced a less than issue price per share. EVERY company with Boards inclusive of a marketing qualified board member, had a higher than issue-price market value per share. Not one failure/collapse, was experienced by tertiary qualified marketing representation on the Board.

 

Remember, businesses don’t fail. Brands don’t fail. Products don’t fail… It is Managers, leaders, decision-makers who make wrong decisions who cause failure.

 

Is your Brand Strategy Misguided?

BuildingBrandEquityBrochure.pngRecently, I was part of a discussion on Linked In about Brand Strategy. My colleague, a branding expert, declaring, “Brand Strategy Work Is No Job for Ad Agencies”.

His article should be mandatory reading for everyone is business, from CEO to business-studies student, and definitely every person working in advertising.

The problem is simply that advertising folk just “don’t know how much they don’t know” about the greater issues in Marketing that go beyond those relevant to just the discipline of Marketing Communications (there ARE 7 other “P’s” in the Marketing Mix).

Too Many Ad Agencies are Untrained in “Marketing”

Its could be deemed hypocritical, particularly if you consider how violently ad agencies protect, and roll their eyes when a client tries to develop their own creative! But when the shoe is on the other foot, they glaze over, insisting they know best.

I recently experienced an ad agency completely wash away the significant and proven findings of consecutive, in-depth market research, because an arrogant account director of my client’s agency simply wanted to push through the creative they passionately believed in.

They got sacked months later, but not before they created a small misdirection in thinking, pressed upon my client, leading to a complete dismissal of statistically valid research findings, in favour of the emotional delight with the agency’s ‘tricky’ creative.

Of course, this happens often under the umbrella of “Marketing”. Synonymous with the rift between “sales” and “marketing”, but more complex due to the external nature of the appointment, it takes focus, wisdom and humility of decision-makers to resist.

 Ad Agencies Should Listen  & Understand

For 40 years I’ve observed strong willed, strongly opinionated and overtly arrogant ad people insist they know better than their humbler, better educated and brow-beaten clients.

Every makes this mistake sometime in their career: I have done it myself, in my earlier days, I naively perceived my worth, so I am guilty too – but at least I have the benefit of strong academic grounding and extraordinary mentoring and experience across the 8P’s rather than just advertising.

Creative Genius is Important, but Marketing Strategy is Key

Nobody denies the brilliance of a great creative, the street cunning of a whip-smart suit, or the genius of great copy, but when advertising agencies present a ‘strategy’ person, I’ve yet to find one (in 40 years) who actually understands the complexities or issues of ‘marketing strategy’. (Some years ago, I presented the Law of Diminishing Brand Loyalty to the Strategy Director of Australia’s biggest ad agency, and was shocked to observe she was lost, overwhelmed by concepts she had never heard of before!)

My colleague’s insistence, that ad agencies should stick to advertising strategy and heed the input of those empowered with marketing knowledge, is pure gold to those who don’t yet understand the limitations of ad agency services… but also a home truth to those who do.

Building Brand Equity

Let me Gift You with my 40 years’ Learning on Branding

Decades of academic & business exposure and practical, commercial successes have taught me valuable secrets & disciplines in Branding. Having empowered C-level executives, mentored MBA students with breakthrough branding successes, and been revered by peers as “a brilliant brand strategist”, I know a thing or two.

So, I’ve boiled down my most valuable knowledge into a 2-day workshop called, “Building Brand Equity”. Join me in Shanghai this coming March. Get more details by visiting, http://tr.globalscm-group.com/training_info.php?id=98

The Easiest Way to Grow Brand Equity is through Customer Engagement & THAT Comes from EMPLOYEE Engagement!

There is a crisis of engagement. With 87% of employees disengaged worldwide, Gallup states in a 2016 report that “employee engagement has barely budged in years”. In the United States and Australia these figures are 68% and 76% respectively. These levels of disengagement represent billions of dollars in costs to organisations and governments.

Why are so many employees disengaged? How can organisations increase engagement? What effect do disengaged customers, students, welfare recipients and other stakeholders have on the bottom line and on organisational success? How can you find a superior means to overcome these engagement problems?

With a market in need of a viable solution, management has to address the symptoms, the foundations and find the solution, including a next generation of engagement tools.

Leaders MUST address the issues, the direct & indirect costs, the effect on customer experience, and the philosophies around minimising, and explore new & engaging methodology to deal with this problem.

MARKET STATUS QUO

Increasing employee engagement investments of 10% can increase profits by $2,400 per employee, per year. (Source: Workplace Research Foundation). Employers are rapidly catching on to the positive ROI of investing in their employee engagement efforts.

Highly engaged employees are 38% more likely to have above-average productivity. (Source: Workplace Research Foundation). This is a huge part of where we see increased profits coming from. Kevin Kruse (@Kruse) coined a great term to define this ripple effect that employee engagement tends to have on an organization, he calls it, “The Engagement Profit Chain”.

Companies that foster engaged brand ambassadors in their workforce report an average of 2.69 sick days taken annually per employee, compared to companies with weak engagement efforts, reporting an average of 6.19 sick days. (Source: Workplace Research Foundation). Sick days can be very costly in the way of lost productivity and reduced workplace morale. Reducing these costs is just another benefit associated with employee engagement efforts.

Companies with engaged employees, outperform those without by 202%. (Source: Dale Carnegie). “Employee engagement is the emotional commitment the employee has to the organization and its goals. This emotional commitment means engaged employees actually care about their work and their company. They don’t work just for a pay-cheque, or just for the next promotion, but work on behalf of the organization’s goals.” – Kevin Kruse

Companies that implement regular employee feedback have turnover rates that are 14.9% lower than for employees who receive no feedback. (Source: Gallup). This is a big one folks! There are a lot of estimates on the cost of employee turnover, and honestly, that number is going to be different for each employee, location and company. The exact number doesn’t matter as much as the prevention of that cost. What is employee turnover costing you?

Only about 25% of business leaders have an employee engagement strategy. (Source: Dale Carnegie). There’s another powerful statistic. The benefits of building an engaged workforce are undeniable, yet so many companies haven’t made the investment yet. This disconnect seems like the opportunity for a strong competitive advantage over the other 75% of companies who don’t have a strategy.

The numbers don’t lie, organizations are going to need to invest in employee engagement in order to stay competitive, drive productivity and improve the bottom line.

THE FIRST STEP

Leaders need to develop sincere, motivating, inspiring alignment of teams for many reasons… Remove silos, undo secret agenda, create unity of effort, inspire initiative, minimise mistakes, etc.

At Launch Engineering, we deal with this under the “8th “P” of Marketing, “Politics”… were we recognise that Internal Marketing is key to Marketing Strategy & Planning. Readers should contact Launch engineering or visit…

http://www.launchengineering.com/MissionVision.htm

 

 

Brand Equity Grows with Business Productivity from People
Engagement Levels Around the World

Category Management – Just old fashioned Marketing, re-boxed?

Category Management. Every time I think about CatMan key points, one is the core definition of the Marketing Concept: Satisfaction of Customer Needs & Wants.

Of course, there is much more to Category management than one-sentence, throw-away lines, simple theory, or intangible concepts.

Category Management is a potent and serious business approach that, properly implemented, can grow an industry, streamline a channel’s operations and genuinely improve profits throughout the channel while increasing customer value: It is a win/win for everyone!

However, badly done, misunderstood, or inadequate organisational commitment means win/lose… which (ultimately) means lose/lose.

You can organise your won, in-house workshop, or attend & learn at my Management training workshops on 17 & 18 July (Singapore) or 20 & 21 July (Manila, Philippines) and you’ll discover tools you need to do it right, avoid the landmines, and make it happen. You’ll find more details at 

You’ll acquire the material you need to attract internal support and trade partner alignment, as well as adopt and carry out your own Category Management strategies through both supply chain and demand chain.

It’ll be great to see you there!

Black Hat Promotion, Dishonesty & Ethics – Please, “No!”

A curious email passed under my nose recently, which read…

Australian Enterprise Awards 2017 is due to be published soon.

You will remember me informing you that Launch Engineering was awarded Product Launch Specialists of the Year 2017 – New South Wales

Unexpected, (we never submit for prizes) I read on….

We now have limited availability of the final packages available:

Digital Package WAS $528 NOW $350AUD:
Bespoke digital winners’ certificate & Personalised winners’ logo

Premier Package WAS $950 NOW $595AUD:
1 dedicated page of content, 1 crystal trophy, Personalised winners’ logo

Superior Package WAS $1,895 NOW $1,195AUD:
Front cover image, 1 dedicated page of content, 1 crystal trophy, Personalised winners’ logo, 6-month clickable web-banner placed in prime position on our homepage

Individual Items:
Crystal Trophy – WAS $400 NOW $285AUD (discounts apply on multiple orders)
1 Page EditorialWAS $310 NOW $225AUD
Personalised Winners’ Logo – WAS $300 NOW $215AUD

So, a “shade of grey” revenue-raising service that provides fro unethical marketing consultancies to “buy” accolades; I suppose to impress people and attract business from potential new clients unable to discriminate between ability and bull-artistry.

What concerns me is this is an example of the significant prevalence and adoption of deception, half-truth and unethical marketing communications of the 21st Century- and how acceptable it has become!

Black Hat Promotion, Dishonesty & Ethics – All PROFESSIONALS should say, “No!”

Ethics, honesty, moral fibre, and (most importantly) performance, these days, seems relatively secondary to sales success. Short term gains have become wholly absorbing, while long-term market effect appears to be completely ignored.

In the context of so many people perceiving the word “marketing” to mean persuasion, as opposed to the real meaning, being “management of exchange”, if even one “marketing consultancy” adopts deceptions like the one above, what hope have we?

I’m genuinely afraid for the long-term impact on the “marketing profession” if THIS is what we produce, endorse, promote, or even accept as a standard worth supporting.

Yes, I can understand the carrot is that Launch Engineering could choose to ‘ride’ on being awarded the “Product Launch Specialists of the Year 2017 – New South Wales in the Australian Enterprise Awards 2017″ publication, probably “selling” trusting new prospective clients, but this is LAZY marketing.

What Hat Marketing Communications, Honesty & Ethics is Simply GOOD Marketing!

Surely, we can conjure up more ethical, constructive, positive, meaningful and mutually profitable ways to do business, can’t we?

Isn’t it more important that our team is exceptionally highly qualified, with decades of specialised experience, and world-renowned, winning outcomes? I believe so.

Whether those”consultants”, lacking anything to support their aspirations, should they be allowed to use such services as the one above is not my major worry… it is the apparent willingness of so many to do so.

White-Hat Marketing is the creator of brand Equity. White-Hat Marketing is the means by which we extend and maximise the lifetime value of a client! White-Hat Marketing is how we push customers into   (Net Promoter Score) emissaries of our products and services. White-Hat Marketing is how we satisfy and dominate the attractive segments in our individual market segments.

YOUR THOUGHTS?

I’d be grateful for any thoughts, observations, or debate on this or any issue regarding subversive, covert and deceptive promotion of marketing services.