I just went to any amazing road show for Marketo.

God knows how much they spent to entertain over 1000 marketing professionals with breakfast lunch morning teas, drinks, in the centre of Sydney, at The Westin Sydney, a five-star hotel sporting one of the CBD’s biggest convention rooms, with an array of quality speakers, full light & sound, screen and seating, promotional gifts, decor and print matter… and all the promotional activity to fill the room…

They flew Phil Fernandez, their Chairman and CEO, over from the states… and their VP of Product Management as another USA presenter from their team…

Their key staff were there, up to and including their Marketing Director, all kitted out in promotional attire.

It was smick. Chic. Classy. Impressive… and Marketo deserve to get some sales from it.

But you don’t NEED deep pockets when you get Positioning right

The problem is they missed the mark, simply because they don’t appear to understand the Definition of Marketing. They use Marketing as a synonym for PROMOTION.

As a colleague of mine put it, “They perceive only 1P in anyone’s marketing mix”.

Marketo appears to be a powerful digital, marketing communications tool. Optus and Flight Centre promotions department use it successfully.

But, because Marketing isn’t just about generating leads, and professionals know its as much the management of pricing, of distribution, new product development, market research and analysis, product management and brand management, management of processes and people and positioning… packaging, planning, forecasting, industry analysis, competition analysis, environmental analysis, economic analysis, compliance with legal and social cultural norms and expectations, keeping up with technology, managing change, strategic planning and coordination with corporate mission vision and purpose, juggling budgets and answering to multiple stakeholders (internal & external) AND promotions management (analogue AND online) … Marketo has created for itself ambiguous positioning and vague market reputation.

Within the Promotional Mix (the 1 P that Marketo performs in) marketers are balancing inputs such as advertising, public relations, sales promotions and personal selling, to not only generate leads, but satisfy and respond to all of the Marketing Mix, above… and if Marketo could just grasp its own true value, deliver positioning that says “Online, digital promotions management software”, then Marketo would be targeting PRIME target audience prospects, better communicating its own USP (unique selling proposition) and revealing a valuable PBM (prime buying motive) that would generate better sales for itself and better information dispersion to the marketing industry.

Anyone wanting a quick treatment of Definition of Marketing should visit http://bit.ly/MktgDef

For a deeper and strategically applicable treatment download my [free] e-book, The Four Faces of Marketing from http://j.mp/ALLmktg.

Marketing effort vs Market Positioning

The brawn is big budget. The brains is positioning.

So many businesses could boom beyond all expectations…
… If ONLY they knew how much they don’t know, when it comes to ‘marketing’.

So many still think that “marketing” is “promotion”. Others perceive it as simply ‘selling’. Dangerous CEO’s think marketing is just ‘fluff’.

Companies that have leaders with this perception are ultimately doomed… proven infinitely, too often, by companies, businesses, brands and products that ‘fail’.
In fact, companies, businesses, brands and products do NOT fail, management does!

But try telling the naïve, the ignorant and the uninformed: They don’t know how, if they’d only opened their minds, the bulletproof armour that ‘true’ marketing provides.

The complexity of this problem is exacerbated by the fact that too few senior executives were exposed to advanced marketing study at tertiary level, and that TOO MANY were so badly taught by so many inept academics, that the power of marketing methods was never revealed, ad that many students at University were so focussed on finishing their full-time degree and getting a job that they too quickly forgot the advanced skills they were taught much sooner in their careers than when they were called upon to use these skills.

When you cross-pollinate the additional issue of operational knowledge vs. academic knowledge (industry specific knowledge vs. strategic theory) the issue of corporate (and personal) arrogance raises its ugly head.

A common example of this is strategy problems that could easily be solved by product typing.

Take, for example, the B2C model of product type.
If you are selling guttering, time-share, insurance, or any other unsought good, the ‘rules’ say awareness is key. Too many guttering, all time-share and struggling insurance businesses don’t even grasp this!

Then, those that do don’t understand segmentation must be bought to turn this knowledge into profitable strategy development. Then, those that can, don’t have the acumen to brief, commission, or recognise good marketing research in terms of a segmentation study… and THAT’S assuming their management will empower them with enough funding to acquire this knowledge.

Then the organisation may not have adequately skilled people to interpret the research, brief and control the creative development in marketing communications, exercise scientific management of media variables (weight, reach, timing, competitive response, etc.) or the management of channels, production, product portfolio, pricing, people, processes, positioning, etc.

What happens in almost every industry is the LEAST WORSE battle for major market share, the completely devoid of know-how battle for crumbs.

IF a company flukes or actually plans using advanced, integrated strategic marketing, they end up with ‘unnatural’ marketing share levels of 80% plus… long term!
Look at Coke, Mars, McDonalds, and P&G: Companies embracing marketing scientists & enjoying the benefits.

Look at Ansett, FAI, thousands of SME’s that collapse annually… victims of their own refusal to believe they need marketing science.

Imagine a world where businesses, NFP’s and government bodies actually were truly marketing led and managed… utopia!

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Begin your trip towards explosive growth in sales and profits, by starting at:
http://bit.ly/MktgDef

The following is a summary of my presentation at the 2012 FMCG Summit on Longevity, held at MGSM.

Every company must follow its mandate/mission/vision and derived corporate objectives: That’s the Board of Management’s job!

So why is everyone complaining that WW & Coles are making it hard? It’s their job to maximize profit…. and ours to help them! If we happen to make mega bucks in the process – good on us! If we get deleted in the process, we should only blame ourselves.

When marketing science reigned supreme, a very accurate and detailed segmentation study, including positioning map and competition analysis, was a yearly investment, but in the past decade, as pressure has been put on improving WW & Coles profits, operational managers have sacrificed long term strategic foresight, and stripped themselves of their most powerful ally – market segmentation knowledge.

[A show of hands at the Summit showed only 1 attendee had commission a new segmentation study in the past three years – now wonder FMCG marketers are losing bargaining power!]

Now that Woolworths, and Coles have the power of loyalty card data… data that is fast, statistically reliable, accurate, and consistent, FMCG marketers are going to be stripped of their knowledge assets, and buyers will become category experts like never before.

Buyers can now rebuild a category from scratch… deleting big brands, ranging new innovations, with assurance and confidence they have never had before… because they really KNOW their customers.

The only tool that FMCG markets have to battle is better, albeit different research.

Now, more than ever, we must see Coles and Woolworths as trade partners sharing common needs… satisfaction of the customer. FMCGers must discard the red ocean strategies of undermining competitors and fervently pursue blue ocean strategies that can be exposed by trend analysis from consistent, quality market segmentation studies conducted periodically and analyzed meticulously.

It is up to us to demonstrate to buyers that there is real and sustainable commercial advantage in ranging our products. The two basic tools are marketing effort, and positioning strategy, that together build the asset of brand equity and the outcome of significant market share.

Cynics will say this is easier said than done, but, with C-level support, it is almost easier done that said, IF we remember that the rules, laws, models and processes of professional marketing work (if applied properly) and FMCG markets simply cannot afford to shortcut on any.

 

Do this and we it is inevitable that you WILL follow your company’s mandate/mission/vision and derived corporate objectives in collusion with Woolworths and Coles instead of in spite of Woolworths and Coles.

Pepsi challenge #marketing, a tactic which pits No.2 and against No.1, always succeeds if used properly – but many people don’t realize how.

Many might be surprised to find that Coke’s sales INCREASE when Pepsi does a taste test challenge, The growth in Pepsi’s sales and share comes from minor brands suffering and losing market share.
What the strategy does is send a strong message “There are only two brands worth considering”, the focus of consumers’ interest ensures trial and adoption from OUTSIDE the Coke franchise as well as reinforcing brand equity of the existing franchise – a double edged sword… only soured by the knowledge that it assists your major competitor too.
Coles & WW are using it, with a price war that couldn’t have been better organized if they had colluded to do it on purpose 😉
NOW Facebook and LinkedIn have adopted this strategy in a movement that is likely to hamper growth and undermine THEIR competitors.
While short-term benefits may offer a consumer advantage, the long term development of unconquerable oligopolies offer an inevitable industry wielding too much power and to the larger populations’ disadvantage.
Great if you’re a shareholder, of senior executive on a performance bonus… not so for the masses 😦