TV could be saved and become the world’s leading mass market medium again – much more powerful than the Internet with a simple innovation.

Yes it would take a level of managerial preparedness and adoption of change, but only that necessary as has evolved in the face of needs of viewers and of advertisers…

Television stations and networks could again become volcanos of spectacular ROI and supernormal profits… flush with funds and dynamic, energetic, inspirational business organisations leading enterprise, not smarting in it.

How?

As detailed in a previous discussion, TV senior management have mismanaged product management: They have created the unnecessary demise of free to air TV as the ideal mass marketing medium for advertisers, and the medium of choice for entertainment for households.

With some ego-left-at-the-door collaboration and creative effort between strategists (like me) and industry specialists, shareholders and financiers, backed by dedicated support of the Board of Directors, TV could skyrocket in commercial influence, share of leisure time of consumers, and leadership of socio/cultural norms beyond the imaginations of the existing industry.

It never fails to amaze me that industries so closely reliant upon advanced marketing management, are so reluctant to utilise and apply the tools and science that they have so often observed to work miracles.
I’d be thrilled if someone could explain why Channel Ten has thrown out a tender to help it save it business? Corporate arrogance? Embarrassment? Shame? Ignorance? It defied rational and common sense to not call for help when you are in trouble… only the most stubborn of executives must captain their ship onto the rockets and refuse to call mayday…
The TV industry could very well end up alongside `horse and buggies as a quaint historical notion… such a shame when, turned NOW, could stand again as the unchallengeable number one choice for entertainment of the masses.

The academic study of Marketing was initially undertaken to make business decision-making easy… and it worked! Marketing decisions that religiously, if not fanatically, followed the technical revelations of academic marketing teachings, have worked, and worked, and worked.
In my career, every single marketing plan based upon the teachings of my studies, and implemented accordingly, has “hit-the-ball-out-of-the-park”, so to speak.
In my 3rd year at Uni, a recent graduate guest lectured on the launch of Moove & & Good One in the 70’s, explaining how they simply applied text-book marketing theory and would up with the most successful marketing outcome in the history of milk marketing. It was text-book theory that was used to save and re-launch My Dog & in the 80’s.
With reverence to the KISS principle, after 13 years of studying marketing, 38 years of applying it, 7 years of teaching marketing at University, I can confidently suggest that the core to successful marketing comes from knowing the segments in the market place and targeting and positioning to attract preferred segments.
So, with segmentation being the virtual “road to riches”, you would think all marketing executives would scramble for any segmentation market research above all else, and covert the opportunity to get as much as possible to empower them and simplify their whole function.
Alas, few good marketers stand in the ranks of business, and many of these are constrained by superiors whose limitations create the black holes into which fall opportunity and money.
Reality slapped me in teh face recently, when my firm decided to systemise a method of empowering clients with segmenatation knwoledge, and offfered a promotion… 2 (ideally sequential, not mandatory) segmentation studies, worth around $160,000 for just $60,000 – with an $11,000 social media marketing promotion thrown in. This offer was sent to a select 60 key individuals I know needed a market segmentation study.
Can you guess the response?
Now these guys KNOW that “the segmentation studies they get now” – are likely (at best) to be performed by the guys that taught market research to their current suppliers of market research, so its not a matter of quality.
Loyalty? OK… is that loyalty well advise in the light of the best interests of shareholders? Is it in their own best interests to miss out on more frequent, timely and recent information? Given that fresh segmentation information could make the difference between growth or deletion, between profit and loss, between market dominance and market share erosion, wouldn’t it be worth the effort?
To a great marketer – this would be a great opportunity… there are just too few of them about.

What is the Marketing Concept? What is the basis of all marketing management?

Is it not meet the customers’ needs with available resources?

Is pushing an imperfect satisfaction of needs, via advertising, personal selling, tricky copy and negative options, give-aways and incentives, going to imbed success in a brand?

Is a badly thought-out product or brand extension, timed well or not, a failure because of insufficient advertising?

Not necessarily.

Looking at the purpose of a marketing expert’s being: For all exponents of the marketing profession, there is one focus… The needs and wants of the markets (or the targeted segments in which you are interested).

IF the market NEEDS advertising, if the ACTUAL product (as opposed to CORE product) includes imagery and positioning, then the marketer’s responsibility is to deliver those needs. In delivering the needs of the target audience, a marketer maintains brand equity, and thus, the life of the brand/product.

If the marketer just invests in advertising without understanding the customer, life cycle is bound to prematurely terminate, brand decay will set in, and brands will die…. in response, of course to substitutability, imitability, comparative value and rarity.

This turns focus not to the science of marketing but the skills abilities and talent of marketing management personnel.

Does management “get it”? Do they really UNDERSTAND ‘marketing’ or do they perceive it hype, advertising, or selling? Are they CAPABLE of embracing and applying marketing science, or simply charismatic diplomats, climbing the corporate ladder? Are they EMPOWERED with funds, autonomy, flexibility and leadership support to implement? Do they have the ACUMEN to pull it all together and planning skills to imbed the direction for years to come?

[The answer, by the way, is that ego and corporate arrogance, stop people like us helping people like them 😦 ]

There are no specific strategic models for FMCG brands to manage lifecycle because any generalisation would be fictitious nonsense.

The secret for ALL marketers is market segmentation.

Until decision makers recognise that there is no singular ‘market’, but a unique combination of segments that make up an individual market, we are unimpowered.

“Markets’ are as unique as people, segments as unique as human characteristics. Noses vary, size, hair, eyes, teeth, skin… just as segments are different. Individual products must be made to fit the attractive/targeted segments.
Just as nose drops may be useless as skin moisturisers, some products or brands may not appeal to some segments.

Brands can and do survive anticipated life cycles as a result of disciplined marketing strategies based upon trend analysis and rational strategic response to changes in segments.

Brands fail when companies choose to deliver what is easiest for them rather than what is demanded by the market. You can’t maintain a brand without market satisfaction. You can’t go wrong if you achieve market satisfaction.

But we can delve deeper into brands than that… For example, several years ago “Marlborough” was the 7th most valued brand in the world. Tobacco giants could have brought out new products to extend the life of the brand… not cigarettes, but other “Marlborough man” themed products… capitalising upon this brand equity and developing it according the changes in the market at a core product level – where the core product for growing segments was not ‘tobacco smoke for inhalation’, but (as a result of long term brand positioning) became ‘virile and manly country & western masculine image’. [For more on “Core Product see: http://www.launchengineering.com/ModelsLawsRules.htm, for more on “Market Segmentation see: http://www.launchengineering.com/Market_Segmentation.htm%5D

In summary, the commercial reality is that lifecycle is almost completely a function of competency of management rather than some ‘cosmic inevitability’. If management can identify and respond the change, a brand can live forever.

Ultimately, it is the 5th “P” of Marketing, PEOPLE, (in this case executive acumen) that make the difference between brand immortality and brand decay.

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 😦