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Kevin J Clancy - Marketing Consultant
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Hall of Fame

Marketing Plans are more Hoax than in Science

Vow that you’re going to create marketing plans that produce results: no more hoaxes.  Set your objectives and make them specific, realistic, and measureable.  Evaluate your strategy.  Can it deliver the objectives?  Do you know this for certain, or are you simply guessing?  And what about the tactics?  How well do you understand the relations between each tactical component (for example, advertising spending) and the objectives you’re trying to achieve.

Companies ought to connect every marketing plan input to its forecasted (i.e. modeled) output.  The average marketing plan contains a discussion of the marketing climate, the elements of the marketing strategy, the specific goals and objectives of the marketing program, and the tactics the company plans to employ to reach those goals, but they’re not connected to one another.  They can be, they should be, and they will be, in the future, in the companies that plan to dominate their respective industries.

When you turn a steering wheel, the front wheels move.  Put the wheel hard over, and the car will make a 45-degree turn.  Turn the wheel back to the middle position, and the car goes straight.  Precision engineering connects one part to another, and all the parts logically and mechanically work together.

But the marketing department has no analogy.  Spend $18 million on advertising, and sales may go up, down, or stay the same.  Launch a new product, and company profits may go up, down or stay the same.  For many companies, it is often a surprise when things turn out well, badly, or the same.  Everybody hopes the new product (service, advertising campaign, promotion, price) will do well, but they don’t really know whether it will or not. 

Today it is possible to create scientific marketing plans that tie inputs to outputs.  The marketing science technology is available and can help you steer your brand, products, services, or company confidently.  We use a model called Discovery which captures the effects of every ingredient in the marketing mix on campaign awareness, trial, repeat purchase, sales and profitability. Turn up the advertising, turn down the promotion, invest more resources in social media, increase share of distribution, launch the new product or ad campaign and simulate the effects before you make these changes in the real world.


Shocking Truths:

> There's a Negative Relationship Between What People Say They Will Do and What They Actually Do
> Quality and Price Are Positively, Linearly Related
> As Price Goes Up, Sales Go Down
> New Product Appeal and Profitability Are Not Positively Related
> Jobs-Based Segmentation Is Not a Remedy to Marketing Malpractice
> Most Brands Are Unpositioned
> Higher Levels of Customer Satisfaction and Retention Don't Always Translate Into Higher Profitability
> Net Promoter Scores Suggest That Most Companies Employ a Failed Business Strategy
> Back To The Future: How a Discredited Research Tool Discarded in the 1960s Has Become Popular in 2012
> Spending Money to Build an Emotional Connection with Your Brand Won't Build Market Share
> Most Companies Are Operating without a Vision
> Derived Importance Measures Will Lead You to the Wrong Decision
> Focus Groups May Kill Your Brand
> The Maximum Difference Methodology: a Questionable Solution in Search of a Problem
> Heavy Buyers are the Worst Target for Most Marketing Programs
> CEOs Don't Know Much About Marketing
> Advertising ROI is Negative
> Many CEOs Never Take The Time To Do It Right
> Given lots of cues and prompts, few people remember anything about your television commercial the day after they watched it
> A Dumb Way To Buy Media Is Based On The Cost Per Thousand People Exposed—CPMs
> Implementation May Be More Important Than Strategy
> Zip Codes Tell You Little About Consumers And Their Buying Behavior
> Retailers Rarely Send Truly Personalized Mailings to Individual Customers
> Too Much Talk About Brand Juice
> Marketing Plans are more Hoax than Science