Monday, August 06, 2007

Brand Paradigms Harming CMOs?

There is a very thought provoking article recently published on Brand Channel, titled "The End of the Master Brand" which challenges the core paradigms that brand marketers have used to organize thinking about brand portfolios for the past 20+ years. Going beyond a critique of brand architecture as we know it and a suggested alternative way to view portfolios, the article suggests that the forced structure of brand architectures alienates marketers and may inhibit marketers from gaining a seat at the C-Level strategic table. Do you agree? I think that may be going a bit far, but it certainly raises an interesting question about whether force-fitting paradigms is harming strategic marketers, and we know that average tenure of CMOs is remarkably short. Linking those two thoughts - perhaps there is more here than meets the eye.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

How to Maximize Competitive Intelligence

There is a simple thing you can do as a marketer to generate greater return on investment from your market research and competitive intellegence efforts. Marketers spend countless hours optimizing research methodologies, survey questions and analytics (rightfully so, too.) Competitive intelligence can come from many sources, extending beyond formal research to include press tracking, and even simple hearsay from the sales force. So what's the single most powerful thing you can do to improve return? Create an organized central clearinghouse to capture the information. Great insight results from crossing data points from multiple sources. Market analysis indicates Competitor X may be boosting short term sales, HR hears that a key executive from Competitor X may interviewing in the market, and your Regional Sales Manager say the CFO of Competitor X golfing with the President of Competitor Y. Acquisition or merger? You'll need to learn more, but clearly there is a situation to be explored, and only by crossing these points of information are you able to gain the insight. So...create a central repository of competitive information (paper or digital) and review it often.
Good competitive intelligence reads: Society for Competitive Intelligence, Primary Intelligence