January 16, 2007

Marketing Accountability Reinvention

By Barbara Bacci Mirque

Our recent Masters of Marketing Annual Conference was all about marketing reinvention and we expect that need to continue into 2007 and beyond. As marketers grapple with accelerated rates of change, staying with programs because they “have always worked in the past and if it ain’t broke don’t fix it,” is no longer going to cut it. In order to reinvent, you have to challenge what has always worked and keep challenging it. But be advised, change is never easy. At a meeting of his I attended, marketing pundit Rex Briggs of Marketing Evolution said that one way to innovate is to “build a little, sell a little, learn a lot… If a challenger looks good, work on it, pilot test it and measure it.” When you have the facts, it will be difficult for the naysayers to bring you down. If you are an ANA member, join our new marketing accountability committee to learn how your colleagues are dealing with this and other issues. For the rest of you, join us at the ANA Marketing Accountability Forum in Palm Beach, Florida, from September 9-11, 2007. Check our website for details in the coming months.

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November 10, 2006

The KISS Brand at our Annual Conference

My friends at Roccatu made me aware of the Gene Simmons interview they shot at our Annual Conference with Adweek. Man, does he sound lucid (unlike a couple of times I and others talked to him). He gets branding -- see what he has to say about the KISS brand.

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October 27, 2006

Burger King: Using Social Currency

Theking Russ Klein, Burger King’s CMO, told us of social currency. This is a very interesting concept. He said "when they know you more than love you" you have an unremarkable brand – one people don’t want to talk about, share with their friends or go out of their way to buy, promote, recommend. What’d BK do? They got down and partied. They ingrained their brand into the fabric of their core customers by giving them something fun to talk about. They returned to social relevance by providing consumers with interesting content and by surrendering their brand to their customers. This is the ultimate in listening; giving your customers the opportunity to tell you in their own content and words, what they feel about your brand. This is how to make friends. I’ll bet most of you remember seeing the King score an NFL touchdown, or the subservient chicken perform. Did you talk to a friend about those ads? I know I did. That’s social currency – that’s making your brand relevant again.

Customer insight is king (no pun intended). With it, a brand can become relevant and differentiate itself in a meaningful and compelling way – the result, you’ll see a substantial increase in your organic and very profitable growth. Talk to your customers, every day and in every way. Let them help you, help yourself.

October 26, 2006

Consumer Insights - What a Concept

Frankly I was both surprised and at the same time reassured that a simple but so compelling and relevant message was reiterated at our Annual Masters of Marketing Conference earlier this month. That message – customer insights are the key to success. AG Lafley showed us several very specific examples of how P&G now listens better and then uses the insights they’ve gained to change the way they market. As he reiterated at this conference "The Consumer Is Boss" – he first told us this in 2000 when he was once again our keynote speaker.

Why am I surprised? – one after another, each speaker in turn said much the same thing. Listen to your customer, they will tell you what they want, when they want it, and how they want it. Pretty simple, huh. Must not be or why would each of our speakers, who when asked to demonstrate how they have reinvented marketing at their organization, first touted both their need and ability to listen to customers. Dave Thomas, Wendys’ founder often said "Simple is hard". It must be.

Why was I reassured? – because the same message "listen to your customers, let them tell you what they want" was not only repeated, but also each of the CMOs who illustrated how they expertly reinvented their marketing efforts demonstrated how "listening" paid off. How by better understanding their customers they were able to rebuild, rejuvenate and reinvigorate their brands and their company’s organic growth efforts. Becky Saeger, Charles Schwab's CMO, focused the Schwab brand on being approachable, trustworthy, and consumer centric. These are critical aspects the Schwab Company had walked away from and the industry had abandoned. Then to me the brilliant part, was the way Schwab communicated their brand reinvention message in terms I could understand, the way I would talk. Again they listened to their consumers and talked to them as if they were friends, not clients. What a concept.

October 17, 2006

CMO Roundtable: What Is the Role of Marketing?

Img_5913ww In a recent HBR article, Jeff Immelt, GE CEO said  “marketing at GE was a place where old salesman go to die.”  His purpose for sharing this quote was to demonstrate how far marketing has come as a sophisticate element in driving the organic growth for GE.  Marketing at GE today is one of the three critical factors (taking risks and innovation are the other two) for growing GE at its record pace.

What is the role of marketing?

At ANA’s Annual Masters of Marketing conference, we asked three CMOs (Tom Haas – Siemens, Cie Nicholson – Pepsi, Becky Johnson – Brinker International) this question.  Their answers:

  • Tom said marketing is a contributor of growth, a catalyst to get the right people to the table.  Marketing at Siemens has to drive sales, educate people as to what the sales process is and help the sales team deliver the right message to the sales influencers.
  • At Pepsi, marketing is a growth driver explained Cie.  Marketing is all about driving consumer pull, innovation, differentiating their products through image and strong brand positioning.
  • Becky Johnson (pictured above with Randy Rothenberg) explained that marketing has undergone a transformation at Brinker.  It was part of restaurant operations, but has now moved to being its own entity, responsible for communicating with the restaurant operators what value and difference Chili’s brings to the marketplace.

Marketing is different in each organization.  The key to being a successful CMO is to clearly define how the organization you work for sees marketing.  The three CMOs above have done that and that’s why each has, or will be in their position longer than 24 months.

New beat blogger Burt Helm at the BusinessWeek site Brand New Day shares his thoughts of the Annual Conference:    Day One    Day Two   Day Three

October 09, 2006

Annual Conference Highlights

Thanks to the contributing bloggers for their Annual Conference penmanship and another first time for the ANA -- member bloggers. We also had a social network, some nice video stream from our partners at AdAge and Brandweek (courtesy of DragonFly), and a host of other contributions, listed here as of this post:

A special thanks to our bloggers (The New Maestros), who for one, made outstanding contributions and added valuable insight (as well as made my job easier):

Amber Alexander, Charles Schwab

Alex Gerson, NFL

Manish Shrivastava, The Home Depot

Thanks also to Max at AttentionMax  and Steve at Micropersuasion for their coverage.

Advertising Age has a comprehensive report on the featured speakers and Brandweek discusses A.G. Lafley's remarks. Stuart Elliott over at the New York Times (sub required) also reviews the outcome of our top event as well as a whimsical look at some highlights (Marketing Maestros is mentioned!). MediaPost also rings in here with several looks at themes and speaker outlooks.

October 08, 2006

Greg Stuart, President and CEO of the IAB

The final speaker of the Annual Conference is Greg Stuart, the president and CEO for the IAB. He opened by saying, “I am here to share NOT Masters of marketing. I am here to share what the other 95% are doing.”

Marketing is not doing too well- there is some real trouble in the world of advertising. His presentation: What if We Were Wrong.

Over the past five years he has done research against $1 billion in advertising spending- his findings look at what is happening in marketing and it’s not a pretty picture.

He asks, if advertising had a slogan, what would it be? “Ads work wonders?” No. “Half the money is wasted” is more like it.

In the research- done against 30 major brands- including Motorola, Warner Brothers, ESPN, P&G, ING, Ford, Universal and Fisher Price- a random audience was divided in half, with a variable introduced to one side so that they could isolate what had an effect. This surveyed 1.1 million consumers. They found that over $112 billion of US ad spending is wasted.

Greg posed this question to the audience: What makes you think yours isn’t?

Continue reading "Greg Stuart, President and CEO of the IAB" »

The Battle of the Bairds

Lisa Baird, SVP of Consumer Products and Marketing Integration at the NFL and Bob Baird, President and CEO of Philips Domestic Appliances and Personal Care came together on the final day of the ANA Annual Conference to debate the merits of traditional media vs. new media. Lisa will be discussing the value of traditional media, while Bob will talk about why he feels new/emerging media is more valuable today. With friendly quips going back and forth already, it will be the job of moderator, Bob Lauterborn, to keep this husband/wife debate a friendly discussion…

Lisa began by discussing that the NFL’s media mix proves that traditional media is still alive and well. The :30 second commercial and print is not dead. There is still a lot of power behind traditional media especially in NFL telecasts where their ratings are so strong. TV provides companies with a medium to tell a compelling story about your brand, as Ocean Spray just showed in their presentation with their new Straight from the Bog campaign.

When discussing the power of traditional media and the :30 second commercial Lisa talked about the NFL Take a Player to School sweepstakes, in which 6-13 year old kids can enter for a chance to take an NFL player to school with them. The NFL saw a significant amount of it’s website traffic to their kids website – www.NFLRUSH.com – and sign ups for the program immediately after each Take a Player to School spot ran on their broadcast partners.

Bob responded to by saying that in today’s changing media environment it is necessary to break out to find new and creative ways to engage your consumers. He discussed online user generated content that develops consumer relationships and enables them to become true consumer advocates.

Continue reading "The Battle of the Bairds" »

Fran Kelly, Arnold Worldwide, and Ken Romanzi of Ocean Spray

The author of The Breakaway Brand Fran Kelly and the COO of OceanSpray Ken Romanzi joined forces to share the case study of their brand transformation.

Fran starts out by reminding us that the CMO only gets about 18 months to prove their worth before they are out. This is why he wrote the book. It’s key to get your brand from good to great. He asked how many people in the room actually feel like they’ve been able to bring a brand to great. Only a few raised hands – yep, Becky Saeger, CMO for Charles Schwab among them. (Full disclosure- Becky is my boss.)

Fran says that breakaway branding can be done. The problem is that there are 10 things you have to get right not just one.Here are a few nuggets, the rest you’ll read about in the book:

  • You have to be committed from the very beginning. Easier said than done. By definition you have to do things that have never been done before. People will not applaud you along the way since it’s new. That takes courage.

  • Then you have to start with a good idea. Duh. But he emphasizes the importance of letting bad ideas go. Once you have the right idea you have to keep building on it and improving it.

  • Finally you have to make sure that the products that come along reinforce the brand. He thinks JetBlue is a great example of courageous brand building in a tough market.

Continue reading "Fran Kelly, Arnold Worldwide, and Ken Romanzi of Ocean Spray" »

Chairman and CEO of Time Inc.: Ann Moore

Ann began her discussion with a commentary on the relative simplicity of media in the past. Consumers are time starved and they are demanding content on their terms – when they want it and how they want it.

For example, fashion used to be dictated by magazines and it changed every year. 97% of women today prefer their own style.

People are making fewer trips to the super market, which means that Time has fewer opportunities to sell magazines. That’s why they are sending LIFE magazine along with newspapers.

Time spent reading magazines has decreased 37 minutes in the past 3 years. Time Inc. has adapted to a much more visual format with snippets that lend themselves to quick reads.

Subscriptions to magazines is low, particularly among men. In 2006, for the first time, there was more online advertising than magazine advertising.

America’s trust of publications, corporations and government is at an all time low. Consumers are seeking loyalty and integrity in their institutions. 72% of consumers think that wrong-doing is common among American businesses. They also think that journalists are sloppier and less trustful than in past decades.

Continue reading "Chairman and CEO of Time Inc.: Ann Moore" »

October 07, 2006

Gary Elliott: VP of Brand Marketing for The Hewlett-Packard Company

Gary kicked off the discussion by addressing the recent issues that have been in the press. He said that it was definitely not the right thing to do and that it won’t happen again.

He outlined 3 paths of brand change:

  • Radical upheaval
  • Reinvention
  • Continuous change

The underlying platform of these three paths is that brands need to remain fresh.

What happens when a brand stops being fresh? Poor business results, consumer dissatisfaction and employee confusion.

Gary’s recipe for freshness:

  • Stay genuine - Gary showed several TV spots by Goodby, Silverstein that illustrate how HP is keeping their brand fresh in a genuine way.

  • Engage employees – HP launched a “One Voice” campaign to align its associates to a single message across all touchpoints.

Continue reading "Gary Elliott: VP of Brand Marketing for The Hewlett-Packard Company" »

Cammie Dunaway: Yahoo! CMO

Cammie Dunaway, the Chief Marketing Officer for Yahoo!, spoke to the group about Yahoo!’s marketing strategies in a changing media environment where consumers are constantly “connected” and user generated content is on the rise.

Cammie discussed the term Web 2.0 that Tim O’Reilly recently coined, “Web 2.0 is a second-generation of Internet-based services that let people collaborate and share information online in new ways.” Based on these new developments in online consumption Cammie described the Consumer 2.0 that Yahoo! is now targeting.

Yahoo! Consumer 2.0

  • Infinite choices always available on-demand
  • Ability to sort through info and customize content to their desires
  • Consumers are becoming more empowered and gaining more influence than traditional media companies
  • Overworked and overwhelmed
  • Looking for community and ability to show off creativity
  • The customer is King!

Yahoo! has a half-billion consumers and they all want something different, so Yahoo! must please a half-billion kings. They must develop their marketing strategy to target an empowered individual consumer.

Continue reading "Cammie Dunaway: Yahoo! CMO" »

Lawrence Flanagan, EVP and CMO of Worldwide Marketing and Communications, Mastercard Worldwide

He starts with a quick summary of company stats:

NYSE traded with a market cap of 9.4 billion

Their model is business to business

$2.9B in revenue in 05

Market opportunity is now in cash and check displacement not so much their traditional credit card business. Lots of jargon here – I think he mean that consumers are using a card as a substitute for cash so that the payment category is what’s new and growing.

Now to the story…

In 96, their org was siloed, unaligned strategies, competition was ahead and bad ads coming out of the marketing department (gasp!). Your typical “we’re up a creek” type scenario.

They set a new course.

Started with new leadership – hired a new CEO, focused on the brand and rebuilt the sales organization.

Continue reading "Lawrence Flanagan, EVP and CMO of Worldwide Marketing and Communications, Mastercard Worldwide" »

Sony Electronics' Mike Fasulo and Chris Fawcett, with McKinney's Brad Brinegar

As a person that is often chastised by his wife for watching too much TV (I know you men out there can empathize), it was a pleasure, no…a privilege to blog about Sony Electronics’ transition to flat panel TVs.

The discussion was kicked off by Mike Fasulo, CMO of Sony Electronics. Chris Fawcett from Sony and Brad Brinegar of McKinney (Sony’s agency) also joined the discussion.

Mike provided background on Sony’s historical success with engineering of Trinitron and other great products.

The challenge: Sony was late to market with LCD TVs and, as a result, had to partner with Samsung to manufacture these products. So how do you regain market leadership when you’re asking a sizable price premium to the current leader, for products you make on the same production line as one of your competitors?

Sony segmented the market and keyed in on consumers with 2 critical behaviors: those who pay high prices and are early adopters. Sony called these people Techno-socialites.

Continue reading "Sony Electronics' Mike Fasulo and Chris Fawcett, with McKinney's Brad Brinegar" »

October 06, 2006

The President, Global Marketing, Strategy and Innovation for the Burger King Corporation: Russ Klein

Russ Klein, President, Global Marketing, Strategy and Innovation at Burger King, spoke about the shifting media landscape and how Burger King is now emphasizing the empowerment of their consumers and building social currency. Russ’s overall message was that it’s all about the consumer.

The presentation opened with a video montage of recent Burger King advertising and media coverage that highlighted the bold marketing campaigns that they have launched in an effort to stand out in the competitive fast food industry. The video included The King, their 2004 Have It Your Way voter registration drive, their sports partnership with the NFL and NASCAR, Diddy TV and Burger King’s integration into video games and The Apprentice 3.

Burger King, which serves over 10 million Whoppers every day in 65 countries around the world, recently became a publicly traded company. As part of the IPO road show their theme was “Turning a Great Brand into a Great Business.”

Burger King’s goal has been to become a brand that people would love to know more about. Russ said that he’d like to see Burger King return to social relevancy and become “A brand that is on the move in pop culture. A brand that evokes curiosity and expectations of leadership.” Their goal is to be not just a good a brand, but a social brand.

Continue reading "The President, Global Marketing, Strategy and Innovation for the Burger King Corporation: Russ Klein" »

James McDowell, Managing Director, MINI USA, BMW of North America

James L. McDowell told us the story of the MINI – one of the most important products for BMW. He starts out by asking how many in the audience have a friend with a MINI, where about 1/3 of the crowd raises their hands. He tells us that the MINI has actually been around since the 50’s – starting with the Austin 850. It didn’t do well in the US since it was half the size of an American car, so the MINI is the story of a reinvention.

First, they needed to establish a new customer base and energize the brand. The MINI stats today: owners are mostly male, but some are females. Only 32 people work for the company, but they sell 40,000 cars per year. What’s unique is that MINI has a truly emotional bond with people. That’s special in the marketplace and what helps make it so different in their minds.

60% of purchasers customize their car waiting up to 6 months for it to be built- with everything including color, and the dashboard experience being personalized. They can track where it is in production and how far along the supply chain it’s moved. People want to make their MINI theirs from day one. The MINI is more like a first home – more than just a house. MINI drivers feel like this is exactly what they need, and all they need. As a benefit they get a thrilling driving experience while not consuming much gas. It’s for people that are open in more ways than one. That seems to be the theme of his talk and what they’ve learned about their customers- who are those looking for adventure and different paths in life; clearly the cars are not for everyone but for some, they are the perfect choice.

Continue reading "James McDowell, Managing Director, MINI USA, BMW of North America" »

Becky Saeger: EVP and CMO of The Charles Schwab Corporation

Becky Saeger had to reinvent the Charles Schwab brand in order to ward off an onslaught of discount shops, high end competitors and the effects of the early 2000s market downturn. Her presentation outlined how she went about re-building one of the strongest brands in America.

The brand was founded as juxtaposition to the Wall Street brokerage firm and achieved great success through the 70s, 80s and 90s. However, by the time the new millennium rolled around, the perception of the industry was tanking due to corporate scandals and there was very little innovation in the category. The consumer did not perceive any differentiation among the key brands in the space. As Schwab extended beyond its core individual investor focus and added more incremental fees and complex services, the brand suffered and this was reflected in the stock price and consumer attrition.

In July 2004, Charles Schwab came back as CEO. The two primary objectives were to refocus the business and commit themselves to their clients. They dramatically cut programs and sold companies that did not serve the core individual investor. This enabled the company to cut $375M in costs in 1 year.

With respect to Marketing, Schwab had to align their agencies and key partners around the brand, efficient execution and accountability of marketing. The marketing department had to prove to the rest of the company, via ROI measurement tools, that marketing is a place to invest vs. cut expenses.

Becky showed us dozens of ad clips among the major players and it was clear that there was no differentiation.

Research revealed that they should focus on the core of their brand vs. “chasing the next shiny object”. The founder of the company, Charles Schwab, represented several positive attributes: Trust, Approachability, etc.

So the group came up with a new campaign, “Talk to Chuck”. After 3 months in test market, they found that they were moving the needle on every key attribute. It is an emotional and empathetic platform that yields great flexibility in its application across various consumer touch points.

It led to a breakthrough broadcast advertising campaign, internal training documents that are focused on empathetic interaction with individual investors.

Brand scores and sales are up dramatically behind the new campaign. However, Becky’s team continues to research consumer insights and hone their messaging. She showed us five commercials, some of them new. Some of them were so reflective of the consumer situation that it sounded like something I would say to my wife. I bet they pulled the copy straight from consumers.

Wal-Mart's SVP-Marketing, Stephen Quinn

Stephen, who was previously the CMO of Frito-Lay, became the SVP of Marketing at Wal-Mart a little over one year ago. He shared insights into the key strategic platforms that drive Wal-Mart’s marketing decisions.

Since joining Wal-Mart, Stephen has helped spearhead a significant re-invention of the Wal-Mart brand. “One of our agencies, Lippencott said the only brand project that would be bigger would be re-branding the United States.” Stephen’s statement was a little ironic after Linda Kaplan Thaler’s comedic video clip about Wal-Mart merging with the United States. He felt the need to respond to Linda’s video and said there was no truth to Linda’s video, but joked about Wal-Mart’s interest in expanding their efforts in China.

Stephen discussed how Sam Walton’s legacy and business model live on today. Walton’s dream of a neighborhood Wal-Mart giving back to the communities they serve is a foundation of the company’s strategy today.

As many people are well aware, Wal-Mart has been under intense media scrutiny in recent years and it is a serious concern for the company that they must pro-actively combat. In addition to their emphasis on reaching out to the communities they serve, Wal-Mart has increased their sustainability efforts. They are implementing a number of initiatives to eliminate waste and save energy and resources.

Stephen showed a chart of the top 10 retailers from 1970s vs. top 10 retailers today and pointed out that no retailers from the 1970s were on today’s list. In order for Wal-Mart to maintain their status as the #1 retailer they need to continue to pro-actively respond to the market and listen to their customer needs.

Wal-Mart has shown some fatigue in the past year:

  • Stock price has been relatively flat despite strong topline growth over the past 6 years
  • Overall growth has slowed as well
  • Last year Wal-Mart had single digit growth of 9% for the first time in their history

Continue reading "Wal-Mart's SVP-Marketing, Stephen Quinn" »

Linda Kaplan Thaler: CEO and CCO of The Kaplan Thaler Group

Linda Kaplan Thaler, CEO of the Linda Kaplan Thaler Group and author of the current bestseller, The Power of Nice.

Her remarks begin with the claim that the 30 second commercial is dead or on its last breath. A familiar concept but one worth review with the conference theme of Reinvention. Actually she admits right away that she’s given this speech many times over the past 5 years and her message is the same. Well, if no new insights for the group, let’s hope it’s at least entertaining. Whew! It is a romp of quips and video clips.

The first video explores what life might look like in 2016 after consumers tire of all other media like the internet and wireless. In this imaginary universe, the 30 second spot makes a comeback a la Izod and checkered Vans. The paradigm shifts back to “You’ll take what we give you and you’ll like it!” where consumers tire of telling companies what they want and getting it. Instead they want to go back to being passive cows. Next thing we know the video tells us the 30 second spot wins a lifetime achievement award and an even more ridiculous assertion…George Bush wins his second Nobel prize for his achievements in astrophysics – Ha! That one sent the crowd roaring for a full belly laugh. Lots of marketers flew in from the blue states I guess.

The next bit is "Miss 'I don’t know how to view a roughcut' Lady" – Thaler says that when her career working on commercials is over, she is really going to miss the young inexperienced clients that she’s worked with over the years – especially those with a penchant for stating the obvious – ouch.

Dogvertising (hey, that looks like my bulldog Utta up there!), tummy-itizing, ads over urinals – all new forms of reaching consumers. She thinks the “babyberry” is next on the horizon with children scheduling their own playdates.

Her agency does lots of pharma ads. And according to Thaler, morale has skyrocketed since they won Zoloft :) The jokes just keep coming and she has the audience right where she wants them.

Continue reading "Linda Kaplan Thaler: CEO and CCO of The Kaplan Thaler Group" »

P&G's Chairman of the Board, President, and Chief Executive: AG Lafley

As a former P&Ger, it was a great pleasure to write a blog reflecting on AG Lafley’s opening address to the 2006 ANA conference. It was a brilliant tutorial on the fundamentals of marketing and how they are evolving and becoming even more relevant in today’s world.

AG began his speech with a reminder that the fundamental principles of his message from his address to the ANA in 2000 remain the same today.

  • The consumer is boss and is becoming more demanding and selective
  • Need for big ideas and great advertising
  • Push to pull marketing is accelerating
  • Key consumer questions:
    • Whom is our target?
    • What is the brand promise?
    • How do we communicate with the consumer?

Although the fundamentals have remained the same, there are several marketing elements that have evolved significantly over the past 6 years.

  • Media fragmentation
  • Technology explosion – “We only have to look in our pockets and purses to realize that”
  • Overwhelming choices for consumers
  • Consumers own brands – manufacturers need to stop thinking about brands from their own point of view

“These changes provide a great opportunity for Marketers to touch consumers’ lives at every major touch point”. AG then outlined the roles of various consumer touch points and showed some incredible examples that illustrated his points:

Continue reading "P&G's Chairman of the Board, President, and Chief Executive: AG Lafley" »

ANA's New Maestros

For the past couple of years, we have blogged our Annual Conference for those who were unable to attend the sessions themselves.  This year, we are excited to introduce our Pre-Marketing Masters: the ANA Insights Sharing Team. 

Three member companies have brought along their up-and-coming marketing stars- these people, along with attending the sessions, will be blogging their way through them. 

So stay tuned- and join me in welcoming Amber Alexander of Charles Schwab, Alex Gerson of the NFL, and Manish Shrivastava of The Home Depot.