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Customer Manufacturing Group
In This Issue
When Sales People Become Bread-Men
Is Marketing Art or Science
Time for a New Logo?
Getting the Right Results
Super Bowl 2012
More Information 



When Sales People Become Bread-Men

There is a key factor that is critical to the success of your trade show, and it is usually overlooked. Too often in the routine of logistics and tactics, we forget the most critical aspect of the visitor's experience with you at a trade show. Or we take our ability to do it well for granted ... mistakenly. 


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Customer Manufacturing Update
February 2012

Dear Mitchell,


Here is your February Customer Manufacturing Update. From time to time we reprint white papers written by ohers. This is one of those times. This month we offer a white paper by Abe WalkingBear Sanchez with his unique insights on the real relationship between trade credit and sales. In this paper he discusses what happens When Sales People Become Bread-Men.
Is Marketing Art or Science ... or Neither?


Pundits, experts, academics, and others have written for decades about Marketing being an art and a science. Then comes the droning debate about which part is most art vs scienceimportant; how to have art/science balance (is that anything like work/life balance?); whether the art people should be separate from the science people, but then how do you communicate. And this goes on and on to no useful conclusion. (Proof: The conversation continues with no solutions provided.).


The Marketing/Sales disconnect has similarly been debated for years with no useful conclusions being reached other than we just need to learn to get along. (Where have we heard those unhelpful words before?). As we have written about elsewhere, we believe the disconnect between Marketing and Sales is solvable if you consider a different paradigm.


The art/science debate is likewise a wrong-headed analogy, which has prevented finding a solution. If you start looking for a solution to a problem based on a faulty or invalid assumption, you are less likely to ever find the solution. The art/science foundation is flawed and using it will never result in improving Marketing performance or management.


The appropriate foundation is to recognize that Marketing is a highly flexible, adaptable business process. All processes have some degree of flexibility in them. The most rigid processes (usually safety related) have little if any flexibility for a reason. Those processes that deal with uncontrollable events (the behavior of people, the weather, the enemy) must be more flexible.


Why not make all processes flexible you might ask? The more flexible the process the more expensive the process is to operate (generally). In human driven processes, flexibility usually demands judgement or skills that are in shorter supply, and therefore scarce and more expensive to acquire. This suggests that processes need to be as flexible as necessary and no more so.


Since Marketing deals with the customer, competitors, the environment and other uncontrollable factors, it, by definition, needs to be a flexible, adaptable process. If you stop thinking about it as art vs. science (a paradigm which has not helped improve Marketing performance) and look at it as a process, which needs an appropriate level of flexibility and adaptability, there is ample evidence from other business processes that this model will improve Marketing performance.

Is It Time for You to Have a New Logo?


Often when a company hires a new senior marketing exec (regardless of their title), that person decides the company needs to "update its look." This often includes the need for a new logo. If a new logo is in your thought process, consider this:


Vikas Mittal, a professor of marketing at Rice University, who, along with two others, conducted two studies dealing specifically with consumer reaction to logos. Among other things, the studies revealed:

  • The higher the consumer's commitment to the brand, the more negative the consumer's reaction to any changes in the logo design.
  • A logo change elicited three times more negative thoughts among strongly committed consumers than among consumers with weak commitment to the brand.
  • After a change in a logo, strongly committed consumers held a more negative attitude of the brand than consumers who had low brand commitment.

Conclusion: If you want to alienate your most loyal customers, change your logo.

The Right Results

 Strategy ad

Walking through O'Hare we saw the ad pictured here. The ad got our attention because it was about strategy meeting the real world. We focus on that with our Strategic Execution process, which assures that the strategic plan ties to an executable operating plan. 


We don't know the folks at pointb that paid for this ad, but what got us to take the picture and post this is the line in the ad that says "The only measure of success is getting the right results." We could not agree more. However, that is a big "duh" to almost everyone. So what gets in the way of getting the right results?


Many people would suggest it's because the strategy is not tied to a plan. Could be, and lots of very smart people will tell you that excellent execution of a mediocre strategy beats a great strategy unexecuted. Others will suggest that without a well thought out strategy, you can't know what execution should be. That too makes some sense.


However, the key for us, and what triggered this whole post, is the key phrase "right results." In our experience, defining and agreeing on the results you are trying to achieve is the #1 cause of failed execution. Too often we assume (and you know what happens when you do that) that we have agreed upon the results we are looking for.


Our tip for you today is to learn to ask, "What results are we looking for" at every opportunity and pursue that line of questioning until you are SURE you have understanding, acceptance and agreement.

 Super Bowl 2012


Not to be left out, each year we include commentary on the year's Super Bowl ads. As we have said in the past, our focus is on the message and the entertainment value. Since the Super Bowl venue requires entertainment value, we include that in our thoughts, though message to us is still paramount.


Many of this year's ads were "pre-released" on YouTube so for many the "excitement" was diminished because the actual ads were not a surprise. This strategy appears also to be tied to the whole "multi-screen" viewing that many advertisers count on to justify their spend. Unfortunately, millions of views in addition to the Super Bowl viewers may still not increase sales for some of the products advertised. 


But, then again, as we note, the question is "what outcome are you looking to achieve?" As we do not sit in on the meetings to decide this, we can only comment based on our belief that advertising should help promote trial for new customers and re-purchase for existing customers. 


Our belief about this year's ad crop is that, in general, they were better than in the prior year. However, none really "stand out" for us. We thought the Doritos consumer-inspired ads were much better this year and less juvenile. (Come on, that sling shot baby was cool.) Doritos is just trying to remind you about them, nothing else.


The Chrysler half-time ad with Clint Eastwood probably was the most controversial because of the political back-story. It was the Tim Tebow ad for this year. However, will people remember it as a Chrysler ad or a Detroit ad?


Always fun to watch and we each have our favorite ad, but then we are in different demographics, so that's as it should be. 

We appreciate your feedback to help improve these

Updates. If there are others you feel would benefit from this issue, use the Forward email link just below on the left.





Mitchell Gooz


Customer Manufacturing Group, Inc.


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