Davis Brand Capital today released the 2012 Davis Brand Capital 25 ranking, which evaluates brand management and performance comprehensively. It is the only annual ranking of companies that demonstrate overall, balanced approaches to managing the full spectrum of brand and related intangible assets, providing an indicator of total business strength and effectiveness.
“The only way to discover your strengths,” wrote Peter Drucker, “is through feedback analysis.” No senior leader would dispute this as a logical matter. But nor do they act on it. Most leaders don’t really want honest feedback, don’t ask for it, and don’t get much of it unless it’s forced on them. At least that’s what we’ve discovered in our research.
Process is about action. When we talk about processes, we’re talking about everything an organization does in its ongoing operations. And so, it makes sense that in order to improve operational performance, many organizations use process improvement techniques such as process mapping to get a handle on all the actions that make up their process flow.
Decision makers know they’re supposed to seek outside counsel — a diversity of information improves the likelihood of a good decision.
Design has finally become democratized, and we marketers find ourselves with new standards to meet in this new “era of design.” To illustrate, Apple, the epitome of a design-led organization, now has a market capitalization of $570 billion, larger than the GDP of Switzerland. Its revenue is double Microsoft’s, a similar type of technology organization but one not truly led by design.
Customers, employees, shareholders and taxpayers hate large corporations for many reasons. 24/7 Wall St. reviewed a lengthy list of corporations for which there is substantial research data to choose the 10 most hated in America.
In most businesses, not knowing how well a particular product is performing would be almost unthinkable. But newspapers have always been a peculiar business, one that has stubbornly, proudly clung to a sense that focusing too much on the bottom line can lead nowhere good. Now, because of technology that can pinpoint what people online are viewing and commenting on, how much time they spend with an article and even how much money an article makes in advertising revenue, newspapers can make more scientific decisions about allocating their ever scarcer resources.
Packaging creates awareness. Companies can offer a variety or great services, but if marketers don't know how to use them or can't see the benefits, those tools might as well not exist. Search marketers especially know this. So, when Google decided it wanted to bring some awareness to a variety of its tools, expert marketers for the tech company created the "zero moment of truth" and the five Ps of digital marketing. Brilliant.
In April, former Fed Chairman Paul Volcker announced a new program to restore confidence in government. The effort, known as the Campaign for High Performance Government, couldn't come soon enough. Confidence in government is near an all-time low. A survey released in mid-April by the Pew Research Center found that only a small minority of Americans—22 percent—believe they can trust the federal government "almost always or most of the time." More than half of the respondents (56 percent) said they were frustrated by government's actions; 1 in 5 (21 percent) said Washington makes them angry. And who can blame them? As I noted in an April column, "Managing Perception, Ignoring Reality," Washington appears out of control. The rules of the game seem to be rigged to keep government growing while few problems get solved. Nobody is held accountable and performance seems irrelevant.
Despite having more aggressively mounted an original-content strategy this year, Yahoo posted middling revenue for the second quarter, booking $1.13 billion, representing a 0.7% drop from the same period last year. More tellingly, that figure is down 16% from 2008, suggesting the portal giant hasn't fully recovered from the recession's effects on digital advertising.
World Cup goals may be few and far between, but soccer-themed TV ads are helping marketers including Sony Corp., Samsung Electronics Co. and Coca-Cola Co. rack up points with consumers. "Overall, the TV ads that were created specifically for the World Cup broadcast are performing as well as—or, in some case, better than—many of the Super Bowl commercials,'' says Peter Daboll, chief executive of Ace Metrix, a Los Angeles research firm that measures ad performance in the U.S. That's a high bar since the Super Bowl is widely considered the championship of American TV advertising.
Consensus Advisors just released their 2009-2010 Retailer Health Ratings (RHRs) report. The RHRs measure and compare retailers over a five-year period on: healthy growth, asset utilization, pricing power and balance sheet strength.
For years marketing professionals have been telling Wall Street that brand value confers a genuine competitive advantage. For years Wall Street has smiled politely, pulled down its green eyeshades and told us to stick to our knitting. So you can imagine my surprise when a senior manager from Credit Suisse reported recently that, after undertaking an in-depth, facts-and-figures research study on the topic, the company had determined that brand value gives companies a genuine competitive advantage.
Does your company measure financial performance? Keep track of sales, employee turnover, bad debt and general and administrative costs? Plan annual spending and review projects with a view of return on investment (ROI) and return on invested capital (ROIC)? Do you have periodic reviews to assess progress against your plan? Those are the basic building blocks of any well-run company.
A year-end flurry of ad spending helped moderate steep declines at some newspapers and magazines, and has fueled an uptick at others, raising hopes for a recovery in 2010. Still, following a brutal 2009, when scores of publications closed or made drastic cutbacks, publishers remain wary of declaring an ad rebound as marketers selectively reopen their wallets. Publishing executives attribute the recent influx of ad money in part to marketers hurrying to spend the remainder of their annual ad budgets after doling out those funds sparingly earlier in the year amid fears of an economic collapse.
Verizon Wireless made clear from the start that its Droid smartphone was designed to put pressure on Apple, the maker of the iPhone, and AT&T (T), the exclusive U.S. iPhone carrier. As part of a $100 million marketing push, Verizon Wireless enumerates several ways it believes the Droid outperforms the iPhone. Yet analysts say the Droid and other devices that sport the Android operating system may also take a toll on Research In Motion, the maker of another smartphone, the BlackBerry. "It's clear there's been a lot of marketing at Verizon around the Droid, so that is going to hurt RIM," says Raymond James (RJF) analyst Steve Li.
Bucking the rewards-cutting trend at some organizations, PepsiCo has announced the expansion of its global recognition program. The beverage and snack giant announced, last week, that it has created the “Chairman’s Circle of Champions” to reward the company’s top operations associates around the world. The new award program focuses on backend employees for their strong performance in areas such as safety, job performance, service and even people skills. Recipients will be recognized for their accomplishments at a three- to four-day event in New York where they can also receive training to enhance their work performance upon their return. Top leaders from the company will give presentations and breakout sessions will be held. Winners will also go on tours of the city and the trip will culminate with an awards ceremony.
After reading Joe Mandese's column "Social Media Fails To Manifest As Marketing Medium," I confess I had exactly the same reaction as that other Joe. "Regularly turn to social media for guidance on purchase decisions"? It seemed that the study that started the whole discussion had missed the point of social media entirely.
Dell Inc.'s plans to launch a new generation of enterprise products today will move it deeper into the battle for customers who want to improve data center performance without spending much in a recession.
This Sunday's Daytona 500 kicks off the 2009 Nascar season. Stock-car racing's premier series has oddly always started the season with its equivalent of the Super Bowl or the World Series. This year is no different. What is different is the business press that Nascar has received since the past season ended in November. To read some of these hyperventilating reports, you'd think Nascar were on the verge of bankruptcy.