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Article Image: The Unseen Barrier To Marketing Innovation

The Unseen Barrier To Marketing Innovation

Following my post on sense-and-respond marketing, I exchanged emails with Steve Haeckel, who coined the term “sense-and-respond” as a business concept in the mid-80s. One comment from Steve sheds light on why many innovation initiatives (which includes building a sense-and-respond marketing capability) are doomed to under-deliver, if not fail outright: The legacy managerial framework systematically […]

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Article Image: What Smart Marketers Will Focus On In 2007

What Smart Marketers Will Focus On In 2007

You didn’t think I was joking when I suggested that the Crankys were a new emerging consumer segment, did you? I wasn’t. There are millions of relatively well-to-do, highly-educated Boomers (and some Seniors and Gen Xers) who are dissatisfied with many of the firms they interact with. Why? Because few firms understand what the Crankys […]

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Article Image: You Can’t Compete On Analytics If You Don’t Use It

You Can’t Compete On Analytics If You Don’t Use It

In a 2005 Harvard Business Review article, Tom Davenport described the emergence of a: New form of competition based on the extensive use of analytics, data, and fact-based decision making. Instead of serving all customers, [companies] serve optimal customers. Instead of throwing money at business problems, they optimize their use of capital. Companies that strive […]

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Article Image: Want To Compete In The High-Yield Savings Accounts Market?

Want To Compete In The High-Yield Savings Accounts Market?

Then get ready to pony up some serious online advertising dollars. According to data compiled by TNS and published in American Banker (pw req’d), financial services firms competing for deposits by offering high-yield savings accounts are spending big bucks online. Granted, online spending from the big firms doesn’t support just their high-yield savings accounts. But […]

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Article Image: The Hot New Profession: Consultainment

The Hot New Profession: Consultainment

Want to break in to this new field? Here’s the formula: Write a book, create a blog (or vice versa), then get hired to speak at conferences and company events. You know who today’s consultainers are. They’re not strictly consultants (they don’t do “projects” — their call to action on their blog is usually “hire […]

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Article Image: The New Emerging Consumer Segment: The Cranky

The New Emerging Consumer Segment: The Cranky

I’ve been accused of being cranky. Turns out, I might not be alone. I could be part of a whole segment of cranky consumers. Some evidence: Eon’s new search engine designed specifically for aging baby boomers. (#1 search term: “sex”, #9: “arthritis”). Movie reviews with a rating scale that starts with “almost tolerable” […]

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Article Image: Word-Of-Mouth Recommendations

Word-Of-Mouth Recommendations

Recent research from professors at Nanyang Technological University and the University of British Columbia about word-of-mouth recommendations should be of interest to bank marketers. According to the study: Consumers are more likely to provide WOM for products that are relevant to self-concept than for more utilitarian products. There was some indication that…consumers exaggerated the benefits […]

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Article Image: What Marketers Should Learn From IT

What Marketers Should Learn From IT

Not “about” IT… but “from” IT. It’s not news that marketers are under the gun to demonstrate ROI. CIOs are laughing under their breaths — they’ve been dealing with this for 25 years. And they’ve learned a few things about how to deal with the issue. (But they’re not going to tell you, because, hey […]

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Article Image: BankerSpank: Cute, But Ineffective

BankerSpank: Cute, But Ineffective

A series of ads on parodies the PC/Mac ads, this time with Bank and Credit Union. They’re cute ads…but they won’t drive any business a credit union’s way. One reason why Apple fanatics are devoted to the brand is that they see themselves as different from the stuff-shirted, boring business types who use PCs. […]

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Article Image: Email's Impact On Customer Loyalty

Email's Impact On Customer Loyalty

Relevance is the mantra for today’s email marketers. But it shouldn’t be the only consideration. The emotional level of the interaction or transaction that an email message pertains to is an important factor in understanding how an email message will impact a customer’s relationship with a product, brand, or company. Irrelevant email about things a […]

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Article Image: Emotional Or Informational Advertising?

Emotional Or Informational Advertising?

According to an article on, researchers from three [state of] Washington universities found that: Consumers who are skeptical about the truth of advertising claims are more responsive to emotionally appealing ads than ones peppered with information.” Emotional ads were characterized as “providing an emotional experience that is relevant to the use of the brand; […]

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Article Image: Innovations In Bank Marketing

Innovations In Bank Marketing

Here’s how [I imagine] this came about. Overheard at the Management Committee meeting: CEO: We need to increase deposits. Any ideas? Marketing guy: We could give away iPods. Finance guy: Too expensive. Retail banking guy: My brother-in-law has a chicken farm. We could give those away. IT guy [mumbling about an email he read on […]

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Article Image: Advertising On Airport Security Bins

Advertising On Airport Security Bins

A brilliant idea. Here’s who should advertise there (and their message): Handi Wipes. “Cuz’ God knows what’s been put in these bins.” Banks. “Bank with us. Our lines are shorter than this one.” Amtrak. “If you rode the train you wouldn’t need this bin [well, not yet].” Cialis. “By the time you get through this […]

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Article Image: What Finance Wants To Know From Marketing

What Finance Wants To Know From Marketing

I spoke recently to a senior finance exec in a large organization about measuring marketing’s return on investment. He said: We know it’s hard to calculate the ROI on all expenditures, and we’re not looking for Marketing to do that. We know that they have to invest in brand equity and market research — and […]

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Article Image: Stop Measuring Your Net Promoter Score

Stop Measuring Your Net Promoter Score

A number of observers have eloquently weighed in on the weaknesses of Fred Reichheld’s Net Promoter Score (for an excellent discussion go to Adelino de Almeida’s Profitable Marketing blog). I’ll go one step further. Firms should stop measuring their NPS. Why? Because the NPS: Doesn’t help explain WHY a customer would recommend the firm. Let’s […]

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Article Image: Sense And Respond Marketing

Sense And Respond Marketing

Gary Hamel was the first management thinker to write about the concept of core competencies. It’s too bad this concept has fallen out of favor. For all the talk about new marketing approaches like search engine optimization, social networking, and the like, few marketing execs can really (let alone honestly) answer the question: What is […]

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Article Image: The Unintended Consequences of Email Best Practices

The Unintended Consequences of Email Best Practices

Smart firms often deploy email practices like: 1) integrating email campaigns across channels; 2) following up on abandoned shopping carts; and 3) communicating special rewards through email. But sometimes these practices have unintended consequences. Example #1: The Integrated Campaign Email DogFoodCo sent an email to a customer who registered online after viewing a television ad. […]

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Article Image: Chief Customer Experience Officer: A Bad Idea

Chief Customer Experience Officer: A Bad Idea

I’ve recently seen calls for the creation of a Chief Customer Experience Officer (one from Forrester Research and one at This is a terrible idea. Why? Because creating a CCEO position: Is superfluous. Although the experts may have different definitions for what a “customer experience” is, I would hope that they would agree that […]

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Article Image: The Art and Science of Marketing Scorecards

The Art and Science of Marketing Scorecards

There’s a lot of good stuff out there about marketing scorecards (see for a number of good articles). I’m not sure too many CMOs are reading these articles, however. Too often, marketing scorecards are overloaded with historical sales and marketing statistics, presented in mind-numbing detail. Effective marketing scorecards strike a balance between measuring marketing […]

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Article Image: Why Credit Card Response Rates Are Declining

Why Credit Card Response Rates Are Declining

A Wall Street Journal from a few months ago suggested that the “pesky piles of credit card offers that clog mailboxes may taper off a bit.” (Hasn’t happened in my mailbox, that’s for sure). Citing statistics from market research firm Synovate, the article stated that: Direct mail repsonse rates has declined. Since 1992, the number […]

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Article Image: Engagement Myopia

Engagement Myopia

In an article on Chief Marketer‘s web site, Robert Passikoff, President of Brand Keys, called [customer] engagement 2006’s “holy grail and favorite buzzword”. In a previous article, Bob predicted that engagement would: Continue to insert itself between traditional marketing activities and an increasing demand for return-on-investment assessments, and will occupy a good deal of marketers’ […]

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Article Image: In-bound or In-terruption Marketing?

In-bound or In-terruption Marketing?

Inbound marketing is a hot topic. Fifty-eight percent of the firms Forrester Research surveyed in 2005 said they practice inbound marketing, while another 27% planned to do so by the end of 2006. But what are these firms really doing under the banner of inbound marketing? One man’s inbound marketing message may very well be […]

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Article Image: Why Do YOU Segment Customers?

Why Do YOU Segment Customers?

The marketing department at a large firm (with a strong sales-driven culture) was trying to get sales’ support to launch a customer segmentation effort. In one meeting, the market research consultant presented her psychographic analysis of consumers, outlining seven segments. She recommended, based on the company’s “brand positioning”, that the firm disregard three of the […]

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Article Image: Delusions Of Marketing Grandeur

Delusions Of Marketing Grandeur

In an article on, Jeff Mucci writes: “More and more companies are attempting to become “marketing focused/led” rather than sales or financially driven….A bona fide, world-class marketing-led organization has a clear long-term focus on core items such as retention, customer satisfaction, customer experience management, and lifetime value of a customer. Conversely, a sales- or […]

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Article Image: CYA (Count Your Assets)

CYA (Count Your Assets)

In the October 2004 issue of the Journal of Marketing, Roland Rust and colleagues wrote that: “Marketers are under pressure to show how marketing investments add to shareholder value…[and] must identify the assets in which they invest and how those assets contribute to profits.” Marketing executives know this all too well. But, in practice, few […]

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