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    Presented by Now Possible

    Guest Post by Bruce Kasanoff

    A long time ago, business execs used to say, “I know we get 80% of the benefit from 20% of our marketing budget, but I don’t know which 20% works” Today, that is an optimistic statement. Not even 20% is working.

    I have a list of 30 provocative questions companies ought to ask about their marketing, and aspiring marketers ought to consider before deciding on a career path.

    1. Is it more important to improve our products or our advertising?

    2. When we compete on price, are we revealing a lack of faith in the value our products deliver to customers?

    3. Is “customer loyalty” a valid concept in a smartphone enabled, app-driven marketplace?

    4. Would we be wiser to seek to win every competitive match-up, rather than aim for a sense of inherent loyalty to our offerings?

    5. Needs-based customer segments provide a means to allocate marketing resources. Have we created such segments?

    6. What knowledge do we have about specific customers that our competitors lack?

    7. What are the benefits of having knowledge of our customers that our competitors lack?

    8. Do we make it convenient for our customers to be loyal?

    9. How could we make it more convenient for our customers to be loyal to us?

    10. What percentage of our revenues come from delivering customized products or services to customers?

    11. How many ways do we use customer information to benefit that customer?

    12. How many new ways could we develop to remember information for customers, instead of just about them?

    13. When we collect feedback from customers, do we talk in terms of the job/task they were doing or in terms of their perception of our firm?

    14. What percentage of our marketing budget can be quantified by accurate metrics?

    15. Are we 100% truthful with customers?

    16. Marketing tries to make our firm look good. How do we avoid having social media call us out for fudging the truth?

    17. Is outbound marketing declining in effectiveness?

    18. Do we offer enough compelling content and innovative services to attract customers to us?

    19. Are we designing sensors into our products and services?

    20. Do we encourage customers to provide feedback, and do we allow other customers to see it?

    21. Should we take funds from advertising and general marketing and shift them to developing more innovative services and products?

    22. Do we have active and effective teams that combine marketing, engineering and design professionals?

    23. Do we encourage and respect a diverse range of opinions and skills across our marketing organization?

    24. What percentage of our customer touch points are smart (interactive) vs. stupid (static)?

    25. Do we have a mobile strategy that places a greater emphasis on serving than selling?

    26. Are we consistently looking at the edges of our industry to spot disruptive technologies and business models?

    27. Do we speak at customers or with them?

    28. Do we reward customers for feedback?

    29. Are we getting increasingly granular in our marketing metrics, to better spot opportunities?

    30. Do we reward employees for serving customers, regardless of divisions or jobs?

    What questions would you add to the list?


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    ABOUT Bruce Kasanoff

    Bruce Kasanoff is President of Now Possible, a strategy firm that offers fresh thinking about marketing and customer relationships. The Chartered Institute of Marketing – the largest organization of marketing professionals in the world – cited him among their inaugural listing of the 50 most influential thinkers in marketing and business today.

    He is the author of Making It Personal: How to Profit from Personalization without Invading Privacy, a critically-acclaimed 2001 book that predicted many of the innovations we see widespread today.