Monday, November 3, 2008

Marketing in an Economic Downturn: What it Means and Insights for You as CMO

Trying to understand and cope with the economic times we're in, three CMOs joined together for a discussion entitled, "Marketing in an Economic Downturn: What it Means and Insights for You as CMO." On the panel (in order in photo) were:
Here's a summary of some of the points brought up in the discussion.
  • Cromwell - Put things in the transaction settings and think about how you can drive more trust.
  • Cromwell - Three issues to consider. Think about innovation. Each client intends to be in business and they need help. Listen and understand what they want to hear. Inspiration: be a leader and realize nobody should be able to do this better than you. Lastly is have good intentions for your employees and your clients.
  • Gellman - In this economic environment there's a flight to quality. People are scared.
  • Lorenzen - Companies panic during tough economic times. They'll take a centralized approach. And it's good to save money, but you lose connection with customers when you centralize. You must stay close to your customers which is a field model and that allows for agility. Have a corporate organization where you can stay aligned with your field.
  • Frank - I like to turn the CEO and product into superstars. People get scared when I'm hired. I'm sorry for that, but I'm hired by the shareholder and the company.
  • Lorenzen - If you can't sell it inside, you can't sell it outside.
  • Cromwell - The average company has done an abysmal job on employee engagement. And yes, it matters.
  • Cromwell - While you need to get rid of the under performers, you also have to get rid of the great performers that are poisoning your environment.
  • Frank - I like to build a new team, no matter where they are in the world.
  • Gellman - Let your employees know that you know what they're doing. Gellman asked the audience of CMOs how many can list of their top three priorities and also know the top three priorities their direct reports. Only one hand in the room was raised.
  • Frank - Currency is everything. Not just finances, but the value of your brand. In one case, Frank launched her brand Vivitar only in Dubai because the margins were so good. She didn't bother in the U.S. because the margins were so poor there.
  • You need to change and sometimes things don't work into your five year strategic plan.
  • Gellman - Most people don't want to change, but they can.
Check out all coverage at The CMO Club Peer to Peer Summit.

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