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A New Focus for P&G

19 Aug

Procter & Gamble, the long-time world leader in consumer products and the leading global advertiser, is ready to embark on another new strategy. It has tried many tactics in recent years to try to stimulate company growth and profits.

P&G’s latest approach may seem counter-intuitive — to grow by shrinking its brand portfolio. However, this idea does seem on target and reflects the essence of the Pareto 80/20 Principle that relatively few products account for a disproportionate amount of sales and profits.

As reported by Rachel Abrams for the New York Times:

“After years of expansion into areas like pet food and beauty products, Procter & Gamble announced that it would cut as many as 100 brands from its arsenal to focus on others, like Tide, that made the company a powerhouse over the decades. The move is part of a strategy to improve the company’s financial performance by doubling down on about 80 brands that generate 95 percent of the profits and 90 percent of sales, according to A. G. Lafley, the firm’s chief executive. The company, and the industry at large, have faced pressure as consumers continue to spend less than they did before the financial crisis.”

[According to Lafley,] “‘This new streamlined P&G should continue to grow faster and more sustainably, and reliably create more value. Importantly, this will be a much simpler, much less complex company of leading brands that’s easier to manage and operate.'”

Click the image to read more of Abrams’ story.

 

Photo by Mario Anzuoni/Reuters

 

Amazon Versus Hachette, Amazon Versus Disney, Etc.

18 Aug

As the world’s largest book seller and online retailer, Amazon is never afraid to flex its muscles with regard to suppliers. So, these questions come into play: Is Amazon acting as an advocate for lower consumer prices (as the retailer claims)? OR is Amazon an unrestrained bully trying to increase its margins at the expense of its content providers (as critics claim)? WHAT IS YOUR CONCLUSION?

For several months, Amazon has been  battling with publisher Hachette. Consider this observation in Catey Hill’s report for MarketWatch:

“Amazon and book behemoth Hachette — along with some publishers’ groups and writers — are at one another’s throats, in a fight that’s escalated just within the past week. Amazon, which accounts for about 60% of the digital-book market, wants to use its market power to get Hachette to lower E-book prices, while Hachette says that this is ‘punitive,’ hurts authors and bookstores, and doesn’t take into account the costs — like royalties, marketing and expenses — that go into creating books. Hachette also notes that 80% of its books are already selling online for $9.99 or less, which is the price at which Amazon hopes to sell many of its E-books. For its part, Amazon has used its leverage against Hachette by delaying shipping and stopping pre-orders on some Hachette books.”

Now, Amazon has also decided to do battle with the Walt Disney Co., another behemoth content provider. Consider this observation in Greg Bensinger’s report for the Wall Street Journal:

“When Amazon.com Inc. wants to fight, it turns to a familiar playbook. The latest to feel the Seattle retailer’s sting is Walt Disney Co. Amazon isn’t accepting pre-orders of forthcoming Disney DVD and Blu-ray titles including Captain America: The Winter Soldier and Maleficent. As Amazon continues its well-publicized battle with Hachette over E-book costs, it has now engaged in a battle with Disney. It is the same tactic Amazon has employed in a bitter four-month spat with Hachette Book Group over E-book pricing. To press its point, Amazon suspended pre-orders for physical copies of many Hachette titles and lengthened shipping times or pared discounts for others. The tactics underscore Amazon’s unusual sway in E-commerce, where it is by far the dominant player, particularly for books and media.”

Click the image to see a Wall Street Journal video on this battle.

Photo by Associated Press

 

Marketing Art at the J. Paul Getty Museum

24 Jul

The J. Paul Getty Museum, located in Los Angeles, Clifornia, is world renowned. Its mission is to: “inspire curiosity about, and enjoyment and understanding of, the visual arts by collecting, conserving, exhibiting, and interpreting works of art of outstanding quality and historical importance.” It “builds collections through purchase and gifts, and develops programs of exhibitions, publications, scholarly research, public education, and the performing arts that engage our diverse local and international audiences.”

The Getty Museum appreciates the importance of marketing. One interesting, marketing-oriented initiative of the Museum is its interactive online discussion of The Life of Art: Context, Collecting, and Display, which is on exhibit at the physical museum:

“Look closely at a work of art and you are likely to uncover clues to a fascinating past and present: an object’s intimate connection to people, places, institutions, and cultures. This exhibition takes four objects from the Museum’s decorative arts collection—a silver fountain, a wall light, a side chair, and a lidded bowl—and encourages you to explore their ‘lives’ through an interactive presentation.”

Click the image to access the interactive online show-and-tell.
 

 

Global Advertising Is Booming

20 Jul

As part of its research on worldwide advertising trends, eMarketer examined the per-capita ad spending for several countries around the globe.

From this research, a few conclusions may be drawn: (1) From 2012 to 2018, advertising is expected to rise sharply in many of the countries eMarketer examined. (2) The United States and 7 other countries will see per-capita ad spending exceed annually by 2018. (3) Even though ad spending will rise substantially in the world’s two most populous countries — China and India, per-capita ad spending through 2018 will remain low compared with other nations. (4) Most of the increases will be driven by a shift to digital media.

Click the chart to learn more.
 

 

The Changing Constants of Marketing (No, This Is Not an Oxymoron)

18 Jul

We’ve written a lot about the rapidly changing world of marketing — with the advances in social media, technology, big data, etc. So, sometimes, we need to pause and reflect on things that are the constants in marketing.

In 1966, McKinsey published an article by John D. Louth on “The Changing Face of Marketing”: “This article from the McKinsey Quarterly archive analyzes six major changes that promised to transform future marketing efforts. These forces have largely proved to be as influential as predicted and continue to shape today’s challenges.”

The six major changes — which are really marketing constants — are as relevant today as they were nearly 50 years ago:

  1. The dominance of the customer — “It is nearly a truism that the needs and wants of the consumer are the critical issues today in creating new products and services, and developing the accompanying plans to merchandise them at a profit.”
  2. The spread of marketing research — “The second trend is the increased use of marketing research — in terms of both quantity and scope. To an important degree, of course, this trend is a response to the first. If knowledge about future customers is essential, and if the quality of the marketing output is materially affected by the caliber of the informational input, then marketing research is bound to increase in use and contribution as the interest in more scientific marketing grows.”
  3. The rise of the computer — “The third major trend marketing must consider is the emergence of electronic data-processing equipment as a major tool of scientific marketing not only for reporting data but also, more importantly, for planning and control by management.”
  4. Expanded use of test marketing — “A fourth important trend, in my opinion, will be toward more controlled experimentation to narrow the odds of an error in making marketing changes. Two major influences emphasize the need for further expansion of test marketing. The first is the rising cost of marketing changes: the costs, for example, of introducing new products and packaging, of developing new advertising and promotional programs, and of retraining salespeople. The second influence is the mounting investment in product research and development. About half of all corporate research-and-development activity in the United States today is concerned with the creation of new commercial products.”
  5. Metamorphosis of field selling — “The fifth trend I foresee is a shift in the nature of the field-selling job toward a more integrated, profit-oriented marketing effort. Key-account selling is becoming an increasingly crucial feature of the field-sales job—a trend with important implications. In many companies, a key-account selling program may entail special analysis of present and potential customers, and the establishment of related control reports to measure profit results with particular accounts.”
  6. Global market planning — “An ever-broadening application of the marketing concept to worldwide markets is the last of the six broad trends that I believe will change the face of marketing in the next few years. Over the past decade, the marketing concept has become widely accepted in the United States—perhaps, in some situations, too enthusiastically accepted and too indiscriminately applied. Nevertheless, I believe the concept of a completely integrated marketing effort is valid and will be increasingly adopted. In many companies operating worldwide, it will stimulate the development of global market planning.”

Click the image to read the full classic article.
 

 

Companies That Have Changed the World

9 Jul

Many companies have had a major impact on business practices and our lives. And a lot of these companies have endured for a century or more.

Recently, Fortune published a list of 27 companies that have changed the world over the last century-plus.

Sorry, Apple fans — but Apple ranks only 16th on the list!

Click the image to see the full list. :-)
 

 

Can You “Pass” This Product Management Quiz? :-)

4 Jul

Happy Fourth of July. Looking for something to do this morning?

Think you know product management? Try out this 10-item quiz.

Let us know how you do. (No cheating: The answers are on slide two.)
 
 

 

Evans on Marketing’s 20 Most Popular Posts

23 Jun

Since this blog began in 2012, several of the 900 posts have been especially popular among readers. For those who have missed any of the 20 most popular posts, here they are:

  1. Best Business Decisions Ever?
  2. Online Shopping Behavior by Gender and Age
  3. Do You Regularly Check Yourself Out at Google?
  4. A Job Skills Infographic
  5. Is It OK to Leave a Job Off Your Resume?
  6. The Volkswagen Jetta Promotes Safety
  7. Apple and Planned Obsolescence: Is This Good Or Bad?
  8. New Balance Athletic Shoes: Made in the USA — But for How Long?
  9. Great Privacy Tip: How to Go Incognito on Google Chrome
  10. The Value of Infographics
  11. Are You Trying NOT to Get A Job?
  12. Ten Tips to Help You Get a Job Interview
  13. Is Marketing a Good Career Choice?
  14. Where Consumers Will Pay More for Products from Socially-Conscious Companies
  15. 15 Traits of Superior Employees
  16. The Top Social Media Sites in China: An Infographic
  17. Do YOU Provide Too Much Online Information About Yourself?
  18. Is Banning Facebook at Work a Good Or Bad Idea?
  19. Questions NOT to Ask During a Job Interview
  20. Is Sharing One’s Salary Data with Co-Workers OK?

 

Global Personality Maps

20 Jun

JWT Intelligence has just introduced a new Web site called Personality Atlas.  For marketers, this is an interesting and entertaining visual look at the world:

“The Personality Atlas report is based on findings from a 27-market study of 6,075 adults aged 18-plus that used SONAR, JWT’s proprietary online research tool. The study covered Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Colombia, Czech Republic, Egypt, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Pakistan, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Thailand, United Kingdom, and United States. Our respondents provided their perceptions of each country surveyed, including their own — we looked at overall perceptions, as well as perceptions related to people, culture, government and brands/products.”

Click the map for three views of personality: (1) How the world views other countries. (2) How countries view themselves. (3) See where you fit. Hover over the country to read the description. Enjoy!
 

 

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