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Marketing Leadership - It's Time Has Arrived

1 Nov, 2001 By: Wes Phillips imageSource

Marketing Leadership - It's Time Has Arrived

It’s Time Has Arrived

Wes Phillips, CEO of Hunter Barth Advertising


events of September 11th, the possibility of more terrorism and a war being
conducted abroad have converged to present a difficult marketing environment.
Many readers of this publication feel they are at a crossroads. Should they step
back, and preserve resources, or should they boldly implement their growth
strategies, and position their companies to emerge from these uncertain times
stronger, larger, and more profitable?


you will choose what is best for your company. However, as you make this choice,
it is useful to realize now is an opportunity to secure your company’s
position as a marketplace leader.


Is Leadership?

useful definition of leadership in this uncertain environment is: “Leadership
is the wise use of power. Power is the capacity to translate intention into
reality and sustain it.” So, what is your intention for your company? Will you
allow current events to derail you from sustaining your efforts? In other words,
if you had planned on nurturing and growing your business prior to September
11th – do you plan to implement marketing changes which do not support your
original intention? A leader understands that achieving any significant goal
requires the ability to navigate small and large obstacles. A few office
technology manufacturers have set a good example of sustaining their market
leading intentions. 


Mita has continued to pursue establishing themselves as the “One Company.”
Kyocera Mita could have chosen to pull their print, newspaper and broadcast
advertising by reasoning that the marketplace would be too distracted. Toshiba
also has continued to roll-out their new corporate positioning, “Don’t Copy.
Lead.” Again, Toshiba could have chosen to hunker down and preserve cash, yet
they chose to stay-the-course, recognizing that in order to achieve their
long-term objectives, their message was important to communicate now.


technology dealers might appreciate the boldness of these moves; yet reason that
manufacturers have access to a wide array of resources. However, I have observed
several examples of local dealers making very powerful decisions. For example,
one dealer in the Southwest was aware of a potential new competitor. In August,
they tentatively decided to increase their fourth quarter advertising presence.
As of September 11th, they still had not made the final decision to
proceed. After re-evaluating their long-term market leadership strategy, this
dealership chooses to implement their fourth quarter strategy to increase their
market presence. The point of these examples is to highlight that all office
technology companies confronted the same jarring events. The previously
mentioned companies realized that to attain the position of marketplace leader,
it required the willingness to maintain focus, make tough decisions, and
allocate resources. As we continue we will discuss three tactics that could be
of use as you powerfully strive to lead your marketplace.


Advertising Budget

sales soften the temptation is to dramatically reduce the advertising budget.
However, it is usually more prudent to reforecast sales and re-evaluate the
appropriate advertising budget. Most market leading dealers allocate 2.5%-3.5%
of projected annual revenue for their advertising budget. Therefore, if sales
projections have decreased, then it would be prudent to adjust (not eliminate)
your advertising budget. For example if you determine that your projected
revenue will be 10% less, an advertising reduction of 10% may be reasonable.
However, another important factor needs to be incorporated and that is the
“run rate” of your advertising expenditure. This means after recalculating
your advertising expenditure, you then subtract the amount already expended on
advertising. This step is useful since your company may have front or
back-loaded the advertising budget. This budgeting approach ensures fiscal
responsibility, continued presence in your marketplace and sustained leadership


Budget Fragmentation

circumstances present an opportunity to evaluate how and where to spend your
advertising budget. One common mistake is to use several different avenues to
communicate the marketing message. The unfortunate result is that a great
advertising budget is made far less effective. A much more productive result
will be attained if the advertising goal is redefined to achieve “media


dominance is simply starting with one medium and impacting it until you have the
largest presence in your category. Many times dealers discover that this
approach results in only using one medium. In fact, with radio or television it
may mean only one station or one daypart can be used. For maximum marketplace
leadership, you are more effective doing one thing very well before moving on to
the next thing. So re-evaluate how you are currently spending your advertising
budget. It may be that you should eliminate spending on one medium. Then you can
take the savings and add it to the remaining medium and ensure it; this being
utilized in such way that media dominance is achieved. In fact, you may not need
100% of the reallocated budget to go to the remaining medium. Now you have
achieved an added bonus—media dominance, budget savings, and maintaining your
leadership momentum.


Force Productivity

area of increased opportunity for marketplace leadership lies in converting a
higher percentage of prospects into customers. Statistically, seven out of ten
prospects are willing to buy today. The same statistics indicate the average
salesperson closes approximately 20% of their selling opportunities. This means
that out of ten selling opportunities, two prospects are closed; yet seven were
willing to buy. You just need to convert one more prospect and you have made a
significant impact on your sales revenue. This is easier said than done,
however, given the current circumstances, there are some tactical moves you can
make. First, make sure your sales training process is finely tuned and occurring
weekly. Second, your sales tools should be current, accurate and make you stand
out from your competitors. Finally, all sales opportunities should be evaluated
daily to ensure you are managing the sales cycle.


is useful to keep in clear focus your marketing intention. Even more powerful,
though, is our individual willingness to sustain our intention, in this case,
marketplace leadership. Achieving this goal demonstrates wise leadership and in
the long run, makes a powerful contribution to the success of your customers,
your employees, and your company.






article submitted by Wes Phillips, CEO of Hunter Barth Advertising located in
Costa Mesa, California. Hunter Barth Advertising is a full service marketing and
advertising firm specializing in the office technology industry. You can reach
Mr. Phillips at (949) 631-9900 or e-mail phillips@hunterbarth.com.

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