July 09, 2007

Sales or Intangibles?

From Ad Age today: “A study to be published in the Journal of Marketing that covered 167 companies including Procter & Gamble, Microsoft and Apple over a five-year period concludes that CMOs on top management teams don't have any effect on a company's financial performance. The disheartening finding … is sure to reignite the longstanding debate afflicting the suite: Should a CMO be judged on tangible or intangible metrics? On solid stats such as sales, or on more amorphous concepts such as brand equity or even awareness?

I think Rosser Reeves answered this question best nearly 50 years ago: “Let’s say you are a manufacturer. Your advertising isn’t working and your sales are going down. And everything depends on it. Your future depends on it, your family’s future depends on it, other people’s families depend on it. And you walk into this office and talk to me, and you sit in that chair. Now, what do want out of me? Fine writing? Do you want masterpieces? Do you want glowing things that can be framed by copywriters? Or do you want to see the goddamned sales curve stop moving down and start moving up?

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