In the Spotlight

May 20, 2010
By Joseph OShaughnessy


Let's think for a minute about market orientation. You want to improve your performance. That's a given. There are usually only three ways to do it. First, you can increase sales at the same price. That will increase profitability on a straight line, but it will also increase production efficiency. Second you can sell the same number of products at a higher price. That will not increase production efficiency but will increase profits. Third, you can sell more products at a higher price. That will increase profits and efficiency and lead to the best of all possible worlds. But the real world is a little messier. Someone is always throwing a wrench into the gears. So you need to have a strategy that doesn't allow for tweaking because the tweaking is already into the game from the very beginning. The way you do that is to design the product after ... May 14, 2010
By Joseph OShaughnessy


There are so many variables, it is extremely difficult to make generalizations about advertising and marketing budgets. There are some things we can say that may be helpful. Advertising can range from a high of as much as 35% of sales down to about 2% of sales.Liquor, for example, is a potentially highly profitable business and a competitive one. The product is somewhat an emotional purchase and can be influenced by style, number of impressions and a certain specific image. So liquor could be in the range of 15 to 20%. Procter and Gamble, not an inconsiderable-sized company and one whose product management is legendary, depending upon the definition of "sales" uses a figure in any given year that ranges from something above 9% on the low end to 10.5 or 10.8% on the high end. Of course the larger the company the less a company can spend if it decides it ... April 27, 2010
By Joseph OShaughnessy


Strategic planning is essential to any good business. But very often marketing simply becomes a small segment of the strategic plan. Perhaps it may encompass several paragraphs, some comments on advertising programs, even results of some consumer research and effective promotions. But the essential thing that many companies do not recognize is that their strategic plan IS marketing. Their entire business revolves around marketing. Consequently, you need to consider a separate strategic marketing plan. When is a good time to start and on what cycle should you review the plan? The time to start is right now, today, this minute. You can make the annual cycle anything you want, but you need to start the plan right now, if you do not have one already. And in many cases you may, but here is the difference between a marketing plan and a strategic marketing plan. A strategic marketing plan incorporates every aspect of ... April 23, 2010
By Joseph OShaughnessy


Take a hard look at regional cable. Cable television has some unique segmentation capabilities depending on your type of business. You may wonder how some small advertisers can afford television. The way they can is through advertising with your local cable provider. April 23, 2010
By Joseph OShaughnessy


Never make a decision on either personnel or media based on price. Your best employees will cost you more but produce more and your best media will cost more but will convert to more sales in the long run.