Magazine article Marketing

Across-the-Board Consumer Focus Is the Way Ahead

Magazine article Marketing

Across-the-Board Consumer Focus Is the Way Ahead

Article excerpt

Isn't it extraordinary that most company boards measure their profits rather than the underlying drivers of these profits - their consumers' attitudes to their brands and their companies?

This conclusion comes from reading the survey carried out by Taylor Nelson Sofres for The Marketing Society among nearly 100 top marketers from a wide cross-section of UK companies. I know that most marketers are using the appropriate tools to understand their consumers, but many are not hammering home their message in the boardroom. In around a third of the companies questioned, marketing was not even represented on their main boards!

Of course, it is essential that boards regularly measure their profit, cash flow, and stock situation. But it is lamentable that measures such as consumer attitudes, customer satisfaction and complaints are regularly monitored by fewer than half of the boards in the survey. After all, we know that what gets measured, gets managed.

More surprisingly, customer complaints seem to be a more favoured measure than regular understanding of consumer usage and attitudes. Surely, the classic case of the cart before the horse?

Is this because it is simply easier to measure complaints than it is to understand consumer behaviour? A stock sheet is easier to read than the minds of your customers. But all directors, and not just sales and marketing directors, should get out of the boardroom and speak to their trade customers and consumers. If a company director is legally obliged to look after the company assets, it is surely the duty of every director to meet and understand their consumers. …

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