There’s one thing that everybody in every company can do to help make the company successful: be a mystery shopper. Test how easy it is to do business with your company.
A couple weeks ago I tried to make a reservation for a golf package on Alabama’s Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail. I went to the web site and called the direct number for the hotel on a Saturday evening. I was told to call back between nine and five on Sunday. I tried another number on the web site and got an answering machine with an announcement that I needed an extension number to reach anybody.
Lou Gerstner resurrected IBM with no previous knowledge of IBM’s business. He proved that a lack of company, even category, experience can be overcome. Gerstner was the exception.
A CEO with the full body of knowledge about a company and its category has a huge leg up. CEOs who grow up in a company know the pressure points at every level. They know where each job fits in the total scheme. They know the industry. And that means they know the competition.
Memphis, TN – The life of an airline chief marketing officer must be absolute hell. For all but Southwest, airline brand stature in America is in the toilet. They hemorrhaged money. Cut flights. Cut people. Cut cities. Cut advertising. Raised fares. Added extra fees for everything but the co-pilot. The traditional airline business model doesn't work anymore.
Memphis, TN – Election day 2008 will go down as the biggest marketing day in history. President Barack Obama successfully defeated both the best known woman in the country, Hilary Clinton, and a very well-respected war hero and fellow Senator, John McCain. The President won, in part, by finding a brand that worked, and sticking with it. While the others kept redesigning their campaign efforts, Obama stuck to one word: Change.