Whenever I hear of a real case of marketing, it inspires me. I want to tell everyone who thinks marketing is just a synonym for advertising and promotion.
Television network CNN ranked 23rd last year in advertising revenue among basic cable networks. Spending $379 million dollars placed it behind networks such as Syfy and Bravo. It turns out that most people tune into CNN only in the case of big news events.
You wonder why every car dealer TV ad is followed by an ambulance-chasing lawyer ad … is followed by a car dealer ad … is followed by an ambulance-chasing lawyer ad … is followed by . . . you get the point.
Business categories become commodities when consumers no longer identify a meaningful difference between brands. When that happens, the only difference a brand can create is in advertising. Better advertising than others, or, as in most cases, more advertising.
Just about the time I thought Secretary’s Day had become an established retail selling season, somebody convinced everybody else that to call someone a secretary is demeaning.
I can’t quite understand that. In my career I had three terrific secretaries and the opportunity to know dozens of great secretaries in other companies. Then one day it wasn’t Secretary’s Day any more.
J.C. Penney canned CEO Ron Johnson after seventeen months. His implosive changes cost Penney billions and shareholders forty percent of their investments.
But Johnson’s only the face of the disaster. And nobody has mentioned Penney’s board of directors.
The real culprit is a guy named William Ackman and the rest of Penney’s board of directors. Ackman manages a hedge-fund that is Penney’s largest shareholder. It was Ackman who led the board to coax Johnson away from Apple.