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Last week, Scott Monty, head of social media for Ford Motor Company, posted a blog titled “Social Network: The Movie.” In a nutshell, Scott mentioned 10 social media professionals, including Chris Brogan, Seth Godin, Mark Ragan, and Brian Solis, and listed what celebrity would play them if they were in a movie. Also known as their “Hollywood doppelganger,” Scott did a great job finding celebrities to match these individuals.

Well, there was already a Vantage Point movie (released in 2008), but Dennis Quaid and Matthew Fox graced the silver screen instead of our team here in Greenville, SC. But if there were a movie on VantagePoint Marketing, who would play our team?

Note: I picked only a few from the VantagePoint team to highlight – it’s hard coming up with actors!

Craig O’Neal – President and CEO / George Clooney

(Similarities: successful, a genuinely nice guy, and well dressed)

Dave McQuaid – Vice President, Creative and Digital / Jim Carrey

(Similarities: creative, funny and sometimes out there, but in a good way!)

Kristin Ambory – Vice President, Client Services / Nicole Kidman

(Similarities: polished, professional and great attention to detail)

Mitch Mahoney – Summer Intern / John Francis Daley

(Similarities: it’s all in the hair and face)

Me – PR Specialist / Mena Suvari

(I’d rather be played by Rachel McAdams from “The Notebook” or Jennifer Anniston, but I’ve been told I look like Mena Suvari.)

What do you think? Did I represent our people well? I would love to hear what you think, or if you have any other recommendations.

I was delighted to see in BtoB Magazine’s 10th Anniversary issue that one of the major trends over the past 10 years in the business-to-business space is the rise of the CMO. Admittedly biased, the addition of this key function to the c-suite is a must for any company who really is serious about growth in today’s marketplace. If marketing is all about creating and retaining customers, pray tell me, how can the CMO role not be critical?

As the article stated, “The CMO is really a business strategist and the owner of the customer experience who has the ability to work with every facet of the organization to optimize the customer experience.” Many companies give lip service to being “customer centric” but have not taken the necessary steps of having a key internal champion in the c-level suite (the CMO) to truly be so. Until they do, it will continue to be lip service, and the company will continue to get less than optimal results in the marketplace.

No doubt it’s been a transition for many CEOs to come to recognize that a very good CMO is worth his or her weight in gold. I have personally found that there is a direct correlation between the value that a CEO places on marketing and the value they place on a CMO. Those of us in marketing should then take heart that the CMO position has become increasingly important over the past decade and that more and more companies are seeing the real value of outstanding marketing. However, the CMO function is also one of the most challenging positions, with tremendous expectations to produce results like never before.

I’ll have several things to say in my next blog about these expectations and what that means for the CMO. Stay tuned…

You bet they do. Customer equity is the sum of the lifetime value of all its customers discounted over time. What drives customer equity? Three things drive customer equity: value equity, brand equity and retention equity. Let’s look at each one of these separately and see how they come together to form customer equity.

Value equity is the customer’s objective assessment of the utility or value of the brand based on the product/service cost versus what they receive. This is not based on price but overall value to the customer.

Brand equity is the customer’s subjective and intangible assessment above and beyond its objectively-perceived value. This is not solely about product features and benefits but also about other more intrinsic reasons.

Retention equity is the tendency of the customer to stick with your brand, again, above and beyond the objective and subjective assessments of your brand. Remember, this driver alone will not last forever, so you must build up both the value and brand equity drivers.

The bottom line of all this is that you had better concentrate on owning the customer. Learn which of the drivers your customers desire and create as many touch points as possible to continue to build these drivers. Create a content-filled web site, a communications plan that includes PR, blogs and social media so the customer sees and hears a consistent value proposition and promise. Conduct a Net Promoter Score survey every year. The first year establishes the benchmark.  In the following years you can see how you score against the same categories.

Remember that your customer does have equity in your brand.

There’s no denying that we are all faced with doing more with less these days. Between meetings and emails, there isn’t always a lot of time for everything else on the to-do list. Additionally, it is summer, which means many people are traveling or taking time off. For those of us that are constantly on the go, here are four tools that can keep us connected without getting too far behind.
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VantagePoint's integrated approach to b-to-b marketing combines keen insight with bright ideas to strengthen your brand's market impact, no matter what the economy. Let us help you get a fresh perspective.

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