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Marketers are talking a good game about setting goals and measuring their progress,

By Dr. Joe Webb
Published: March 6, 2007

Marketers are talking a good game about setting goals and measuring their progress, but they don't seem to be able to do it well.

Only 17% of the 136 executives and marketing professionals indicated that their CEO would give marketing an A, that is they believe marketing is making a difference and can document this contribution compared to 53% of the respondents who indicated that their CEO believes marketing programs are effective but the contributions were not measured. A total of 48% felt that their CEO believes their organization’s ability to measure marketing performance was only marginally effective.

Press release VisionEdge site Microsoft changing its media mix to be more digital by 2010, at the principal expense of TV advertising. But don't forget two things: Microsoft has a big print budget for its software for consumers and business, and also has significant consumer products such as Xbox to support. What is pretty interesting in the story is that they will be experimenting with emerging media around the world. They get a double-benefit from this. First, their ad budget will be better allocated as these media gain in popularity. Second, their own media business of handheld devices and new products yet to be announced will have the benefit of understanding consumer preferences for advertising. MSFT gets ad revenues from new media through its MSN property, so it's more than just an ad spender... it wants to know where future revenue can originate. SEE STORY Since media mix is such a big issue, and that it has become more obvious that mediums need to interact, the question is whether or not ad agency organizational structures and operating procedures facilitate such actions. Advertising Age asked some top agency leaders what their approach is. SEE STORY Perhaps the CEO of Universal-McCann said it best:

The artificial distinction between 'traditional' and 'digital' is meaningless today. The world is digital, and we must adopt to take full advantage of that as an industry. At Universal McCann, we have totally eliminated the silo mentality and have created a culture of collaboration. Our teams are working in lock-step with one goal: deliver sustainable communications solutions through engagement innovation and accountable creativity.

The Orange County Register is an interesting case study of a mid-size newspaper using new media... and it might be successful. Columnist Herb Greenberg has an interesting column about his lunch with two convicted white collar criminals. One of them is Sam Antar who was behind one of the biggest crimes of all, the retailer "Crazy Eddie." Any New Yorker knows the famous commercials from the 1980s. Antar now lectures, for no fees, about white collar crime. His website is an education in itself about fraud and how to manipulate financial reporting that should be read by every industry researcher who relies on 10Ks and other documents for competitive information and industry analysis. Unfortunately, the links to the Crazy Eddie commercials are dead. But I did fond one that appears to be quite early and a later, crazier, Christmas commercial. The commercials can be found by searching for "Crazy Eddie commercials" on YouTube.com. Dan Aykroyd would make fun of commercials of this type on SNL. The actor in the commercials was WPIX-FM disc jockey Jerry Carroll who would go by the name "Dr. Jerry." The Crazy Eddie Wikipedia entry is good. But I would recommend Sam Antar's site for the real dirt and details... and an explanation about how to read between the lines of financial reports of public companies. Economist Larry Kudlow had an interesting column in OpinionJournal.com. It puts in perspective all of the meanderings and wild swings this past week of the various stock markets.

Dr. Joe Webb is one of the graphic arts industry's best-known consultants, forecasters, and commentators. He is the director of WhatTheyThink.com's Economics and Research Center.

What do you think? Please send feedback to Dr. Joe by emailing him at drjoe@whattheythink.com.

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