June 2009



A Letter from CEO Michael Dunn

By now we all know how bad the economy is, and if we read another headline about the recession — or more specifically its impact on marketing budgets — we’ll stop reading the news altogether. OK - maybe we won’t go to that extreme, but the fact is, people are looking forward and need prescriptive advice on how to start turning things around. As the marketing community faces pressure to think smarter in devising strategies that are clearly linked to results, we offer prescriptives that can help stabilize, if not grow the business.

It’s helped that we now have two books that speak to this growth imperative, and the buzz they have created reinforces exactly how relevant our thinking is in the current environment.

In this edition we kick-off our newsletter with “Are You Ready to 'Shift?'” giving you an overview of Scott Davis’ just-published book. We also feature an interview with Roger Sinclair, our new academic partner whose brand valuation model, BrandMetrics, helps bridge the divide between finance and marketing. Then tune in as we focus on turning inspiration into a business discipline, with a webinar hosted by Andy Stefanovich.

For fun, we finish with Senior Partner and Creative Director Peter Dixon, who gives us his thumbs up and down on several new retailer identities for how well (or not) they support the brand.

Here’s to a steadily improving second half!

Best regards,

[Signed, Michael Dunn]

Michael Dunn
CEO & Chairman
Building Great Brands and Businesses


Are You Ready to “Shift?”

The days of marketers operating in a vacuum, with marketing and business strategies being devised independently of one another, are ending. The best marketers are now creating integrated perspectives that start with the growth objectives of their entire organization.
Prophet’s Scott Davis explores the new roles marketers need to play in “The Shift: The Transformation of Today’s Marketers Into Tomorrow’s Growth Leaders,” published last month by Jossey Bass. He draws on two decades of experience, and uses case studies and insights from leading marketers at GE, Walmart, Charles Schwab, P&G, Burger King, IBM, Boeing, and others to discuss the five shifts marketers must undertake to transform marketing’s role and help drive the growth agenda.

The five key shifts are:

  • From Creating Marketing Strategies to Driving Business Impact.
  • From Controlling the Message to Galvanizing Your Network.
  • From Incremental Improvements to Pervasive Innovation.
  • From Managing Marketing Investments to Inspiring Marketing Excellence.
  • From an Operational Focus to a Relentless Customer Focus.

“Marketers who aspire to become a CEO’s true partner in growth need to bring together a balanced set of hard and soft skills,” he writes. “They must consistently exceed expectations for marketing excellence; build operating credibility with the CEO, CFO, and the rest of the C-suite; show capability and muscle in driving strategic discussions at the corporate level; consistently innovate across the enterprise; and lead by example, inspiring the organization to deliver results based on world-class marketing and business strategies and plans.”

Davis says it is critical for marketers to begin leading the charge to growth in their organizations. His book gives them a path to new and better ways to win new customers, build deeper and more meaningful relationships with current customers, and keep competitors at bay.

Learn more about “The Shift” here and download a complimentary chapter of the book. For recent articles about The Shift and related topics, visit here. And follow Scott on Twitter: http://twitter.com/scottdavisshift.


Where Brand Value, Marketing Effectiveness and Finance Meet

Roger Sinclair’s proven skills at comfortably straddling the worlds of marketing and finance give him substantial creds — creds that may never have as much luster as they do today when the economy has caused these worlds to collide.

Sinclair is the South African academic and creator of the globally respected BrandMetrics brand valuation model that has been used for the valuation of over 350 well-known brands in a variety of industry sectors. Sinclair recently joined Prophet as an academic partner, bringing his BrandMetrics model with him to add even more depth to the firm’s robust suite of brand and marketing services.

His expertise, capped by BrandMetrics, is an ideal fit with Prophet’s deepening emphasis on Marketing Accountability. This represents the combination of strategies designed to help businesses sort through the clutter of an increasing audience fragmentation, an explosion of channels and stagnating marketing tactics to create more effective marketing with demonstrable return on investment.

“The problem with marketing accountability as it stands now is that it’s tied back to a dashboard of all the measures by which we evaluate its endeavors — like awareness and perception, market share, and premium pricing. But you take that to non-marketing management and the board, and even if you explain what it all means, they’re just not interested. It’s not their language,” Sinclair explains.

The BrandMetrics model, he says, converges all marketing metrics into one single number — one that speaks to the ultimate question of the non-marketing leadership: Have you created value for the business?

He uses the simile of an airline company, with marketing as the pilot that guides the plane with the help of the gauges and controls in the cockpit. But when the flight lands, the board is not interested in how the flight went or what gadgets were used to ensure everything went smoothly. Sinclair says, “They have only one interest: Did the flight make money? This model enables marketing to answer that effectively.”

Sinclair believes today’s economic environment has upped the pressure on marketing to prove its ability to drive top- and bottom-line growth. The ability to better link outcomes to the kinds of tangible measures that finance finds meaningful will only enhance marketing’s relevance outside its narrow silo. And that can only add power to the entire premise of Marketing Accountability.

Learn more about Roger Sinclair’s thinking here.


Inspiration as a Discipline? Absolutely.

A Webinar with Andy Stefanovich

As an innovative leader, you don’t manage through the recession, you lead your people to grow the business in new ways. You’ve built a team of intelligent individuals, but they need a new way of thinking to get to different strategic outcomes. How can you tap into the resources that you already have within your walls? Inspire your people.

Inspiration is a strategic driver of the innovation process. Without new and different inputs, you’ll see the same outcomes. Listen to Andy Stefanovich's webinar and learn how to dramatically increase the return from your greatest asset: your people. After this hour, you will walk away with five actionable mechanisms for you to explore.

Listen to the archive version of the webinar here. Read Andy’s article on the topic here.

New Retailer Identity Hits and Misses

By Peter Dixon

We all know that a brand is more than its visual representation. But for retailers, the design of the physical space is so entwined with the customer experience that the strategy often kicks-off with the identity piece.

DDI Magazine, which focuses on solutions to help retailers and designers create dynamic, effective store environments, recently took a look at some new identities and store concepts and welcomed feedback from readers.

Here’s my take on some — see our reader’s poll (to the right) and cast your own vote.

  • Holiday Inn — A miss. It denies the hotelier’s rich heritage, particularly in the signage expression. Perhaps the strategic intent was to purposely move away from its past glory. Still, this identity is more generic than you’d expect.

  • Michaels — A move in the right direction. It almost harkens back to the ‘60s without overdoing it. It’s friendlier, more accessible, a little cooler, not so “jewelry store”-looking as the current mark.

  • Ruby Tuesday — Another marginal hit. At least it's lost the “your father’s moustache” vibe. Restaurant makeovers I’ve seen are improvements, but still not quite there. This is the best attempt so far at re-inventing the category. It just doesn’t go far enough. (Awesome crab cakes, though.)

  • Saks Fifth Avenue — Much better. More elegant, more “luxury,” more refined. The way it’s used on shopping bags, etc. also demonstrates a more playful, not over-serious attitude.


Recommended Reading

Back to the Future [PDF]
By Roland Bernhard and Tobias Ammann
This article suggests a way forward for the Swiss financial market center and its international banks. It argues that while loosening the secrecy law will take away one USP and cause uncertainty among clients, it will be beneficial in the mid term. The opportunity lies in a key pillar of Swiss banking: integrity. By aligning business practices and behaviour to the desired brand identities, the Swiss banking brands are likely to recover and regain strength by delivering a relevant promise in a credible way. *Please note this article is in German. (Persönlich, May 2009)

For CMOs to Be Visionary Leaders, They Must Have a P&L Mind-set [PDF]
By Scott Davis
Walmart’s Stephen Quinn has it. Steve Meyer of Dell Services and Cammie Dunaway of Nintendo have it, too. “It” is a P&L mind-set. It’s a mind-set critical for senior marketers to develop or sharpen if they expect to advance from being order takers or sales supporters to enterprise-wide, visionary leaders. (AdAge, June 3, 2009)

A Memo to the CEO: Marketing Matters
By Michael Dunn
Michael Dunn recently spoke to Consulting magazine about "The Marketing Accountability Imperative." This interview reviews the book's tools, metrics, and anecdotes designed to help marketers navigate through this new landscape by proving ROI and communicating their mission and results more effectively with the executives in the corner offices. (Consulting, June 2, 2009)

Economy Spells Opportunity to Evaluate Brand Portfolio
By Jorge Aguilar and Larry Lucas
Companies that are successful over the long term are those that use this economic turbulence to rethink and optimize their businesses and portfolios in preparation for the recovery that’s sure to come. (Brandchannel, April 27, 2009)


News and Events

Scott Davis’ new book, The Shift, reveals the five shifts all marketers must make. Read the press release here.

Michael Dunn blogs about concepts from his latest book, The Marketing Accountability Imperative, on CNBC.

Prophet adds renowned brand valuation approach to services; developer Roger Sinclair to consult exclusively with Prophet clients. Read the press release here.

Prophet recently released two reports ranking the customer experience in UK retail stores and banks. Our research uncovered that Marks & Spencer is losing ground in the food retailing battle, and HSBC tops the retail banking experience. Read both reports here.

Prophet's work with Zurich Financial was highlighted in Marketing Week. Associate Partner Greg Handrick discusses the strategy and intended outcomes; Madrid Partner Joseph Gelman discusses Nestlé’s move in changing customer perceptions of in-home coffee consumption. He explains why their new concept has succeeded in Actualidad Económica. *Please note this article is in Spanish.

Spotlight on Speaking

Webinar - The Shift: The Journey from Marketer to Growth Leader
July 9
Join us as Scott Davis discusses concepts from his latest book, "The Shift." In conjunction with the Association of National Advertisers, we hope you'll join us for this free, one hour Web event. 

2009 Shopper Insights in Action
July 14–17 — Chicago
Peter Dixon and Andy Stefanovich are keynoting this year’s conference in a session titled, "Inspiration for Innovation & Design." Prophet is happy to offer a 20 percent discount on the registration price. Click here to register, and enter promo code PROSHOPP09.

2009 International Retail Design Conference
September 23–25 — Dallas
Peter Dixon, Senior Partner and Creative Director, is speaking on a panel titled, Retail Fitting: Where Can We Trim Costs?

Criticaleye Breakfast Briefing: Focus on innovation
September 30 — London
Andy Stefanovich is speaking on a panel titled, "Inspiration As a Discipline for Innovation."

European Chief Marketing Officer Conference
October 1 — Zurich, Switzerland
Prophet is proud to sponsor this second-annual European CMO Summit, themed "The Future of Marketing." Featured speakers include our own Scott Davis, who will be discussing his upcoming book, "The Shift;" and Andy Stefanovich, who will be discussing breakthrough innovation strategies. To take advantage of a 20 percent discount off the registration price, enter "Prophet" in the Partner Code section on the registration site.

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