Tuesday, November 27, 2007


I read with disbelief questions swirling amongst C-level execs and trade magazines such as Advertising Age asking if the CMO or marketing department should be held responsible for company performance. DOH! Are we now trying to dumb down marketing and advertising even more - lowering the bar to the point that no one has to accept responsibility for one's actions?

I believe that the life expectancy of today's CMO is less than 24 months because they've lost the art of finding product-based strategic solutions in favor of implementing a new media SEM, social or behavioral targeting fix. So here's the test. I don't want to know what the answer is, or what you think the answer is: I want to know how you'd go about finding an answer to the following problem.

YOU WAKE UP TODAY AS THE CMO OF KOHLER and/or PROCTER & GAMBLE'S CHARMIN BRAND. You find that due to exhausted water supplies, American's can no longer use toilet bowls and tanks in their homes. This is not a temporary conservation condition. It is now permanent. To keep your company afloat (Kohler) and your brand alive (Charmin) what steps would you take to learn what to offer consumers as alternatives in personal hygiene? Remember, they use their left hands in certain parts of Asia and Mrs. Bidet has already been introduced. Neither are suitable solutions so licensing is out.

What steps would you take, what processes would you employ to learn what consumers want before they are able to articulate the need?


Unknown said...

what manner of torture is it to
have this blog entirely in sans-serif
reverse type???
ad age ranks you 382nd....you'd move up to top hundred if you lose the reverse and move to top ten if you put a serif on the face.....
what does ad age rank among trade journals, by the way?

H. Martin Calle said...

Advertising Age Magazine is the advertising industry's leading trade journal. Why would the reverse and font variation alter rankings?

Unknown said...

I would move it up to top ten if I could read the type for more than 30 seconds.
check out www.georgelois.com to see what a pleasing and easy to read type face is like.
Other advice: don't boast about that ranking. Ad Age doesn't necessarily know what it is doing, let alone have the wherewithal to survey 500 marketing sites.
When I asked what their ranking would be, I was paying a compliment. To you.
I would place around 35th among marketing trade journals based on criteria applied to the three sine qua nons of trade stuff: editorial opinion, news gathering, features.
Best regards,

H. Martin Calle said...

GET. What's your blog and/or website? I tried to follow your link and found it private. Thanks.

H. Martin Calle said...

Famous Name
Great Work
Better Presentation
Like the old saying, "I'd have written less if I'd had more time."
Big Fan of B&W
Like that CBS font
Got any other great ideas?
Who are you?

Unknown said...

Not really my idea at all to use serif when you have a lot of copy. Kind of started with Gutenberg and continues to this day with almost every book published in English in the world. Want a great face? Use the one Library of America uses. Can't go wrong. Lois, I mentioned, because although he appeared to be a wacko, he always did pointed, coherent, successful print work for his clients.
I would direct you to my site, but I don't have one. Some young folks let me paly around with www.grownassmen.tv,but they--like you--won't listen to my comments about type and their site less readable than than yours despite the fact a couple of 850 word articles I did are on the Bloggies part of the site.

Anonymous said...

Well, what an interesting post! GET is right about the color and the fonts.

Anyway, no water, no toilet bowls!? This is no longer a case about what consumers WANT. They would want a black market that will allow them to continue sitting down! The company now has to take a bold step and DEFINE the product. It is no longer about market research, but it is about product innovation.