The CEO’s Job
Market share responsibility. The CEO owns it.
Market share responsibility. Who owns it? Advertising alone won’t provide you with the fuel to succeed in the global competitive market place. Don’t misunderstand, a great ad campaign can provide a quick, short-lived bump. But long-term growth and market dominance requires more discipline and hard work than just hiring a great advertising agency.
Success has its roots in your brand promise, not just in the way you communicate it.
Way too often we see companies and brands try to correct lagging sales and marketing woes by addressing the channels of communication.
That is why, for most companies, the advertising agency is a revolving door every 2.5 years. Out with the old and in with the new. They don’t understand market share responsibility.
Did you ever ask yourself why it is that an agency search has led you to excited appreciation of the new shop on day one, then on every succeeding day the blush fades a little from the rose? After awhile, the rose looks so shriveled and drawn that the only option is to throw it away.
Try Again — Differently
There is another, better way: Fix your brand. Take market share responsibility. It is absolutely the problem.
Then find a top-shelf advertising agency to communicate the meaningful and important message with clarity and purpose. It sounds simple enough. But few companies and brands actually do it because brand is the most misunderstood idea in business.
Traditional brand companies don’t understand it at all, in fact. They are usually the problem.
Oh sure, they talk a good game. They speak about equities (things the brand owns), clarity, focus, permissions and imagery.
They, however, are usually just advertising’s poor stepsisters. In the end, what they create rarely moves the needle. It is just a mishmash of identity creations that more often than not only rehashes the accepted orthodoxy.
The way it usually works starts with a marketing department hiring a brand company. When they believe it’s time to refresh the message or logo, or when they are launching a new product.
The usual market share responsibility model
Brand isn’t addressed in this model. And market share responsibility is spread out.
The kind of brand that is focused on growing your market share by influencing the behavior of those who are not currently your customers.
As a matter of fact, marketing is only a small part of the problem and therefore only a small part of the solution.
When you think about brand the way you should, it is a cultural shift that affects everything a company creates and believes about itself.
It is a problem that can only be addresses by the C-suite. Stealing market share is the province of the CEO, which is why they and other top-level executives need to be involved and champion the effort.
The most successful brands are the result of a CEO or top-level executive recognizing that a hard look is needed at the entire organization to increase market share. A company will surely fail if it believes the main hurdle to growing share is simply a marketing problem.
Market share responsibility. Get it right
In order to steal market share, you must understand the anthropological precepts of the target audience you wish to influence.
To do this, employ some very sophisticated research techniques and studies whose only goal is to lay these behavioral triggers bare. Better understand the aspirations audiences seek in their decision-making.
In other words, strive to quantify emotional intensities.
Look objectively and dispassionately at highly intensive and subjective ideas and beliefs. They become more important than any product benefit you own once it is understood.. They become the fuel that ignites change.
This means that everything the company says and does needs to match the emotional intensity of the target audience and become an extension of the company and not just the new flavor of the marketing message.
The CEO must assume market share responsibility
The brand (the highest emotional intensity of the target market) must be reflected in your brand’s new culture. It needs to be saluted in R&D, management, organization, human resources, hiring, firing, downsizing, growth, marketing, PR, investor relations and sales — in everything you do or stand for.
Stealing market share is the province of the CEO. To accomplish that, it requires corporate change that only a CEO can oversee and shepherd through.
So, next time you think sales and market share growth have not lived up to expectations, fix the problem and position your brand to win instead of going back on the advertising agency merry-go-round.