Forrester put out a report last week that showed that marketing budgets in large global companies are down 20% this year. Spending on TV, print, radio, magazines, and other branding and advertising is down a breathtaking 60%+. More contemporary channels like social computing and Web sites are seeing only modest cuts, with many companies reporting that they are actually increasing spending in those areas.
What should the CEO take away from this?
1) The report showed renewed focus on return on investment measures for marketing -- this is a healthy development that will help you post-recession. ROI analysis will eliminate, or at least minimize future marketing nonsense.
2) Social marketing is here to stay. It's time for you to understand it.
We’ll look back on this recession as much more than an ugly economic moment. History will view it as The Gateway — a portal connecting two very different eras.
When the economic clouds clear, many prevailing elites will have been swept away, organizational structures will have fallen, and many who were formerly in control will have lost power. Those who can speak digital will thrive, and those who cannot will finally get the message and retire.
The signs are everywhere. Post-Gateway players: Obama; Amazon; Zappos; Jet Blue; Twitter; Facebook; blogs; Craigslist; broadband; Wikipedia; DVRs and iTunes. Pre-Gateway: GM; The New York Times; the Republican party; shopping malls; print advertising; excessive executive pay; TV networks; boards of directors full of aging plutocrats; and the TV-centered Washington chattering classes. Like the US Civil War, which separated an agrarian society from an industrialized economy, or World War I — a death knell for many European elites — the Gateway Recession is exposing fundamental weaknesses in long-standing political, cultural, and economic institutions.
Here are the new challenges and rules that await CEOs on the other side of that door:
Quickly: The only way CEOs can understand social technologies is by using them.
Content: I've got bad news for you. You can't understand Twitter, Facebook, or blogging by reading an article in a magazine or a report from your CMO. Sure, they can tell you what they are, but you won't be able to truly understand how they could change your business unless you actually use them.
Social is like sex. It's fun to talk about and read about, but you can't truly comprehend unless you do it.
Allmans Dead E Street Band Doors Ramones Aerosmith Replacements Beach Boys Velvet Underground Phish Talking Heads The Band ZZ Top Metallica REM Nirvana Guns N' Roses Pearl Jam Eagles Black Crows Creedence CSN Foo Fighters Fugazi Jefferson Airplane Little Feat NRBQ Rush Stooges Tom Petty and Heartbreakers White Stripes Wilco Sonic Youth REM Crazy Horse (Neil Young) Clutch Chili Peppers Parliament/Funkadelic Toto The Byrds Widespread Panic
While this blog spent its first year as a place of general conversation, I am changing it to focus on CEOs. I am the CEO of a small public company but I often spend time with big company CEOs – the leaders of the organizations that Forrester advises. This blog will contain ideas, research, observations, and analysis pointed at increasing the success of CEOs. It will identify what CEOs must accomplish to improve the prospects for their organizations and increase their own personal effectiveness. It will help CEOs take unique approaches to their challenges – hence “The Counterintuitive CEO.” This is in keeping with Forrester’s role focus – the company goes to market helping 19 roles attain high performance.
To keep all of this from becoming too sterile and boring, I will also include some personal observations -- recommendations for books, articles, music, things I love and things I hate. My intention is to share information that may make you think counterintuitively…or simply take the edge off.
While I am targeting CEOs, all are welcome here…and I ask all to join in on the conversation. Ping me when I’m off-base and please add ideas and information to push the discussion to a more valuable plane. I’m honored to have you participate.
The bands gaining ground include the E Street Band, Doors, Replacements, Ramones, and Beach Boys. New entries incude The Eagles, REM, and Sonic Youth.
My put-down in the original post has rallied the Dead supporters -- they are trying to move the Jerrys past the Brothers. Which reminds me of a most excellent rock and roll joke:
What did one Dead Head say to the other Dead Head when the drugs ran out? "This music sucks!"
Here's the latest ranking.
Allmans Dead E Street Band Doors Replacements Beach Boys Ramones Aerosmith The Band ZZ Top Metallica Velvet Underground Nirvana Phish REM Guns N' Roses Pearl Jam Eagles Black Crows Creedence CSN&Y Foo Fighters Fugazi Jefferson Airplane Little Feat NRBQ Rush Stooges Talking Heads Tom Petty and Heartbreakers White Stripes Wilco Sonic Youth REM Crazy Horse (Neil Young) Clutch Chili Peppers
Here's the massive lack of consensus so far. If you haven't yet voted, please chime in. Bands listed by number of votes as of April 6th at 12:30 P.M.:
Allmans E Street Band Dead Doors Aerosmith Replacements Beach Boys Nirvana Phish Ramones REM The Band ZZ Top Black Crows Creedence CSN&Y Foo Fighters Fugazi Guns N' Roses Jefferson Airplane Little Feat Metallica NRBQ Pearl Jam Rush Stooges Talking Heads Tom Petty and Heartbreakers Velvet Underground White Stripes Wilco Eagles Chili Peppers
Quickly: Give me your vote for the greatest American rock and roll band.
Content: A few years ago I went to an Aerosmith concert with two of my sons and some of my childhood friends. En-route, we argued about who was the greatest American rock and roll band.
There's rough consensus that the Brits dominate the overall list (The Who, Beatles, Stones, Zep, Cream, et. al.).But who would be at the top of the American list?
We had two rules: 1) You can't choose an individual, so that eliminates Dylan, Elvis, and arguably Jimi, and Bruce. 2) We tolerated a smattering of Canadians, so that keeps The Band and Crazy Horse in the running.