Tag Archives: Marketing Strategies

Closing the Marketing Accountability Gap; An Interview with Ramesh Rao

“Marketing is more important than marketers say it is, but not for the reasons they give us.”


Dr. Ramesh Rao believes in the ROI of marketing, but don’t ask him to acknowledge its value based on industry assumptions or gross sales figures. As a professor of finance at the McCombs School, Rao demands proof that marketing boosts a company’s financial performance. The kind of proof that will convince shareholders, boost market value, and provide direct guidance on levels of marketing investment. Absent that analysis, he claims, marketers are doomed to lose accountability and a place at the table when corporate strategy is being formed.

Rao’s research on marketing accountability was featured in EXCHANGE magazine in 2008. In the article Marketing ROI written by Sandie Taylor he says, “You have to go beyond brand equity and find tangible outcomes. Marketers don’t have a consensus definition of customer equity and brand equity. If they want to argue these concepts are important they must articulate a mechanism by which they can add value. Otherwise it’s all stories. For example, marketers claim that customer equity and brand equity create ‘marketing assets’ and lower the firm’s working capital, but they have provided virtually no justification for this claim. Marketing is more important than marketers say it is, but not for the reasons they give us.”

Learning that a second phase of his research on the topic was nearing completion, I asked for an update on his framework for measuring the value of marketing.

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ProductCamp Austin, August 2009

“Ask customers ‘What is the stupidest thing you’ll have to do today?'”

I attended an un-conference today, the ProductCamp for marketing and product management held at McCombs School of Business on the UT campus in Austin, Texas.

Over 480 people signed up to attend, and over 300 were in attendance (on a Saturday). I couldn’t possibly convey all of the information that came out of the discussions, and only captured segments of the sessions I attended. These are some of the ideas that captured my attention. Hope they are helpful to you.

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How to Build a Strong Brand – Strategy and Operations

Every person, structure and activity within the organization either enhances or weakens the brand.

Strong BrandThe word “brand” is often used to describe a company’s name or logo mark, and is commonly thought of as the visual expression of the company, such as the distinctive golden arches of McDonald’s. The full answer to how to build a strong brand also includes the entire spectrum of a customer’s experience with that company or product. Continue reading