Kevin Clancy


Achieve great results using uncommon sense



In one of the most thoughtful marketing books of the year, Clancy (coauthor of The Marketing Revolution, etc.) and Krieg hammer home the point that nothing is more important to a business's success than marketing. They maintain that, at a time when most corporate growth has resulted from mergers and acquisitions, many companies use fuzzy qualitative research to make quick, uncontested "gut" decisions. The result is marketing campaigns with a dismal return of one to four percent, say Clancy (former chairman of the respected Yankelovich, Clancy and Shulman research/polling firm) and Krieg (cofounder with Clancy of Copernicus, a marketing research firm). In subsequent sections, they parse traditional marketing strategies for everything from positioning to new product development, pinpointing flawed practices (e.g., studying habits of heavy buyers) and offering alternatives (e.g., segmentation studies). They conclude with advice for shoring up implementation of a well-designed marketing plan, including test marketing on the Internet. Throughout, Clancy and Krieg follow up their clearly presented insights with questions for self-assessment. While they admit that solid marketing (such as that executed by British Airways, Dell, Harley-Davidson and Pepsi) is hard to do well, they believe that it's the only means for long-term success, since "the purpose of a business is to create customers, not to reward stockholders, not make a quarterly dividend."