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    Published on: March 23, 2010

    by Michael Sansolo

    Last week Kevin wrote about the incredibly grotesque story of the New Jersey woman trying to eat her way into the book of records by raising her weight to 1,000 pounds from her currently svelte 600 pounds. Ordinarily, I try to tread lightly on issues of obesity because for many people it’s a matter of genetics, not choices.

    Not this time. This woman is doing it for a reason. Egged on by her boyfriend and strangers on the Internet, she has a mission to get even fatter. How wonderful. Instead of common sense dictating that people around her stop her, she gets encouraged and 15 minutes of fame on television.

    Later in the week I was at a Red Cross blood donation center where the staff informed us donors that diet soft drinks are no longer being offered for health reasons. Then, without a moment’s hesitation, for irony to sink in, the same volunteer offered us the special treats on hand that morning. Not one of those treats contained less than 450 calories. It makes me think that New York City legislators can ban sugar, spice and everything nice and people are still going to find a way to eat the wrong thing. (Those New Yorkers can merely look across the Hudson River to the 600-pound New Jersey resident trying to gain my body weight many times over. What legislation will stop that?)

    The problem is that healthy eating isn’t a simple issue of laws and rules. It requires informed choices, restraint and, dare I say it, common sense. The latter isn’t in big supply these days.

    Living as I do near Washington DC, I see the world of silliness play out all the time. For many of you reading this, political discussions seem simple because you see (depending on your opinion) the Republicans or Democrats as consistently taking the wrong side of every question. Sadly, it’s not that simple.

    Alan Webber, the founder of Fast Company magazine and a wonderful writer, addressed the complexity of our current situation in a fabulous column for USA Today called “The Future of Capitalism.” As Webber put it, it’s the economic debate our nation needs to have. (You can easily find the article through Google.)

    Webber’s thoughtful piece lays out something incredibly sensible: that the current economic climate is so different and so new from anything that has happened before that it defies resolution by using the same old answers. Webber then skewers both political parties for retreating to past positions to address the issue instead of daring to deal with the new realities.

    Can the same be said of us in business?

    The current economic climate is new and different, leaving companies the challenge of crafting responses that must also be both new and different. Quite honestly, that’s a situation that is both uncomfortable and challenging.

    We see the growth of complexity in everything these days. We see shopper emphasis on price promotion growing at the same time they still opt for excess on other items. We see it in the very public decisions at Walmart on how much inventory is too much or too little and on where to strike the balance between national and store brands. (And we see it in the on going debate about how to offer healthier foods to a population that doesn’t seem to know how to make good choices.)

    These are the debates we cannot avoid. To follow up on Webber’s suggestion, the current climate demands a level of discussion that rises above what we have done in the past. Within companies and between trading partners, new discussions are necessary to craft new solutions that fit the times. Ignoring the issues or using the old arguments won’t work.

    It’s all so simple and so complex.

    Michael Sansolo can be reached via email at msansolo@morningnewsbeat.com . His new book, “THE BIG PICTURE: Essential Business Lessons From The Movies,” co-authored with Kevin Coupe, is available by clicking here .
    KC's View:

    Published on: March 23, 2010

    Sources tell MNB that Judy Spires, who resigned as president of Supervalu-owned Acme Supermarkets two weeks ago, has agreed to take the top job at New Jersey’s Kings Super Markets.

    While details are sketchy at this time, we’re told that Bruce Weitz, who has been president/CEO at Kings since July 2006, has resigned from the company.

    Spires, who began her supermarket career as a teenaged bagger at Acme, became CEO of that chain in February 2006 after having served as president of Albertsons’ Dallas-Forth Worth division before it was acquired by Supervalu.
    KC's View:

    Published on: March 23, 2010

    There is a fascinating story in Advertising Age about how Procter & Gamble is looking in unconventional directions for growth (noting that when you are an $80 billion company, it takes $800 million in new business to grow just one percent). In P&G’s case, it is investing in the service arena through franchise operations such as Mr. Clean Car Washes (there are 15 company-owned and franchise operations in Cincinnati and Atlanta, and P&G is actively seeking new franchisees) and Tide Dry Cleaners (there is one in Kansas City, and P&G is looking for new franchisees).

    CEO Bob McDonald tells Ad Age that in addition to these two franchise concepts, the company is defining service more broadly also is “also working on services on our existing brands, for example, where you walk up to the shelf, take a picture of the UPC code on your phone, and you can download information about the ingredients in that product, which you as an environmentalist may care about."
    KC's View:
    This story really grabbed my attention for all sorts of reasons. Let me count the ways...

    For one thing, it is noteworthy that at the same time as P&G is investing in service operations, it also is doing things like creating things like “Tide Basic,” designed to appeal to people who are suffering from the impact of the recession but don’t want to abandon their favorite national brand. Clearly, P&G is in a “cover your bets” mindset.

    Second, I’m intrigued by how P&G isn’t just investing in service, but looking to redefine it. As Ad Age writes, “Mr. Clean Car Washes offer a wide array of detailing options - Febreze odor eliminators, oil changes and other vehicle maintenance in many cases - and lounges with big-screen TVs, Wi-Fi and areas where kids can remotely spray cars with suds soakers. Tide Dry Cleaners offer drive-through concierge service, customer lockers, on-site tailoring, 24-hour drop boxes, a customer-rewards program and a green-positioned cleaning process.”

    These don’t sound like any dry cleaners or car wash that I’ve ever patronized. Be honest - doesn’t this sound intriguing?

    But here’s the one that really caught my eye. The story says that P&G also has acquired a company called MDVIP, described as “a concierge-physician service in which participating primary-care doctors cut their patient loads roughly 75% to 600 patients or fewer. They provide premium service that includes annual hourlong physicals, electronic medical records on a CD, personal websites and preventive-care plans and the promise of on-time appointments for a $1,500 to $1,800 annual fee.”

    On the one hand, I think the idea of essentially creating a gold club for patients is intriguing; it certainly would address a lot of the questions some people might have about health care reform, albeit at a price. On the other hand, the fact that such a service could exist and seem necessary strikes me as indicative of what is wrong with the way medicine is practiced in this country. in most business models, it would be considered a given that on-time appointments, accessible and user-friendly customer websites, and electronic record keeping (this is is 2010!) would be the way to do business. But no. In medicine, apparently, there are doctors who believe that these things are premium offerings, not available to the average joe who cannot afford to write a big check on an annual basis. Don’t know about you, but I find this offensive.

    Published on: March 23, 2010

    The New York Times carried an interesting interview with Guy Kawasaki, a co-founder of Alltop, a news aggregation site, and managing director of Garage Technology Ventures, in which he talked about his leadership style and lessons learned. Some excerpts:

    • “You learn to put in a cushion between you and the front line. You should hire people who are better at doing things than you are. So, in my case, I was not the warm-and-fuzzy manager, so I tried to hire people who reported to me who were warm-and-fuzzy types to provide a buffer. If you can’t do it, you should find somebody who can.”

    • “My boss at Apple was a guy named Mike Murray, who was the director of marketing of the Macintosh division. He gave me so much rope that I could hang myself and sometimes I did. After a while, your neck gets stronger and you also learn not to hang yourself.

    “A few levels above me, I learned from Steve Jobs that people can change the world. Maybe we didn’t get 95 percent market share, but we did make the world a better place. I learned from Steve that some things need to be believed to be seen. These are powerful lessons — very different from saying we just want to eke out an existence and keep our heads down.”

    • “The most important thing is that you hire people who complement you and are better than you in specific areas. Good people hire people better than themselves. So A players hire A+ players. But others hire below their skills to make themselves look good. So B players hire C players. C players hire D players, etc.”

    • “The second ideal goal would be to make yourself dispensable — what greater accomplishment is there than the organization running well without you? It means you picked great people, prepared them and inspired them. And if executives did this, the world would be a better place ... Insecure people would rather see the company fail without them than succeed. It’s because their ego is so large that the thought of a company succeeding without them is incomprehensible. They would rather see it fail.”

    • “They should teach students how to communicate in five-sentence e-mails and with 10-slide PowerPoint presentations. If they just taught every student that, American business would be much better off ... What you learn in school is the opposite of what happens in the real world. In school, you’re always worried about minimums. You have to reach 20 pages or you have to have so many slides or whatever. Then you get out in the real world and you think, “I have to have a minimum of 20 pages and 50 slides.”
    KC's View:

    Published on: March 23, 2010

    Advertising Age has what in the journalism biz is called a “second day story” about Walmart’s decision to bring back some of the secondary and tertiary brands that it had previously eliminated as part of its SKU rationalization effort, which was aimed at emphasizing top national brands and its private label.

    “Realizing the culling actually "aggravated" consumers,” Ad Age writes, “it's now restocking hundreds of brands and products eliminated or curtailed months ago and taking a new look at other categories where it has streamlined assortment.”

    According to the story, company management seems to be minimizing its moves as relatively minor, while outside observers say that it is a broader effort than the retailer is admitting.

    "They were arrogant and ignorant, which is a dangerous combination," a person described as “close to the retailer” tells Ad Age.

    Reuters reports that Walmart has confirmed that it will launch a new advertising campaign focusing on low grocer prices within the next six weeks.
    KC's View:

    Published on: March 23, 2010

    Published reports say that Carrefour is about to test a new hypermarket concept in France that will reduce the emphasis on nonfoods and put greater focus on fresh foods and convenience-oriented items.

    If the test is successful, the company - the second biggest retailer in the world, after Walmart - will consider expanding it to many of its other French stores.
    KC's View:
    But will it still be a hypermarket?

    Or is this an existential question that need not be asked and answered? (Still, I cannot help myself...)

    Published on: March 23, 2010

    Safeway announced that the company’s Senior Corporate Counsel Valerie D. Lewis, who has been a key member of the retailer’s legal team for more than 14 years, has been named to Savoy Magazine’s prestigious list of the “Top 100 Most Influential Blacks in Corporate America.”

    The Top 100 List, featured in the magazine's Spring 2010 issue, recognizes those African Americans who have made a significant positive impact on the profession, the corporate world and their communities.
    KC's View:

    Published on: March 23, 2010

    BusinessInsurance.com confirms that Safeway plans “to capitalize on the success of its incentive-based health plan by offering to set up similar programs at other employers for a share of the cost savings it generates ... Safeway gained recognition for its health plan success in 2008 when CEO Stephen A. Burd published an article in the Wall Street Journal describing how it had basically held its health care costs flat since 2005.”
    KC's View:

    Published on: March 23, 2010

    • Unilever announced that Jostein Solheim, who has been working for the manufacturer for 14 years in five countries, has been named the new CEO of its Ben & Jerry’s Homemade Ice Cream division. He also has been named Unilever’s vice president of Global Brand Development.

    • The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that Coca-Cola has named Katie Bayne, chief marketing officer for Coca-Cola North America, to be the president and general manager of "sparkling beverages" in North America, succeeding Hendrik Steckhan, who is returning to his native Germany to assume leadership of Coca-Cola's operations there.

    Replacing Bayne in the chief marketing slot, the paper writes, will be Beatriz Perez, a 14-year veteran of Coca-Cola who is currently senior vice president of integrated marketing for Coca-Cola North America.
    KC's View:

    Published on: March 23, 2010

    It was reported yesterday that a 16-year-old boy has been arrested in New Jersey for allegedly using a phone connected to a Walmart public address system to order all black people to leave the store last Sunday. He had been identified through the use of the store’s security camera system. If convicted, he could face up to a year in a juvenile detention center.

    My comment:

    I hope this kid’s parents were appalled when they found out what their son did. (If they weren’t ... and if they are more angry at Walmart and authorities than they are at their son ... then we begin to understand what the problem is.)

    He’s 16. I hope that Walmart and the authorities use this as a teachable moment. A year in detention strikes me as an absurd sentence for what I agree was a stupid and reprehensible thing to do. There’s got to be a more sophisticated way to deal with this.


    MNB user Richard Lowe thought that a year in a detention facility seemed about right:

    Sounds like a just punishment as an example for being so stupid!

    MNB user Marlene Cohn wrote:

    What this 16 year old did amounts to a Hate Crime.  At 16 you should be responsible for your actions.  If someone at that age could even mutter something like that makes me believe he heard this behavior somewhere and since the schools don’t teach this, home is the next logical place.  Maybe a year in a juvenile detention center will teach him and others how serious this crime is.  It is not a joke.  Consider any children that were in the store at the time and the fear they must of felt!!!!

    I understand the outrage...but I wonder if a year in a detention facility is the best way to teach this kid. There have to be more innovative ways to mete out punishment that also teaches him something.

    One MNB user wrote:

    They should make him work at the nearest Walmart everyday after school and weekends packing groceries for the next year along with counseling….maybe the parents too.

    I was thinking something a little more community-oriented. But you’re headed in the right direction...

    MNB user Hayley Perschau wrote:

    I have to say that I'm not too sure that a one-year sentence in juvenile detention is that absurd, depending on the involvement and moral capability of his parents.  The courts may have a hard time getting that type of sentence to stick; however, my concern is that if that kid could pull a racist stunt like this, what else could he do?  He is heading down a really bad path.  If he doesn't have "good parents", a sentence to juvenile detention may be the help he needs.

    MNB user Jeff Folloder wrote:

    About the Walmart idiot... When this story first surfaced, I commented out loud to my wife that "it must be another idiot kid".  Sadly, I was right. Some background: Our youngest child was the recipient of similar idiocy. During the middle of the school day, she went to her locker and discovered a hate-laden written missive filled with anti-Semitic epithets and swastikas. The little cretin was immediately caught, but not after my child burst into tears in a very emotional and public meltdown. The principal issued a 3-day suspension (the most he was empowered to dole out) and the school district's police department began an investigation to see if charges could be filed under the Texas hate crime statutes. The DA's office determined that since there was no physical violence... no hate crime charges. The kid got a municipal citation (read: speeding ticket).

    The entire school is watching the kid for any deviation from "the rules or expected behavior". Just about every kid has ostracized the guy. And that's it. I'm supposed to be happy with how this turned out. I suppose I could just be thankful that my daughter has moved on. But I keep thinking to myself about what causes these kids to be such complete and total idiots? Where do they learn such stuff? I'm sure that the misguided Walmart DJ thought that his little stunt would be fun, too. How did we get from being the last person picked for kickball to wanting to crush another's spirit?


    Again, I believe that punishment is necessary. I just think it ought to be something other than a year in a detention facility ... mostly because I’m not sure that kids come out of some of these places more enlightened, compassionate and fair-minded.

    But one MNB user thinks I am being overly harsh:

    It was a joke!  An impulsive, stupid, sophomoric joke.  It is inconceivable that anyone who heard it didn't know immediately that it was a joke.  The "problem" is people who can't take even a totally-harmless joke.  The kid would have gotten less punishment if he'd pulled a knife on a cashier.

    I’m not trying to be politically correct here, but I’m not sure I would call it harmless. And I suspect I might feel differently if I were an African-American.




    Responding to yesterday’s story about how a new study suggests that there could be a connection between the consumption of high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) and the exacerbation of liver disease, MNB user Kevin C. Lavin  wrote:

    I have been saying for the last couple of years that issues with HFCS will be the next "big thing" in the grocery business.  I have heard many rumblings about it and I have encouraged my vendors to get it out of their ingredient list.

    Another MNB user wrote:

    As a person who has had heart surgery, then came diabetes and lasts non alcoholic fatty liver I can tell you that fructose is something EVERY doctor in the US that I saw said to stay away from and DON’T give your kids…. I was lucky and got my liver functions and blood sugar back to normal with a special diet that allow me to lose weight.  My liver condition cleared up as did the diabetes issue. This is a Huge issue with African American who do not do well with liver transplants and that’s what happens with fatty liver. Carbs are killers. Green is good, so are berries. Mankind can live without or very little carbs per meal, less than 50g. Ever wonder what there is not government regulations or standards for carbs ?? It’s because you don’t need them. Grains and not good for you . When you look at trans-fat, salt, sugar and  fiber please make sure to look at the amount of carbs you in taking…. Bread, pasta, cereal, cookies . In fact doctors now telling me that they are rethink our diets. In fact they’d rather have you have an egg (egg white only and they taste good) rather than a piece of toast…… Today there are 400 doctors in the US trained to help people with fatty liver overcome this before it’s too late. Once your liver goes, you go… This is the real deal trust me. I was lucky.

    MNB user J. Schindler wrote:

    While my knowledge of carbohydrate chemistry makes me a bit skeptical in regard to the study linking HFCS consumption to the metabolic syndrome of insulin resistance that can lead to liver injury (among other things), I agree with your comment that  "this may be a problem and is worth taking a closer look at."

    For many years the experts at FDA and elsewhere dismissed concerns about trans fats, and well, you know the rest of that story.  However it is worth noting that the marked rise in use of HFCS is in large part due the politics of special interest lobbying that protected the domestic sugar industry from imports.  The result was artificially high sugar prices that made HFCS such an attractive alternative.  So if you have suffered damage from excessive consumption of HFCS, sue your Congressman.


    Good luck with that.




    The story about Safeway taking greater control of its private brand strategy prompted MNB user Tom Robbins to write:

    I think that they are directionally correct. Moreover, I just don't have the same view that the recession is "receding". Unemployment still out of control at near 10%, no "real" jobs for those who are looking, unemployment payments extended by many states, out sourcing continuing, no manufacturing or processing plants re opening, gas prices advancing, shall I go on?

    Yes, the stock market has market has moved up a bit but consider that in Phoenix there are over 40,000 homes for sale and the specter of "shadow homes" is looming and could tip off another foreclosure situation as big as the past two years. That said, with the passing of the "health care bill", I'd say recession is more likely to be with us for some time and people will really be watching their pennies.


    To clarify, I noted yesterday that “there have been some suggestions - including a story in the Wall Street Journal - that with the recession receding, private brands will be less important than they were when people were counting every penny,” but I disputed the simplicity of this conventional wisdom.

    Economists have said that the recession is over, but it has been our contention that the vast majority of consumers still have a recessionary mindset.

    So I agree with you.

    And another MNB user wrote about the Safeway decision:

    Good for Safeway. Managing your own brands is the best and only way to go. If you can’t manage it yourself then you shouldn’t get into it in the first place. After all who knows better what you want, when you want it and how you want it than you?
     
    And another MNB user chimed in:

    The quality of the Private Label brands along with the additional savings in cost to the consumer will hold these SKU’s in place. The chain that supports these programs will continue to do well. Most agree that the post consumer mindset will not just move away from Private Label items. Whether you want to call it a recession or not, the consumer does not like the continued rise in food prices and will show it at the checkout. People still fear for their jobs, savings accounts are on the rise, downsizing continues, and now healthcare costs will continue to rise for the middle class and upper middle class since now they are burdened to pay the brunt of this new package. The old ways of spending will not come back any time soon…this administration will continue to scare those of us who run businesses.




    Finally, I related the following in last Friday’s “OffBeat”:

    I was getting a cup of coffee the other day, and had the opportunity to listen in on a job interview being conducted with a very attractive young woman. (She reminded me of my daughter...it was like seeing what she’s likely to look like in about 10 years. All I can say is that she is going to be a heartbreaker. And the first one she’s likely to break is mine.)

    Anyway, the question from the interviewer struck me as a good one: “Can you give me an example of a time when you found yourself completely overwhelmed, and how you dealt with it?”

    And the answer, after a moment’s thought, started like this: “Well, it was probably my first day in China...”

    I couldn’t hear the rest of the answer, but it occurred to me that any answer that starts out with “it was my first day in China” has to be a pretty good answer, and one likely to advance the likelihood that she was going to get the job. (Just one of many good reasons for kids to spend a semester abroad.)


    Which led MNB user Chris Connelly to write:

    I spent all weekend thinking about your comments regarding the interview you overheard and repeated the story several times…..first of all, to my two teenaged sons.

    I don't know which impressed me more------the interviewer's question or the interviewee's answer.    I thought both of them were excellent.   Had I been there, it would have taken all the gumption I could muster to keep me from pulling up a chair and listening to the rest of the conversation.   I've been fortunate to have conducted hundreds of interviews in my lifetime and I'm keeping that question for future use.

    My older son and I will be spending a week in July on a mission trip at the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota working with the members of the Oglala Lakota Nation to do cleaning and repairs where needed.  I'm hoping that it will be the experience he can use to best answer his interview questions in the future.

    Just another outstanding observation on your part that doesn't necessarily pertain to only the grocery business.


    My pleasure.
    KC's View:

    Published on: March 23, 2010

    The Retail Commission on Shopper Marketing, formed by the generosity of The Coca-Cola Company and supported by other leading U.S. retailers, manufacturers and agencies, has spent the past 12 months developing a detailed “blueprint” for a new model of collaboration to help optimize the power of shopper marketing.

    The Commission, with the assistance of The In-Store Marketing Institute and The Partnering Group, will unveil its recommendations and introduce an executive summary white paper at an Advanced Learning Session on April 21 prior to the In-Store Marketing Summit.

    This workshop will provide a new, strategic definition of shopper marketing as well as recommendations for how retailers and manufacturers can leverage shopper marketing to enhance the shopping experience and maximize business results. Register todayto be one of the first to hear about the conclusions of this industry effort.

    KC's View:

    Published on: March 23, 2010



    If you are not utilizing mobile technology to connect with your customers, you are missing out. Compete reports that, in 2009, 37% of Smartphone owners purchased merchandise using their phone. And by the end of this year, there will be more Smartphones in the US than Desktop PC's.

    Mobile is still largely uncluttered in the retail grocery space -- there is untapped potential to build engagement and drive sale with customers. Interested in learning more about how you can harness the power of mobile media to connect with consumers? Join one of MyWebGrocer's mobile marketing webinars to learn how you can convert mobile users into brand-loyal customers.

    Published on: March 23, 2010

    IRI Spotlightby Doug Brooks, Senior Vice President, Analytics and Modeling Services, Information Resources, Inc.

    Content Guy's Note: Today we're introducing "Spotlight," a new sponsored feature here on MNB in which industry thought leaders will offer extended thoughts on the critical issues that face the business.

    Marketing mix modeling (MMM) is a powerful approach for gaining industry-tailored insights that can directly lead to improved marketing ROI. The retail industry is a perfect fit for MMM, given the continuously evolving attitudes and behaviors of shoppers, the large amount of data available for analysis and the fierce competition that characterizes the market.
    MMM is a statistical analysis linking multiple variables to changes in consumer behavior and supports the development of forward looking business simulations and optimization exercises. The power of these models is derived from the statistical analysis of two years of historical data, reflecting non-linear behaviors and including inputs that represent all significant influencers on business performance.

    MMM benefits companies in the following ways:
    • Provides backward visibility into the ROI for marketing tactics
    • Helps diagnose the reason for changes in business performance over time
    • Forecasts future trends and predicts results of any changes made to the marketing mix as a part of response planning

    While MMM has existed for decades, it is still misunderstood and misapplied by some, with sometimes disastrous results. To be successful, marketers must realize MMM is equal part art and science. Marketers must pick a point where the data is "good enough," realizing that improving accuracy from 95 percent to 98 percent is rarely worth the delay and expense. Marketers must recognize it is impossible for the model to explain or predict 100 percent of sales activities. The MMM model must align with the current business challenges and planning processes and should map to the analytics decision makers need-whether geographic, socio/economic, store-level, or brand-level.

    Addressing these key challenges up front will provide a strong foundation and help avoid any potential failures when building a MMM that will fit the company and its goals. The following 10 recommendations provide a valuable set of tested and successful ideas to help executives create an effective marketing mix modeling program:

    1. Choose and focus on the most actionable point(s) in the consumer funnel: Determine the greatest needs of company managers and hone in on solutions for that first.

    2. From day one, gain cross-functional buy-in: Include key managers from all relevant teams, such as market research, finance, sales, operations, marketing, and sometimes other functions.

    3. Align analytics with the latest business challenges: Ensure the analytics meet the needs of managers to address significant issues. Provide managers with reports specific to their needs.

    4. Translate, integrate, and triangulate to tell the whole story: MMM cannot be developed in a silo it must be integrated with other company strategies to create a "single point of truth."

    5. Make it forward-looking: Rapidly fluctuating market conditions make reviewing backward-looking insights in an attempt to make predictions a thing of the past. MMMs need to be forward-looking, providing "what-if" scenarios to stay on top market changes.

    6. Incorporate and synergize digital and emerging media: Digital and social media are becoming standard parts of media research. Examine the relationships between digital and traditional media consumption to prioritize different types of media correctly. Not all media impressions are created equally.

    7. Manage expectations. Reinforce strengths, limitations and appropriate application of MMMs. It's an ongoing process often requiring a 2-3 year investment to reach the desired maturity level.

    8. Update analytics frequently to put the right information in the hands of the right people at the right time. Timely delivery of insights is critical. Successful organizations are updating their analytics and continuously recalibrating them in response to changing market conditions.

    9. Educate, Educate, Educate. Keep cross-functional stakeholders across the company educated on progress at every phase of the project.

    10. Experiment with complementary and leading-edge technologies.Test different analytical tools and approaches, such as in-market tests, consumer funnel analysis, brand equity analysis or agent-based modeling.

    MMM is a critical exercise for gaining breakthrough insights that can directly lead to improved ROI. Managed well, MMM can provide significant competitive advantage to companies across almost every industry by offering new, predictive insights that can directly result in revenue and profit increases. Poorly managed MMM can point companies in the wrong direction with disastrous consequences. Executives eager to implement MMM should take the time to conduct an exhaustive study of successes and failures prior to undertaking a new MMM exercise. Companies with limited MMM experience should consider involving subject experts who can help the company's cross-functional team successfully navigate the many decisions involved.

    For more information, click here.

    KC's View:

    Published on: March 23, 2010

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    KC's View: