March 22, 2017

Top 10 Problems I Observe In My Projects: #2

Problem #10 = New Items Are Too Expensive
Problem #9 = Discounts Drive Down Price Of Existing Winners
Problem #8 = Relying On 1-2 Customer Acquisition Channels
Problem #7 = Has To Be Right
Problem #6 = Seasonal Misalignment
Problem #5 = Email Clicks And Online Clicks Not Linked To Purchase Database
Problem #4 = Not Killing Existing Products
Problem #3 = Too Few New Customers
Problem #2 = Not Enough New Products

Four years ago my project workload changed - 70% of my projects used to be advertising optimization projects (i.e. how much to spend on a customer on an annual basis). Then I noticed something interesting ... my work seldom solved company problems. Why? Optimizing marketing spend only lowers net sales - most of us spend more than we're supposed to spend marketing to customers. So when I optimize marketing spend, sales decline because we advertise less.

Companies don't like it when sales decline.

So I dug in deeper ... and ultimately I worked with a company that went bankrupt ... this company had a horrific new product development problem and in the process starved the customer file right out of business.

Soon enough, 80% of my projects illustrated a key problem.
  • There weren't enough new products to replace decay among existing projects.
  • By not developing enough new products, my clients were starving their businesses 2-3 years down the road.
  • By starving the business 2-3 years down the road, my clients were unable to change trajectory quickly ... they had to wait until enough new products were developed to grow again (and by that time, the Execs I worked with were fired) ... or sell whatever they had at 40% off, damaging the brand long-term.
Again ... 80% of my projects demonstrate that there are not enough new products being developed to fuel future growth.

Please go back and look at a "class of" report ... what happened to the items in the "class of 2013" for instance? By comparing years, you'll quickly see if you are offering enough new products.

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