The Scenario: One of the nation's largest daily newspapers was experiencing a challenge. Circulation was falling and there was divisiveness
throughout the marketing department. The situation was made more severe when the publisher named a dynamic young executive from outside the industry to lead the group. His
task was to reorganize the division, eliminate redundancy, and lessen resistance to change. His job was made more difficult by the fact that he was replacing a well-loved,
long-term division leader who had agreed to stay on as his deputy.
Our Assignment: Forge an effective team. Our research identified a number of key and obstacles
and helped to open lines of communications between our consulting team and executives. Several multiple day off-sites with the senior team, as well as individual coaching
sessions, process flow and mapping, and evaluation of information systems and marketing strategies were effective.
The Results: A new marketing premise. Introduction of new processes and
procedures for better customer service and circulation growth. As for the interpersonal issues, the new department leader and the former boss became allies.
Hollywood Marketing Challenge
A major motion picture studio was about to release a new, low budget film produced, directed by and starring one of its
most prized talents. The project was not given high marks by the studio and projected revenues were set somewhere around $19 million. The film had been tested utilizing
the kind of traditional 'audience screening' techniques on which this studio alone invested an estimated $200,000,000 per year in marketing dollars. This research
indicated that the marketing approach for this film should stress its 'green- environmental' theme. The head of marketing wasn't convinced.
Our Assignment: Conduct a blind study using our diagnostic and research strategy. Our findings suggested that the most significant theme to
stress was not the 'green' theme, but rather a 'relationship and family values' theme.
The film opened in one of the nation's largest
metropolitan markets utilizing the film's original advertising and marketing approach. A second campaign based on our research was tested in nine small suburban markets.
To everyone's amazement, every one of the smaller markets substantially out-grossed the major metropolitan market. The marketing theme was changed to reflect our findings
and the movie ended up with a domestic gross of $68,000,000 (300% higher than original projections).
A High Tech Transition--Start-up to Mature Phase
The Scenario: New leadership, the absence of a common vision, lack of clear decision
making, 7 widely dispersed geographies run by 7 very talented, but independent leaders, a highly competitive international marketplace, a parent organization that fosters
internal competition as a means of stimulating business, and a fledgling headquarters staff. A recipe for disaster? It was for this division of one of the world's leading software companies.
The Challenge: Assist the new leadership in forming a cohesive team and turn this fledgling division into a significant profit center. We looked at it
holistically. Diagnosis and research was followed by extensive work with the senior team to gain alignment on vision and implement an operating structure and norms of behavior
to support it. Practical strategic planning, on-site coaching of leadership and the execution of specific action plans rounded out the first part of this intervention.
The work was complemented by shorter sessions for next level personnel in each of the global regions.
A unified team. Common practices were identified, as were areas of
individual autonomy. New leadership styles were practiced, resource sharing was accepted, cost efficiency increased, redundant services reduced, hidden resistance frankly discussed, and stronger
relationships, both vertically and horizontally, were established within the organization and between this organization and other operating companies within this software giant.
The Information &