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Articles on Marketing

It doesn’t really matter if you implement ERP software or a CRM system; it matters very much, though, that whatever technology you choose to implement you execute it flawlessly. Similarly, it matters little whether you centralize or decentralize your business as long as you pay attention to simplifying the way your organization is structured.

Nitin Nohria, William Joyce & Bruce Roberson 2003

Renee Dye (from the London Office of McKinsey and Co), in “The Buzz on Buzz” (Harvard Business Review November-December 2000, pp 139-146) announces that “buzz , the stuff of marketing legends”, an “explosive self-generating demand” is hardly a random force of nature but evolves according to some basic principles. Dye tries to explode some myths. Like only outrageous or edgy products are buzz-worthy and to profit from buzz you must act first and fast.

Monument to Paul Revere, North End, Boston (More)

Thomas H Davenport (Director of the Institute for Strategic Change at Accenture (formerly Anderson Consulting), Jeanne G Harris of Accenture and Ajay K Kohl (Emory University”s Goizueta Business School), in Sloan Management Review Winter 2001, p 63-73, develop, in an article entitled, “How do they know their customers so well?”, an extremely careful argument for the importance of careful knowledge of customers by successful companies and emphasise the importance of managers actually understanding directly how customers behave with respect to the company”s products! They are critical of the allocation of substantial resources to the holding of detailed knowledge in integrated data bases.

“The past and future of competitive advantage” by Clayton M Christensen, Professor of Technology and Operations Management at Harvard Business School (Sloan Management Review Winter 2001, p105-109) gives a useful review of the history of approaches to competitive advantage from scale economics and vertical integration to the advantages of outsourcing. It contains the useful aphorism” the practices and business models that constitute advantages for today”s most successful companies confer those advantages only because of particular factors at work under particular conditions and this particular time.” So much for all those management fads, like, “everything should be considered capable of being outsourced”

In “Untangling the Origins of Competitive Advantage”, Iain M Cockburn of Boston University”s School of Management and Rebecca Henderson and Scott Stern of the Sloan School of Management at MIT (Strategic Management Journal 21, p 1123-1145, 2000) an attempt is made to reconcile competing perspectives on the origins of competitive advantage. They conclude that the origins of competitive advantage may lie in the ability to identify and respond to environmental cues well in advance of observing performance-oriented pay-offs.” The adoption of “science-driven” drug discovery in the pharmaceutical industry serves as the basis of the exploration of this study.