The Marketing Book Podcast: “Malcolm McDonald on Marketing Planning" by Malcolm McDonald

Posted by Douglas Burdett

Malcolm McDonald on Marketing Planning: Understanding Marketing Plans and Strategy by Malcolm McDonald

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Professor Malcolm McDonald enjoys a global reputation as a leading authority on marketing. He was until recently Professor of Marketing at Cranfield University School of Management, and is now a Professor at five of the UK’s top Business Schools, including his alma mater, Oxford University.

He has been a consultant to many major companies on almost every continent, in the areas of strategic marketing and marketing planning, market segmentation, international marketing and marketing accountability.

Professor McDonald is also Chairman of numerous companies and works with the operating boards of some of the world's leading multinational corporations.

He has written 46 books.

The Host's Perspective:

So what’s this book about? Here’s what the author said:

“This book is, quite simply, about how to develop a strategy for making lots of money.” In the book, Professor McDonald explains that most companies cannot answer two simple questions. Two simple questions that are the keys to marketing success, business growth and “making lots of money.”

The first question is “what are your key target markets in order of priority?” Most people answer this with some kind of product answer. And that’s the wrong answer. IBM nearly went bankrupt because they thought they were in the mainframe market. Kodak thought they were in the film market. Nokia thought they were in the phone market, and so on.

The second question is “In your key target markets, what are your company’s sources of differential advantage?” The author explains that “it is only by selling something to someone that money can be made and we need to know who to sell to, what they really need and why they should buy from us rather than someone offering something similar." Now while the two questions may seem simple, the answers can be elusive. Answering those two questions is what this book is all about.

The book walks you through exactly how to go about getting (or developing) answers to those two questions. And don’t be surprised when you find that the answers to those questions are found not in marketing and promotion, but in business strategy.

A Fournaise Group study of marketing effectiveness found that 80% of CEOs do not really trust and are not very impressed by the work done by marketers.The core source of the problem is that CEOs believe marketers are too disconnected from the short, medium, and long-term financial realities of companies.

And that’s because these CEO's think that marketers too often lose sight of what their real job is: to generate more customer demand for their company’s products and services in a measurable way. Marketers are too disconnected from the financial realities of companies.

If do not want to be lumped in with marketers who are perceived by your CEO as disconnected from the reality of your business, take the approach outlined in “Malcolm McDonald on Marketing Planning” and you your job security and value to your company will increase dramatically. 

Listen to the Interview:

Show Notes:

Malcolm McDonald on Marketing Planning: Understanding Marketing Plans and Strategy by Malcolm McDonald

Thinking Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman

The Invisible Gorilla by Christopher Chabris and Daniel Simons

Chasing Stars: The Myth of Talent and the Portability of Performance by Boris Groysberg

Committed Enterprises by Hugh Davidson

Malcolm's Website (Malcolm McDonald Consulting)
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