Too many of Britain’s companies are putting profits before the
needs of their customers, according to a survey by the Marketing
Only 20 to 40 per cent of company boards regularly discuss marketing
measures relating to customers while profits are on the agenda at almost
every board meeting, the survey reveals.
The results of the poll, among nearly 100 chief executives, managing
directors and senior marketers, were released to coincide with this
week’s Marketing Society annual conference.
It brought a warning from Stephen Robertson, the conference chairman and
B&Q marketing director, that companies are not listening hard enough to
customers’ views and are failing to give their marketers sufficient
’This places far too heavy an emphasis on financial measurement alone,
given that customer attitudes and beliefs are the ultimate drivers of
profit,’ he said.
Forty-three per cent of companies questioned admitted that none of their
directors - excluding marketing and sales directors - were required to
meet their customers regularly, while 60 per cent acknowledged that
service levels in US companies were higher than in the UK.
Meanwhile, three of Brit-ain’s biggest advertisers - BT, Barclays and
the Halifax - got a telling-off at the conference by Christine Walker,
the Walker Media managing partner, over their relationship
She accused them of not understanding the idiosyncrasies and
individuality of customers like her. ’Your challenge is to pick up the
signals and signs I give out.
’We are often over-focused on new technology and fail to pick up signs
more rooted in social change.’