GSP & Associates LLC
Achieving Growth Sustained Profitability

Alignment of Organizational Effort

Alignment, the Killer of Initiatives

The track record for organizations seeking strategic change initiatives is dismal.  One can identify many reasons for this failure including the promise of a silver bullet that will fix whatever is ailing the company.  However, at the heart of the problem is inertia that is inherent in the philosophy of functionally structured organizations.  In a world where customers exercise significant buying power and competition is fierce, can organizations afford to be slow in adopting change?  This white paper suggests that the alignment of effort is key to success/failure of change initiatives and offers an alternative format that is market focused.

Marketing & Sales Alignment

This white paper explores the issues to taking a traditionally oriented sales and marketing organization and making it customer centric.  This may seem to be an oxymoron but the truth is that most sales and marketing organizations are indiscriminant in the acquisition and care of customers.

Budgeting for Marketing in a Soft Economy

We are currently experiencing a soft economy and therefore corporations will be faced with reduced or negative growth and will seek to adjust expenses to maintain profitability.  In an effort to avoid excessive reductions in headcount, senior management is likely to reduce spending in marketing and sales.  The rationale for this action tends to be multi-faceted but it gravitates to an inability of marketing and sales to credibly demonstrate a relationship of cause and effect (ROI) between spending and revenue/margins.  Given current events, there may be little that can be done to stave off these reductions; therefore, the issue becomes one of how to best manage this cycle.  Essentially, there are two alternatives: (1) hunker down and wait for better times or (2) proactively seek to establish cause and effect relationships that will ensure effective resource allocation in the future.  This white paper outlines the limitations of current budget processes and identifies areas that marketing and sales can unilaterally and/or collectively pursue to strengthen their rightful leadership position in the corporation.

The CMO/CIO Organizational Alignment Mandate

Chief information officer reporting relationships continue to be distanced from the strategy function.  The marketing function is experiencing this same distancing from strategy.  However, the two functions should be on the leading edge of strategy, rather than the receiving end.  This white paper identifies a number of common issues that these two “C” level executives could rally behind that would increase their rightful positions in the area of strategy development and competitive advantage.

A CMO Maturity Model

The thrust of the white paper is that the turnover in CMO positions is caused by a mismatch of expectations between the CMO, CEO, and other C level reports.  The reality is that few CMOs possess the complete requisite skill set required to address the complex set of issues of today’s marketplace.  Therefore, CMOs need to recognize the full range of skill sets and create a strategy for acquiring these capabilities along with a time table and measurable outcomes.  Central to this operational strategy is to create and leverage a marketing operations group that can provide the essential foundation and glue to maintain a cohesive face for marketing within the organization at the operational level.

Cracking the Marketing/Sales Alignment Code

This white paper summarizes the key points of the author’s book The Profit Maximization Paradox: Cracking the Marketing/Sales Alignment Code.  The paper outlines a number of solutions that have been offered historically and why these solutions fail to stick.  As the title of the book suggest, the real solution to this major dilution of organizational effectiveness lies in the assumptions organizations make relative to profit maximization.  The argument of the paper is that maximizing functional productivity does not constitute profit maximization in the short or long term.  Senior management must adopt a new perspective on maximization in order to escape the costly drain of marketing/sales disconnects.

How to end the CMO Revolving Door Syndrome

North American management has a history for popularizing new concepts and then demonizing them with the same energy when they appear to not deliver the spectacular results originally promised.  The Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) is becoming a poster child for this phenomenon and is in danger of becoming more road kill on the highway of discarded management ideas.  There is a pattern involved here, that must be broken to achieve the benefit that originally spawned the CMO idea.

Sales Force Optimization: A Self Assessment
Optimization demands an understanding of what elements of the sales force are more productive and why. It also demands using this insight to leverage current effort and create winning strategies in the future. How an organization accomplishes this task is unique to the organization and therefore represents one of the most powerful means to competitive advantage because the create use of people is difficult to duplicate.  This self assessment is meant to challenge the organization to identify these leverage points and define a winning strategy.

Accelerating CMO Success

his paper provides a framework for a strategy for CMO success.  It is based on the premise that a winning strategy is founded on setting expectations and then creating momentum through a series of small victories.  The potential for achieving these victories is enhanced by investing effort in areas that have a high probability for synergy and success.  Thus, it is possible to establish a template that has the potential to accelerate success.