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The old sports adage “no pain, no gain” can also be applied to effective marketing management.

As a marketing consultant and professor, I often witness a lack of it.

Marketing management, at least at the majority of hi-tech companies I am a consultant with, has been relegated to communication, advertising and promotion activities. In fact, the only strategic thinking comes at the beginning of each fiscal year when everyone seems to get the strategic bug... or, should I say, strategic religion. "Build buzz, build brand," is the mantra of new wave marketing.

And why should senior management get excited about marketing? Ever witness a marketing planning session when the chief executive asks, "What will I get for the $100,000 ad?" Or, "What percent of new business will this campaign buy me?" When questions like this are asked, you can hear a fly burp....

I know it's hard to convince senior management (I've been there) that the marketing department can produce moneymaking results. But that's what marketing managers need to do if they want to be recognized.

So, how can marketing managers get the respect they think they deserve? Here are five steps. I know this will take work (pain). But once in place, it will transform traditional marketing plans into company strategies (gain).

Step 1: Financial History

Start with product revenue history. Plot annual sales figures on a 40-month timeline. For multiple products, separately plot each product's sales history on individual timelines.

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Len Gingerella Len Gingerella is clinical professor of entrepreneurial studies at Loyola University Chicago, School of Business Administration. Reach him via lgingerella@luc.edu.