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Fortune reports that Michael Dell now realizes the primary reason for his company's woes is that he has turned his back to marketing....

If your CEO does not understand the value of marketing, try telling him or her about Dell. Dell's decline is due to managing costs at the expense of building relationships with customers. This strategy has led to:
1. 21% decline in stock price this year
2. 48% (90% in Europe) decline in profit
To turn this around, Dell now plans to use marketing to change how it relates to customers, both before and after they buy. For example, the company has already changed from measuring the call center on time spent on calls to how well the problem is solved the first time. In addition, they plan to focus on building relationships with large corporate customers, worldwide.
Dell also plans to communicate relationship, customization and experience -- by emphasizing consumer benefits, not product features. And now they are planning to hire a CMO to "link product, image and selling in a package full of emotion."
Philip Kotler, distinguished professor of marketing at the Kellogg School of Management, has written (in Marketing Insights from A to Z), "There are two types of CEOs, those who don't understand marketing and those who don't know they don't understand marketing."
Using the Dell example, perhaps you can help your CEO better understand marketing.

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image of Roy Young
Roy Young is coauthor of Marketing Champions: Practical Strategies for Improving Marketing's Power, Influence and Business Impact. For more information about the book, go to or order at Amazon.