In looking back on 2019, it’s interesting to see which subjects were most popular with readers. Of the roughly 60 Forbes posts I published during the year, the five top-performing posts covered varied topics—from Comcast illustrating a key marketing principle to a study on which firms do the best job of preparing marketers to become CEOs. See below an overview (and link) to each of the top five articles.
#1: “Comcast Violates A Key Marketing Principle: Never Give Your Customers a Reason to Switch”
This article uses Comcast’s failure to carry the ACC Network (when almost all of its competitors are doing so) to highlight a key marketing principle: “never give your customers a reason to switch”. Marketers try to ensure that they never make a decision that causes defection or disloyalty—and if they do, they believe that the long-term customer benefit will outweigh the short-term cost. When the ACC Network was launched, the only way to see some ACC games was through that channel. By failing to carry the channel, Comcast invited customers to “cut the cord” and switch to a service provider that did carry the channel. Many of the diehard, loyal, sports fans are of the older generation—precisely the group who wouldn’t leave Comcast unless they had to (and Comcast provided the motivation to switch).
#2: “New CEO Study: The Undergraduate Degrees of Fortune 100 CEOs”
This article was one in a 6-part series that explored the career paths of Fortune 100 CEOs. I looked into several factors associated with a F100 career path: their undergraduate (and graduate) institutions, degrees, and majors, their functional emphasis upon leaving school, and the tenure at their current companies. This article explored the undergraduate degrees of the F100 CEOs.
#3: “Study Results: The Top Companies that Prepare Marketers to Become CEOs”
Which firms have reputations for developing superior C-level marketing leaders? And which firms provide the best training that enables marketers to become CEOs? To answer the first question, I conducted research with Christine DeYoung, partner at DHR International, an executive recruiting firm (see the list of the top companies that develop the best C-level marketing leaders here). To answer the second question, I conducted a study using LinkedIn data to identify the percentage of marketing alumni by firm that are currently CEOs. This list rank orders the best firms at converting marketers into CEOs and includes: Procter & Gamble, Johnson and Johnson, PepsiCo, Unilever, American Express, Coca-Cola, Nike, Apple, Amazon, Starbucks, and others.
#4: “A New Study on Fortune 100 CEOs: The (Surprising) Undergraduate Institutions they Attended”
This is another article in the 6-part series on the career paths of Fortune 100 CEOs. In this article, I share insight into the undergraduate institutions these CEOs attended. Spoiler alert. A dominant 89% graduated from non-Ivy league schools (good news for parents who don’t want to pay Ivy league educational costs).
#5: “The Customer Journey Doesn’t Exist…So Stop Trying to Manage it”
Judd Marcello, EVP of Global Marketing at Cheetah Digital, provokes thought by suggesting that it is foolhardy to think that marketers can lead customers through a funnel, maze, or journey. He provides some insight into why this is nearly impossible to do and suggestions on where marketers should instead focus their energy.