Saturday, October 08, 2011

Selling the Sizzle

TO: Earl Stuckley, CEO, U. S. Motors
FROM: Charles Miller, VP Marketing

I regret that it’s come to this. I had hoped that our ongoing disagreements with the production and engineering departments could be resolved through normal channels. But now it is clear that the impasse is so intractable that it requires your involvement.
For years now, our employees in the marketing branch have gone above and beyond the call of duty to bring our company into the 21st century. We have spent countless hours creating and designing marketing plans that will ensure our continuing profitability and long-term success.
Unfortunately, the engineering and production folks refuse to cooperate in the implementation of even our simplest idea. And, as you know, if we don’t have a product to match our advertising campaign, we don’t have a hope of increasing sales.
The various divisions of a company are not competitors. Rather, we are all members of one team — a team whose singular goal should be corporate success.
We have done our part; now we urge you to get the other departments onside as well. All that means is to design and produce a car to match our sterling marketing campaign.
They say it can’t be done but if we can dream it, whey can’t they produce it? Our TV ads touting our new H2O-powered SUVs have tested off the charts with consumer focus groups. Is it too much to ask the geniuses over in engineering to come up with just one vehicle that runs on water?
As for price points, if we expect to stay competitive with the Japanese, we need a family van that comes in under $10,000. And that means one with all the bells and whistles, too, including cup holders and a DVD player. Our print ads are ready to go with an MSRP of $9,999. Anything higher and we’re destined for failure. Just because those wacky number-crunching pencil pushers over in accounting say it can’t be done is no reason to pull the plug on this project now.
We’re no less adamant about our proposed multi-media campaign for the Pegasus — the world’s first affordable flying family sedan. We appreciate that cutting edge technology like this can’t be produced overnight. But if the production guys can’t even commit to a 2014 model, all our work on a combined Facebook-Twitter-YouTube rollout will be for naught.
Frankly, we here in marketing are tired of carrying the load for U. S. Motors. Great ideas don’t come cheaply and they don’t come along every day either. If the bright, creative minds in our shop don’t at least occasionally see a practical realization of one of their brilliant outside-the-box concepts, we’re going to lose some of our top marketing people to the competition.
We don’t want to be unreasonable. We recognize that marketing may have a monopoly on the best and the brightest. So we accept that the water-fuelled SUV and the flying sedan may have to be delayed a bit.
But in the meantime, we feel the least we can expect from our coworkers is a piddling 75 miles-per-gallon, $12,000 subcompact with automatic driver-less operation and self-cleaning option. We can roll out an ad campaign for this in three to four months. Can production at least match us on that?
I hope we can count on your support as I know you are a can-do kind of guy who is not going to take “It’s physically impossible to build a 75 m.p.g. car for $12,000" as a legitimate excuse for more heel dragging. If you can light a fire under the other departments, we’re ready to fan those flames into a brushfire of sales success.
Yours in motoring,
Chuck Miller

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