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Semi-annual survey indicates that companies lack the marketing muscle to overcome substantial obstacles; additional failures expected if changes not forthcoming.

AUSTIN, TX, February 26, 2002 – Forty to 60 percent of companies will not achieve their revenue goals in the first half of 2003, predicts VisionEdge Marketing, Inc., an Austin, Texas-based strategic marketing consulting firm. Based on research conducted for its semi-annual survey, Business Readiness Report: January-June, 2003, VisionEdge Marketing found that most companies are feeling threatened in 2003 by their inability to forecast demand, uncertainty about their company’s stability, lack of channel relationships, a long sales cycle, downward pressure on prices, insufficient marketing resources, and inadequate product/service offerings. However, the survey showed that companies are not doing enough of the right things to overcome these obstacles.

During January and February, VisionEdge Marketing conducted an online survey to examine how prepared companies are for meeting the challenges of today’s business climate. The survey examined several key indicators, including: the existence of an approved marketing plan, fluctuation in marketing headcount and budget, health of the sales pipeline, existence of a successful positioning strategy and realistic goal setting. Report highlights include:

  • Thirty-five percent of companies surveyed were operating without an approved marketing plan and/or budget mid-way through the first quarter of 2003. Given that 53 percent of companies in the survey had a sales cycle in excess of four months, these companies should have had approved budgets last fall in order to give time for programs to generate revenue in first half of the calendar year.
  • Of the companies surveyed, 58 percent lacked sufficient leads in their sales pipeline to support sales objectives for the first half of 2003. With few sales leads, insufficient marketing resources, a long sales cycle and not yet approved marketing plans, VisionEdge Marketing predicts that a majority of these companies will not be able to meet their revenue goals in the first half of the year.
  • Companies are struggling to find successful positioning strategies for their products. Seventy six percent of the firms surveyed reported that minor or major changes to positioning strategy were necessary in 2003. Previous surveys in 2002 indicated the same issue. VisionEdge Marketing believes that the lack of experienced strategic marketing professionals in many companies is a major contributing factor to weak positioning.

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The correlation between approved marketing plans and budget, and the realization of revenue goals, seems to be an accurate indicator of a company’s ability to achieve their business objectives. In the Business Readiness Survey for the second half of 2002, 39 percent of the respondents indicated that as of August 2002, they did not have approved marketing budgets for the July-December 2002 timeframe. As a result, VisionEdge Marketing anticipated that 35 to 50 percent of these companies would likely miss their revenue targets for the last half of 2002. This foresight proved accurate; results from the current survey revealed that 54 percent of those surveyed didn’t achieve their financial goals for the second half of 2002.

“Unfortunately for most companies the goal of achieving higher revenue in 2003 is only a pipedream,” said Laura Patterson, president, VisionEdge Marketing. “There is no indication from the responses that these companies are prepared from a strategic and tactical perspective to overcome today’s obstacles. Based on the findings of this survey, we predict that 40-60% of those surveyed will not achieve their objectives in the January-June period.”

The Business Readiness Report: January-June, 2003 is a semi-annual survey conducted by VEM on how businesses utilize marketing to move the company forward, and what obstacles companies are facing for achieving business results and revenue goals. The survey was distributed to more than 500 companies, and had a 23 percent response rate from 15 different industry categories. Forty-nine percent of the respondent companies have annual revenues greater than $10 million. Forty-seven percent of the respondents were primarily responsible for their company’s sales or marketing functions, and 60 percent held titles of director level or above. The report also includes recommendations on how companies can overcome some of these obstacles in order to meet revenue targets. The survey report is available for purchase online at visionedgemarketing.com for $125 plus shipping and handling.

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About VisionEdge Marketing, Inc.

VisionEdge Marketing, Inc. (VEM) is a marketing consulting firm that excels at helping business-to-business companies develop their competitive advantage to achieve their goals. Using metrics-driven, customer-centric strategies and tactics in the firm’s SmartStart Services Suite™, customers have a family of cost-effective services to create brands, research markets, increase revenue, drive demand and enhance the marketing expertise within organizations. VEM was founded in 1999 and is located in Austin, Texas. For more information, visit visionedgemarketing.com

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