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Semi-annual survey reveals many companies still hurting themselves with poor execution and won’t benefit from the recovery during the last half of 2003.

AUSTIN, TX, August 4, 2003 – A semi-annual survey from VisionEdge Marketing reveals a modest 10 percent increase in the number of companies that achieved their revenue targets in the first half of the year. The positive up tick is the first indicator in 18 months that companies are successfully adapting their strategies and tactics to the challenging business environment. This glimmer of hope is offset by the report’s prediction that 30-45 percent of the companies surveyed will fail to meet their financial objectives in the second half of the year.

During June and July, VisionEdge Marketing, a consulting firm headquartered in Austin, Texas, conducted its Business Readiness Survey, an online survey to examine how prepared companies are for meeting the business challenges during the second half of 2003. The semi-annual survey, now in its second year, 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.

“We’re assessing why some companies are making the grade and others aren’t, “ said Laura Patterson, president of VisionEdge Marketing. ”After four consecutive surveys we’ve identified factors that both contribute to the company’s marketing health and impact the organization’s financial well being.”

One such indicator, according to the report, is the existence of an approved marketing plan. Thirty-five percent of the companies surveyed did not have an approved marketing plan and budget for the July-December 2003 period. This percentage is unchanged from the previous report published in March, leading VisionEdge Marketing to predict trouble for over one-third of the companies surveyed.

“Companies that do not have approved marketing plans and budgets in advance of a financial period can’t compete,“ Patterson said. “It’s sad, but the executive committees and the board of directors of these organizations are handicapping the ability of the marketing function to contribute to business goals.”

The previous report, published in March 2003, predicted 35-50 percent of the companies surveyed would miss their first-half revenue goals. According to the most recent survey, 41 percent actually fell short. Looking forward, VisionEdge Marketing predicts that 30 to 45 percent of the companies surveyed for the July-December 2003 report will miss revenue targets for the second half of the year.

Additional report highlights include:

  • More companies are planning to add marketing resources during the second half of 2003. According to the results, 25 percent of the respondents said they were going to add marketing resources, versus 19 percent who said they were going to add resources during the first half of the year.
  • Companies are focusing more on building share in existing markets rather than in new markets; 47 percent of respondents said this would be one of their top three business objectives for the second half of 2003. This compares to 39 percent of the respondents who gave this answer in the first half of 2003.
  • Despite the fact that 51 percent of the respondents said their company did not achieve their revenue goal for the first half of 2003, 74 percent of the respondents said they have increased their sales goals for the second half of the year.
  • Marketing departments are being measured on the number of new deals and the amount of revenue they generate from new customers. Seventy-one percent of respondents said this would be the primary metric by which they would be measured.
  • Twenty-six percent of those surveyed reported that a long sales cycle was the single biggest obstacle to achieving goals in the second half of 2003, up from 22 percent in the first half.

The Business Readiness Report: July-December, 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 1,000 people, and had a 15 percent response rate from 15 different industry categories. Thirty-one percent of the respondent companies have annual revenues greater than $10 million. Forty percent of the respondents were executive management, and 52 percent held titles of vice president-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.

About VisionEdge Marketing, Inc.

VisionEdge Marketing (VEM) is a strategic marketing consulting firm that helps B2B companies strengthen their competitive advantage for the purpose of acquiring, keeping and growing a profitable customer base. VEM’s Consulting Services and Learning Services collaborate with companies to identify and size markets, develop competitive strategies, create strategic positioning platforms, acquire new customers, retain valuable customers, and engineer finely tuned buying pipelines. VEM was founded in 1999 and is located in Austin, Texas. For more information, visit visionedgemarketing.com.

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