Guru Zyman Warns About Pitfalls


Boston -- Former Coca-Cola Co. chief marketing officer Sergio Zyman told his
audience at the Cable & Telecommunications Association for Marketing's CTAM
Summit here Tuesday morning that marketing should be taken more seriously by
companies and treated 'as a science, not an art.'

Alluding to a remark made in the preceding session in which Viacom Inc.
president Mel Karmazin said CEOs are shifting dollars away from marketing and
toward the bottom line, Zyman called that a 'ridiculous' trend.

'Marketing is about making money,' said Zyman, who now heads the Zyman
Marketing Group. 'Marketing is about selling more stuff to more people more
often for more money more efficiently.'

The problem, he added, is that 'marketing as we know it has failed.'

Zyman -- who has written such books as The End of Marketing as We Know
-- urged attendees to concentrate on increasing the frequency of existing
customers' repeat purchases.

He also suggested that smart companies 'control the dialog -- define and
deliver,' much as DirecTV Inc. has in its competition with cable, as Coke and
PepsiCo Inc. try to do in their ongoing clashes and as JetBlue Airways now
defines what travelers should look for in an airline.

Zyman also warned against 'jumping from one marketing tactic to another,
based on the latest fad.' He added, '[Ad] agencies are part of the problem,'
since they too often create ads to win awards rather than to sell product.

Taco Bell Corp., for one, 'got carried away' with its 'Yo quiero Taco Bell'
TV campaign starring a talking chihuahua, Zyman maintained. That's an example of
the 'consumer buying the advertising but not feeling compelled to buy the
product,' he added, noting that the fast-food chain's sales fell during that

And Budweiser's 'Whassup?' ads may have become famous, but Zyman pointed out
that during that TV campaign, the Anheuser-Busch Cos. Inc. brand's sales and
market share fell to their lowest levels in six years.

Alluding to that and other campaigns, he added, '70 percent of the ads on the
Super Bowl don't sell -- they entertain.'