Monday, November 19, 2007

What we don't know in the field of marketing?

Since last year at my school the buzz in the marketing department is around the 37th EMAC conference we are hosting next year. Dr. Keith Perks, a colleague and a very good friend of is the conference chair. The title for the conference is "Marketing Landscapes: A Pause for Thought".

The theme was put forward because
"marketing has come under increasing scrutiny by scholars, practitioners, governments, and pressure groups in the past decade. Leading scholars in the field have held special forums to debate what is perceived as a decline in the status of marketing as a discipline, and its position in the corporate hierarchy from a central role in strategy making to a lower order functional role. Influential non-governmental organisations and governments are bringing marketing to task over its perceived and real lack of concern for ethical and socially responsible behaviour. Marketing academics have been accused of disengaging with the corporate world and their research as becoming increasingly irrelevant to the practice of marketing."

The theme of the conference was developed "to examine the marketing landscape, to continue the debate, and assess if we have over specialised the discipline into ‘silos’ and narrowed our perspectives resulting in a failure to look at the bigger picture. Marketing has broadened in the last three decades of the 20th century adding to the complexity and diversity of the field. The questions to be raised at the 2008 conference are: Have we gone too far? Do we need a single universal paradigm or multiple paradigms? How can we reconnect with the corporate world? How does marketing respond to its critics?"

How true this is when we start looking at the field of marketing and the largely esoteric research being carried out by experts across the world. I was reading an article published by Rust and others in Journal of Marketing in 2004 titled "Measuring Marketing Productivity: Current Knowledge and Future directions".

The authors identified three major challenges facing us in the field of marketing.

1. Relating marketing activities to long-term effects

2. Seperation of individual marketing activities from other actions

3. Use of purely financial methods to measure marketing performance which has proved inadequate for justifying marketing investments and therefore, the need for non-financial marketing measurements.

These are tough challenges in front of marketing scholars however, there are still no definitive answers for the same. Furthermore, there are questions as to how the marketing actions add to the value of the firm. Few studies are available but their generalizability is questionable.

Strategic questions which emerge for marketing presently are:
  • Why does linking marketing assets to capitalization matters? Can these assets be leveraged to provide strategic options?
  • What is marketing's contribution in managing core business processes or is it going to become a tactical silo dealing largely with advertising (this is what laypersons think about marketing, isn't it)?
  • Most times we have seen reactive esoteric models of marketing which attempt to measure customer behaviour. However, the need is there to measure the behaviour pro-actively as to how customers will respond to a certain marketing action.
  • Most companies manage multiple brands and interesting enough we are still to see research in the field of marketing which addresses issues related to the same comprehensively.
  • We don't have a guideline on how much resources to spend on each marketing alternative to get maximized impact (results). What we have presently are the Customer Lifetime Value (CLV) models which measure CLV but don't provide strategic answers to above questions.
  • One to One marketing, Customer Relationship Marketing (CRM) have become buzzwords, however we don't have models which can predict individual customer beahaviour and therefore, what we really have aggregate models which at best provide general answers and not customized solutions as most claim.
  • There are very few customer level longitudinal data based studies in marketing. Almost all studies are based on cross-sectional research. The limitations of this method are known however, not much has been done in this regard.
  • Much work remains to understand how competition and environment influence firm value.
The above mentioned issues highlight two important things according to me.
  1. There is a lot to be done in the field of marketing, if marketing has to gain any respect in the world of management.
  2. We by ourselves will have to put an end to the esoteric cross-sectional research at some point in time as it fails to answer questions which really matter to managers.
We will have to find answers to the above questions soon if marketing is to regain its once respected position in the field of management.

Rust, Roland T.; Ambler, Tim; Carpenter, Gregory S.; Kumar, V.; Srivastava, Rajendra K. (2004), "Measuring Marketing Productivity: Current Knowledge and Future Directions," Journal of Marketing, 68 (4), 76-90.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Why India can't grow as fast as China?

About 3 days ago I was sent a email by a friend about the new version of the Ant and Grasshopper fable.

Here it goes:
First the original version:
Ant & Grasshopper The Ant works hard in the withering heat all summer building its house and laying up supplies for the winter. The Grasshopper thinks the Ant is a fool and laughs & dances & plays the summer away. Come winter, the Ant is warm and well fed. The Grasshopper has no food or shelter so he dies out in the cold.

The new Indian Version:
The Ant works hard in the withering heat all summer building its house and laying up supplies for the winter. The Grasshopper thinks the Ant's a fool and laughs & dances & plays the summer away. Come winter, the shivering Grasshopper calls a press conference and demands to know why the Ant should be allowed to be warm and well fed while others are cold and starving.

NDTV, BBC, CNN show up to provide pictures of the shivering Grasshopper next to a video of the Ant in his comfortable home with a table filled with food. The World is stunned by the sharp contrast. How can this be that this poor Grasshopper is allowed to suffer so?

Arundhati Roy (a booker prize winning author) stages a demonstration in front of the Ant's house. Medha Patkar (an activist) goes on a fast along with other Grasshoppers demanding that Grasshoppers be relocated to warmer climates during winter. Amnesty International and Koffi Annan criticizes the Indian Government for not upholding the fundamental rights of the Grasshopper. The Internet is flooded with online petitions seeking support to the Grasshopper (many promising Heaven and Everlasting Peace for prompt support as against the wrath of God for non-compliance).

Opposition MPs stage a walkout. Left parties call for "Bharat Bandh (India Closed strike)" in West Bengal and Kerala (two states where leftist are in power) demanding a Judicial Enquiry. CPM, the party in power in Kerala, immediately passes a law preventing Ants from working hard in the heat so as to bring about equality of poverty among Ants and Grasshoppers. Lalu Prasad Yadav (the railways minister) allocates one free coach to Grasshoppers on all Indian Railway Trains, aptly named as the 'Grasshopper Rath'.

Finally, the Judicial Committee drafts the ' Prevention of Terrorism Against Grasshoppers Act' [POTAGA], with effect from the beginning of the winter. Arjun Singh, another cabinet minister, makes 'Special Reservation' for Grasshoppers in Educational Institutions & in Government Services. The Ant is fined for failing to comply with POTAGA and having nothing left to pay his retroactive taxes, it's home is confiscated by the Government and handed over to the Grasshopper in a ceremony covered by NDTV.

Arundhati Roy calls it ' A Triumph of Justice '. Lalu calls it 'Socialistic Justice '. CPM calls it the 'Revolutionary Resurgence of the Downtrodden ' Koffi Annan invites the Grasshopper to address the UN General Assembly.

Many years later...
The Ant has since migrated to the US and set up a multi-billion dollar company in Silicon Valley. 100s of Grasshoppers still die of starvation despite reservation somewhere in India ... As a result of loosing lot of hard working Ants and feeding the Grasshoppers,

India is still a developing country!!!

Well, the story kind of summarizes some flaws of coalition governments, hung parliaments, multiparty regional (rather than national) politics, and above all of democracy.

Now, I don't mean to degrade any of them as they have their own advantages and I believe in the power of democracy. For this blog though I wish to focus on a completely different aspect of Indian economy and want to argue why that has been a hindrance factor for growth.

The factor which I am talking about here is the 'social web'. It is one of the most powerful forces which at times is said to have kept the Indians glued with each other but at the same time it has created a wall too hard to crack or break if you wish to grow.

This social web pervades almost all aspects of Indian being. For example, an entrepreneur running an SME or a larger organization has to hire first from family and relatives rather than most deserving candidates. Some would argue it is not the case anymore and might quote a few examples however, when seen from the general perspective one may be able to find large number of organizations stifled due the incompetences and ineffectiveness of their employees.

In a professional organization, these employees won't be hired to start with and moreover, if they are able to cross that first hurdle and become employees would be fired to create space for deserving candidates.

I was talking to a very close Indian friend of mine who is a globe trotter and was visiting us for about a week in the UK and stated that the Indian system grows because of this social web. I somehow disagree. It actually hampers growth.

In a way, one can observe the positive impact of the 'social web' that it provides those incompetent and ineffective people a job which in turn help keep their families afloat. However, when this is done and observed over a longer period (as it is in case of India) it creates a web of ineffectiveness. It also makes those ineffective and incompetent people think that they can survive without improving much.

That fallacy has much larger an impact on growth than anything else according to me.

Friday, August 31, 2007

Why countries become so obsessed with ONE sport?

This summer has been much without Sun in the British Isles; however that has not stopped the mass enthusiasm to outing. While sitting at the Brighton beach (largely pebbled) reading or enjoying my time with family I observed an interesting phenomenon. On the grassy areas of Hove (actually?) largely one sport was in sight.


The sport reminded me an event which occurred about 4 years ago while I had just started my life in Liverpool. While I got my first accommodation in Liverpool my flat owner (who also lived in the flat as I was supposed occupy one of the rooms only) asked me on the 2nd day which football club I followed. I am not really a football fan but do watch few matches and know some players (by their names only) however, that day just out of sheer excitement (and probably an urge to show him how much I knew football) I stated Man United. He nearly exploded saying, if he knew this before he would not have rented the room to me. This is when I realised the importance of football in the UK (and my half-baked knowledge of the new culture I was going to spend a good part of my life in).

Being an Indian, I now follow both Britain and India in their sporting endeavours and get really amazed as to how these countries have become obsessed with largely one sport. In case of Britain it is football while the national sport remains cricket and in the case of India football is replaced by cricket as the most popular sport while the national sport remains to be field hockey.

While looking at the records, one can’t really understand the mass obsession to a specific sport. For example, one can observe that Britain has not won a cricket world cup (organized every four years with about 16 nations of the world participating) since its inception (been a runner up twice in 1987 and 1992). This could give a good reason that people do not like to follow a team which is not able to win and be on the top of their game in that specific sport. But hey, let’s check football and England have won it once in 1966 and have been in fourth place in 1990. This does not seem far off from the cricket performance.

Taking the case of India, for the national sport (field hockey) India won the hockey world cup in 1975 and has been runner up in 1973. Since last 30 years it has not been able to achieve any of the top 3 spots. The decline in public interest is obvious. However, cricket is not much of a different story when compared. India won the world cup in 1983 and have been runner up only once in 2003.

The records of both countries in both sports show an interesting and similar pattern. Both are not very good at both sports. However, when it comes to football and cricket, British and Indian masses go hysteric.

Statement such as "Some people think football is not just a matter of life and death: it's much more important than that" -- Bill Shankly

“Cricket is the only uniting God in multi-religious India” -- Paurav Shukla

… really summarise the mood.

Watching the IAAF (ask most of these football and cricket fans about the full form of it) world championship in Osaka, Japan and observing the performance of both countries I could not resist myself asking this question. How come countries get obsessed with one sport? While 50 or so British athletes and 13 member team of India are participating and in case of Britain some medal winning performances have been witnessed the media as well as the masses have taken little notice of it. Almost all British newspapers are full with some footballer’s injury or some drug scandal in the football world in the sports pages. Some of these news items even make headlines for some newspapers. The same is the case for India however the sport is cricket.

If with such small teams these countries are doing so good in other sports (writing off India largely here for athletics) why not focus on them instead of these over obsessed sports where both these countries are failing to really make a mark.

I am quite sure if media provides a channel of communication for the other sports the younger generation can learn more from the struggle of those hidden champions (leaving apart some) than these over egged, hyper-egoist and enormously overpaid footballers and cricketers.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Reflection on cross-border industrial cluster network

In an earlier post (Networking Industrial Clusters: Global Clusters) I explored some thoughts on developing global clusters. The idea was to share not just procurement advantage but also product, market, information, technicalities, competencies as well as tacit skills.

Luckily, I got a chance to test these proposition through a micro-project funding provided by Interreg3A wherein we (Dr. Keith Perks, Prof. Aidan Berry and I at Brighton Business School in UK) and (Dr. Roland Condor and Olivier Kavorski at the La Havre Business School in France) attempted to understand the possibility of developing an industrial cluster between Upper Normandy region of France and South East of the UK.

This blog post is a reflection on the experience.

The 'cross-border small business network opportunity study', as it was named, aimed at examining the opportunity of jointly developing a cross-border small business network by exploring present and future needs of expertise, knowledge and know how of SMEs and potential entrepreneurs operating within East Sussex and Upper Normandy. Using a pilot sample of SMEs and looking at other existing attempts of assisting entrepreneurial activities within the region the purpose of this study was to examine if a joint cross-border small business network is a relevant way to improve entrepreneurial skills and expertise, encourage collaboration, foster mobility, educate and train the SMEs and potential entrepreneurs in such a way as to enhance the attractiveness of the regional investments and engender sustainability among small businesses.

The study used both secondary and primary research for the research. It focused on understanding the entrepreneurs’ viewpoint using the need identification approach. Qualitative research methodology was used for the primary study as the aim was to explore the mindset and readiness of entrepreneurs regarding a cross-border small business network. In-depth interviews were carried out in both East Sussex and Upper Normandy regions. This bottom up approach of building information helped in providing robustness to the study.

While undertaking the study we assumed that the entrepreneurs within both regions would be highly interested in exchange of ideas, leading to business opportunities leading to further collaboration and partnerships between both regions which in turn would generate higher economic growth for both regions. However, what we found is that entrepreneurs are largely concerned with bottomline and their individual/organizational interests first. Collaborations are seen as an important part of organizational strategy however they are not a priority for the entrepreneurs.

Not all entrepreneurs are open to the idea of networking however, not all entrepreneurs are denying getting involved in networking exercise. The barriers to entry as stated by entrepreneurs are of three types: (a) Geo-demographic barriers; (b) personal/organizational barriers; and (c) veiled barriers. The geo-demographic barriers such as physical distance and language can be overcome using the help of technological advancements in communications of a network however, the personal/organizational barriers and veiled barriers are hard to overcome as they represent an entrepreneur’s view of the world and it would require massive effort with regard to change in attitude, value and belief system as well as cultural and mindset.

It would be improbable to think of an industry (or industries) based network between the regions. However, the possible solution for the same would be to focus on developing a niche network of several companies and several entrepreneurs willing to network across regions. The network will have to focus on both sector specificity and customer specificity. A network focusing either of these elements would not have higher chances of success.

From entrepreneurs’ perspective possible improvements in the bottomline is one of the biggest hindrances with regard to networking. According to them the networking process does not always provide value and so it is not within their priority list. They believe that the network should provide a competitive edge to the participants and generate substantial value however, they are not ready to put in initial effort to build and generate that value for the network.

In terms of communication it is quite clear that the web and email platform can only be used as supplementary communication platforms. They could help facilitate communication though cannot take the role of primary communication channel. Face to face interactions are a must for the network to build. However, the entrepreneurs would not involve their own effort in financial or psychological terms to create, develop and sustain the network. It was also observed that word of mouth is a favourable way among the entrepreneurial community to build networks. The word of mouth channel can resolve the issues related to trust and benefits derived from relationships as these are the precursor to building relationships among entrepreneurs.

The entrepreneurs also reveal that there is need of an intermediary which specifically focuses on bringing entrepreneurs together using its own resources as academic institutions and government agencies have not been seen as the best catalysts for the process.

This has been a fascinating journey with regard to understanding both sides of the coin. While the common sense approach suggests that 'Networking works' somehow 'bottomline' sways many potential opportunities into ashtray. I would surely welcome suggestions on improving this experience or testing it in other contexts to measure its reliability and validity. Contribute...

Friday, May 11, 2007

The Inhuman Face of EU

The EU has been boasting of it being at the forefront of the human equality and human centeredness. However, close contact to first base point itself drives that off to the level of Greek mythology.

I have now had several encounters (I prefer to call them encounters rather than contacts) with this face of EU. The first point of contact being, THE EMBASSY.

It is very interesting to understand procedure to get in touch with this face of EU. It starts generally with your going to your favourite search engine and searching for the embassy of that specific nation of EU and funny enough in most cases some agent's website will appear before the official embassy website. For a web newbie (a person who does not frequently delve into the depth of the web) it may take from 10 minutes to 30 minutes to realise the same depending on intellectual capabilities.

Once you reach the embassy website and realise that it is not compatible with your Firefox browser and you will have to use internet explorer only in most cases.

You open the website and the front page design could be from the level of disastrous to little user friendly. After 5 minutes of surfing through the same you reach the important section for you, Visa section. Don't worry much if the fonts are uneven, the page is not properly aligned, etc.

You are there on the page because you want to know where the embassy is. Can you apply for the visa by post? And what do you need to carry with you when go there?

To your utter dismay you realise that if you are living within the periphery of 200 miles from the embassy you cannot apply via post. The significance of this distance will be realised to you within next 10 minutes while reading this article.

The information with regard to what to bring is very clearly and precisely mentioned. Ahh... But don't get that happy because when you get happy, you become less cautious and then only Empire Strikes Back.

The website tells you that even if you are ready with all that information you cannot come to the embassy without a proper appointment which is perfectly ok by all standards. However, you can't get an appointment by calling the embassy because there is no direct way of getting in touch. The website mentions 0901 number (did this number ring the bell in your mind with a specific profession which uses it in abundance) which is the only way to get an appointment. Wow, how similar is this process to the specific profession we thought about.

As you call that number you thought it would be a two minute thing as the number costs £ 1-1.50 per minute. However, to your surprise for the first two minutes a lady voice (obviously automated) keeps on telling you that this is the only way to get an appointment and keep your passport with you and don't hang up in between (which you feel every second after 5 minutes) till the lady voice doesn't say so. Furthermore, it tells you that you need to be using a push button telephone and it should not be connected to an EPBAX system. You have already spent your day's coffee intake on this phone before realising it.

For the next 11 minutes or so the voice keeps on asking you various information about you and reminds you of not to hang up. What proactive prediction? Once it gets all information from you, you think now you will get an appointment. Gosh, you are expecting too much. Lethargy is the motto here. As the system has all your information the system gives you the first date for your visa appointment. Hurrah... It is just 6 week away only, ohh... And don't you remember that your travelling has to start in three weeks and by the end of fourth week you will have to be back at work. The system understands the delay in your response and very kindly tells you that if you need any other date press a button. How understanding? In the hope getting a better date you press that button and you know what, Murphy's law works. It gives you a later date than the first one. Remember you cannot disconnect the phone neither you will have to repeat the again. So, you decide to take a date. After some 15-25 minutes and spending £ 20-45 now you have an appointment with the embassy which in its truest sense meaningless. Depending on your mental status you start exploring contingency plans.

The first thing you might do is to rigorously search the embassy website to find a contact point and in some embassy cases you might find an email address hidden there. Did I not mention 'some' above? And there are almost all chances that in your case it won't be available. Murphy's Law works.

Two scenarios are looming large on you now. First, where you get that email address and write to the embassy waiting for them to return. Most times they do and they tell you in that email a hidden web link. If you hit it at the right time you have all chances to get an earlier appointment (could be within 2 days sometimes).

However, in your case as I stated earlier there are no such links. So, you have to move to contingency plan TWO. You call up all your friends and family members and they all sympathise with you. However, there is one of them who direct you to an agent. You first try to search about this agent and find that with a certain fee (ranging from £50-200 per passport) you can actually get the visa within 3-4 days even without visiting the embassy at all. Ahh... Did the EU mention equality was the base on which the whole system was based. When the noble prize in year 2001 was given to George Akerlof, Michael Spence and Joseph Stiglitz for their work on information asymmetry you did not understand it. But this experience will teach you all practicality of the same.

Because you need to attend that meeting or have that vacation in time you will contact the agent and you will get your visa within a week. Hurrah... Though you got your visa in time, and got what you wanted, did you not forget some important questions which must be asked.

You wanted a simple visa to enter that country through the most legitimate means. Not being a hero of Robert Ludlum's novel you were treated really like an alien (by the way, in diplomatic terms you are called an alien you know). There are these very serious questions on the claims of EU on the issues of equality, right treatment, and human side of things.

It is good that every embassy is trying to give you a standardised treatment. However, should not that be asked that is it the right way to standardise. While spending £20-45 for those 20 average minutes did you think how many jobs can be created if this whole system involved human interaction? A call canter representative can be hired for 3-4 hours for that cost within EU itself.

If you did not question the above you surely missed the softer side of it. We all want a human touch to our communication. We all want to feel the human voice on the other end of the phone. Such advance electronic system however great they are, can they ever take place of the human interaction?

Then there is this systemic question. A system is developed for helping and quickening the systemic response. There are so many systems which we have developed which work fabulously well and we must be proud of it. However, we also must remember that everything in excess is hazardous. Overexploitation of such systems only increases anxiety, stress and chaos. It leaves an ugly scar at both side of communiqué.

There always will be the issue of the passport being sensitive information cannot be handled without caution and the machine based system allows that privacy. However, the bank and credit card call centres handle similar if not more sensitive information everyday. So, there surely is a systemic solution to this if there is a will to do so.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Benefit segmentation in Cyberspace

The Internet has revolutionized the computer and communications world like nothing before. The invention of the telegraph, telephone, radio, and computer set the stage for this unprecedented integration of capabilities. The Internet is at once a world-wide broadcasting capability, a mechanism for information dissemination, and a medium for collaboration and interaction between individuals and their computers without regard for geographic location (Negroponte, 1995).

Benefit segmentation is widely acknowledged as one of the distinctive ways to segment markets. It divides a heterogeneous population into homogeneous groups on the basis of product benefits consumers perceive as important (Chang and Chen, 1995). Marketers who use this segmentation approach are able to identify the key benefits that consumers seek from a particular product type and which of these consumers require which benefits (Dibb, 2000). Benefit segmentation can be used in conjunction with several closely related segmentation bases/variables. These include product/firm loyalty, psychographics, perceptions, preferences, purchase intention and purchase situations/occasions (Weinstein, 1994).

This approach provides a more direct measure of the differences in preferences among customers and offers a more action-oriented analysis for managers (Haley, 1968). Once people have been classified into segments in accordance with the benefits they are seeking, each segment is contrasted with all of the other segments in terms of demographics, volume of consumption, brand perceptions, media habits, personality and lifestyle and so forth. Over the longer term, systematic benefit segmentation research is likely to produce a higher proportion of successes (Haley, 1995). In many markets, segmentation based on benefits, needs, or motivations has proven to be more powerful than demographic factors or product features in understanding market dynamics (Plummer, 1974, Wind, 1978, Lesser and Hughes, 1986, Cermak, File and Prince, 1994).

A study was conducted in 2004 by me which used benefit needs to segment the on-line market. It first used focus groups and a random sampling survey to search for the consumer benefit needs. The on-line market was then segmented using the benefits sought.

The result demonstrated that different segments seek different benefits and have different lifestyles, demographics etc. Thus, benefit sought is an effective segmentation variable for the on-line market. Based on the benefit segmentation results, marketing managers can focus on one or a few segments that exhibit a salient preference for the benefits provided by their products.

To focus the "Effectiveness and Modern seeker" the marketing manager should emphasise the effectiveness, promptness and modernisation of on-line marketing to match their benefit needs. This target segment is primarily female, married and living in cities, about 26 to 40 years old with regular life and they like music. The manager can promote products related to music such as CD, audio, etc. on online.

If the target segment is "Convenience, Information and Safety seeker", the manager should emphasise the benefits of on-line marketing for purchase convenience, information abundance, multiform and trade safety. This segment’s members are mostly group leaders, active, computer lovers, young males, students or executives, single, loves sports and live in the city. To focus on this group, on-line commerce for sports products is the target selection.

If the target segment is "Service and Freedom seeker", the manager should emphasise the advantage of on-line shopping for service quality, delivery speed, selection freedom, company name familiarity etc. This group is characterised by being knowledge seeker; attached to own appearance, spend time at home and like reading. They have the highest rate of on-line shopping but with lower income. The marketing manager might offer lower priced products related to reading such as maps, magazines or books for online shopping.

Through benefit segmentation, companies can divide large, heterogeneous on-line markets into smaller segments that can be reached more efficiently with products and services that match the consumers’ unique needs. As consumers obtain satisfaction for their needs, wants and desires a company can become further successful using this tool.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Customers customers customers...

  • Most dissatisfied customers do not complain to us – probably only 4-5 percent bother. One estimate is that for every single customer who brings us a complaint, another 26 probably also have problems. Six of which are like to be serious, and do not complain to us. The silent majority defect to a competitor, or put up with us being bad and defect.
  • Dissatisfied customers tell everyone except us. In consumer markets the estimate is that the disgruntled customer tells about 14 others.
  • Dissatisfied customers buy less – and seem to do their best to get other to buy less as well
  • Typically the cost of complaint resolution is 10-25 percent of the cost of finding a new customer
  • When complaints are resolved satisfactorily these customers tend to be more than those who never experienced a problem in the first place.

But why do so many customers not complain:

  • They did not think it would make any difference
  • They did not think it was worth their time and effort
  • They did not know what they had to do to get help
  • They never got round to it

Share your examples when such dissatisfaction occurred in your life and you complained (or didn't complain) and what was the result of the same?

Hoping to hear from you all GLOBAL visitors...

Doyle, Peter (2002), Marketing Management and Strategy, 3rd Ed., Hamel Hempstead: FT – Prentice Hall.
Walther, George, R. (1194), Upside-down marketing, New York: McGraw Hill.
Barley, Peter (1994), ‘Looking for Trouble’, Marketing Business, September, pp. 21-24.