CEO Wannabees Create New Marketing Technique

February 2nd, 2010 by Rob Berman Leave a reply »

Senior executives at major corporations have recently started using a unique Marketing technique. The technique is bold and headline grabbing.  What is it?  They are quitting their lofty positions to openly campaign for Chief Executive Office roles at other companies.

Conventional Wisdom – Old Technique

Conventional wisdom has always held that major corporations used recruiters to target current CEOs or other senior executives.  The recruiters and the hiring company were in active search mode while the candidates were in passive mode.

Unconventional Thinking – New Technique

One such example is Elizabeth Smart, the new CEO at OSI Restaurant Partners.  OSI owns the chains Outback Steakhouse and Carrabba’s Italian Grill.  In only six weeks after leaving Avon, she had the CEO position she coveted.

A sample size of one makes us think the idea works.  Let’s take a look at Robert Willumstad who left Citigroup in 2005 with aspirations to be a CEO.  He finally got that chance in 2008 to lead AIG.  He didn’t last long before he was ousted with the near bankruptcy and subsequent bailout of AIG.  Bottom line, he waited for years to achieve his goal and barely got a chance to fill the big chair.

Paradigm Shift In Action?

The CEO wannabees have turned the conventional paradigm on its head.  The quiet networking and signaling of interest and availability (the old technique) has gone by the wayside.  The caution required to find a new job while holding one was removed.  The availability was publicly broadcast (new technique) for companies and recruiters alike to see.  Like James T. Kirk from Star Trek fame they changed the rules just as he did in the Kobayashi Maru test.  The Kobayashi Maru was a no win scenario that he changed to another result.

The Takeaway

Challenge your team and yourself to rethink your marketing strategy to include some unconventional techniques in the marketing mix.

Over To You.  What Do You Think?

1)      Is your marketing strategy too conventional?

2)      How are you changing your marketing paradigm?

3)      Are you setting and achieving your goals?

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