I have a very good friend, Tony, who runs an abattoir. He’s from farming stock and, in a decision driven as much by his head as his heart, bought the small local abattoir before it went bust and left hundreds of smallholders unable to butcher their livestock without long transportation journeys that would have made their animals uncomfortable and their slaughter uneconomic.
Of all the concepts in the marketing universe, the most important gift we give our organisations is market orientation. It’s the omega of our discipline because it challenges a manager to recognise the fundamental truth that a) consumers are the source of a company’s success, but that b) these consumers inevitably see the world very differently from the employees that work within the company and who devise the strategies aimed at those consumers.
Of all the academic research published, the most intriguing and entertaining has always been by public health researchers on driving impairment. Since the 1950s, researchers have paid undergraduate ‘subjects’ (who will do almost anything for free booze) to drive round a test circuit, drink three large glasses of wine and then redo the task. A generation of students have confirmed the finding that when people are slightly drunk they don’t drive very well.