MANY STANDARD business functions have been undergoing radical transformations. Manufacturing no longer involves the mass production of standardized large lots, but the lean production of customized units of one. Purchasing has morphed into procurement, and finance now calculates the impact of diverse company activities on shareholder value.

Not surprisingly, new voices have been calling for the reinvention of marketing. CEOs cannot get clear, compelling answers about marketing’s impact on the bottom line. The old adage of Sam Wanamaker—that he knows that 50 percent of his advertising works but he does not know which half—still haunts management. Consider the following:

Eighty percent of new fast-moving consumer products fail.

A thirty-second ...

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