Nine out of 10 marketing dollars might as well be flushed down the drain, according to PR specialist Michael Shepherd. Too many companies fail to tie their marketing spend to a clear business plan, he argues, and consequently don't see any real return on their investment. "To be productive, a marketing message must be tied to a business strategy," Shepherd says. "If it isn't, it's just throwing money in hopes some of it might come back."

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