Ken Wong is a faculty member and the Commerce ’77 Teaching Fellow in Marketing at Queen’s School of Business. He was inducted into the Canadian Marketing Hall of Legends in 2006 in the mentor category. Ken is a passionate speaker and doesn’t mince words. Most of us could only wish for a teacher such as him in our younger days.
According to his bio at The Marketing Hall of Legends, it’s obvious he has a rather impressive teaching resume with stints at Carleton University, Radcliffe College, Cornell and Harvard’s Continuing Education Program, and in executive programs at York University, University of Toronto, Dalhousie University and the University of Alberta. He is the coauthor of Basic Marketing, one of the leading introductory textbooks in Canada.
Ken held the delegates at the CMA national convention in thrall as spoke about the fascination he has for why people don’t do what they should do. Specifically, he was referring to marketing and the surprising statistic that in the economic down turn, as many as 40% of companies plan to cut back or kill marketing budgets.
Ken spent 18 months touring North America talking with decision makers about marketing and how they are dealing with the recession. Ken’s message to these folks was basic, there’s a simple way to deal with the recession, cut back where you can but, keep your pedal to the medal when it comes to delivering value to your customers – nothing is more important.
Ken wonders why some people don’t understand that the number one purpose of an organization is to create a customer. As Ken points out (and as we say over and over) it’s about relationships.
I had the chance to briefly speak with Ken after his presentation and you’d be hard pressed to meet a nicer and more genuine guy. Ken likely had a pretty tight schedule and yet he took the time to speak with me about email and social marketing and some other points of interest.
Takeaway: In hard times, cut back where you can but, keep your pedal to the metal when it comes to delivering value to your customers — nothing is more important.