The Gumby Syndrome: How Reality Pulls Services Marketers Every Which Way But Loose

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The Gumby Syndrome: How Reality Pulls Services Marketers Every Which Way But Loose

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Research Abstract

An interesting thing happened on the way to being services marketers. Many practitioners have found themselves with too much to do, little time in which to do it and a growing set of challenges. Like Gumby, the famed cartoon character made of rubber, they are being pulled and stretched in multiple directions. This UPDATE reports the results of a recent ITSMA survey on the day-to-day activities and challenges of services marketers.
A survey of 26 ITSMA members was completed via telephone interviews. Respondents were those responsible for services marketing activities within their organizations. They spoke on behalf of their entire services marketing team. Survey topics were divided into:

  • The types of projects completed in the past six months.
  • The most challenging aspects of services marketing.
  • The biggest unexpected time sinks services marketers face.
  • How services marketing organizations spend their time.
  • What services marketers see as the most important purchase influencers of their service products.

We found that services marketers are spending much of their time on reactive activities such as requests for sales support, repeating information and struggling with internal communications. They are not spending enough of their time on putting sound processes in place to allow them to take a more strategic, less tactical approach to their jobs.