Friday, January 15, 2010

Marketing 101: For NBC's Jeff Zucker

As an incredibly astute reader, you're aware of mess incredible mess NBC has created with it's late night lineup.

The man who is largely responsible for the mess is Jeff Zucker, President and CEO of NBC Universal. What kind of idiot is this guy?

Well, he is a graduate of Havard University with a B.A. in American History and is a journalism lifer; working as editor of the Crimson in college and then moving to a research post at NBC in 1986. He moved on to become the producer of The Today Show, then becoming President of NBC Entertainment and eventually up the ranks to CEO.

Too bad he didn't have a background in marketing. This mess probably would not happen?

For example, smart marketers know that successful brands take time to build. You cannot make drastic changes and pull the plug after a few months.

Marketer's also value consistency and continuity. Now, instead of making big changes once, they will have to make three...and probably more.

And simplicity. NBC's old schedule was simple. Local News. Then Jay for an hour. Then Conan for an hour. It was nice and easy. That is certainly no longer the case.

Lastly, NBC lacks focus. They have four different late night talk shows that span from 10 p.m. to after 2 a.m. Something to mildly satisfy all tastes.

Have one face that people can associate with NBC and own that hour.

Focus, simplicity, consistency and time are all necessary ingredients for building a brand, even for networks like NBC.

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