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Business Acumen For Marketers

How to Think, Speak and Act Like Top Corporate Decision Makers

It isn’t enough to conceive and execute a world-class marketing campaign. You need to communicate that success to the so-called “C-suite” of your corporation — especially the CEO, CFO and COO, who make budget decisions. It’s vitally important that you do so in language they understand. Too often marketing is perceived as a necessary evil that lacks the business acumen and “big picture” perspective to participate in executive management. This workshop will teach what you need to know about how businesses operate from a general profit/loss management perspective and how marketingspecificallyfits into various business models.  

 Key concepts include:

  • Understanding how senior management thinks about company performance.
  • What specific results drive their success and thus their motivation.
  • How marketing can gain a “seat at the table” as a peer in planning for overall business performance.
  • How to develop an example business-needs-based case for an advertising and/or marketing investment.

This workshop will help the marketing/advertising professional tailor reporting and communications to reflect marketing’s true contributions and earn a “seat at the table.”

Who is this workshop for?

Chief marketing officers; brand and marketing agency relationship managers; brand executives and managers; advertising executives, managers and buyers; sponsorship executives and managers; marketing legal support; marketing human resources support; and anyone interested in gaining a greater understanding of the “language of business.”

Workshop Benefits

Participants will leave with a foundational understanding of:

  • How business leaders think strategically about running a business.
  • The “red flags” that guide decision making.
  • The critical role that marketing/advertising plays in making a business successful.
  • How to create and prioritize key performance indicators (KPIs) that are relevant to top executives.
  • How to determine return on investment and return on objectives and the difference between them.
  • Marketing’s role in delivering shareholder value.
  • The ability to craft a proposal for an investment that is based on business objectives, both financial and strategic.

Begins:Thursday, November 13, 2014 at 8:30am
Ends:Thursday, November 13, 2014 at 5:00pm

Reed Smith LLP
599 Lexington Avenue
22nd Floor
New York, NY 10022

Registration Pricing
    Member Rate Non-Member Rate
  Program Registration Fee $ 1,095 $ 1,195

Instructor: Raymond Bednar

Ray Bednar is president and founder of Hyperion Marketing Returns, which focuses on delivering significant value to client companies by providing marketing return on investment and return on objectives methodologies and processes which leverage all parts of an organization in order to optimize results from the broad array of current and potential marketing channels. Prior to founding the firm, Mr. Bednar was senior vice president and global sponsorships executive at Bank of America. He had previously served as the CEO of PRISM North and South America, a WPP agency, where he led the strategic consulting practice. During his time with PRISM, he developed comprehensive sponsorship strategies for clients such as DuPont, Xerox, HSBC and Samsung. A recognized expert in ROI for sponsorship and marketing, he is the author of Sponsorship's Holy Grail, winner of the prestigious WPP Atticus Award for strategic thought. Prior to joining PRISM, he was a general manager and president with General Electric, where he gained extensive experience in the marketing application of Six Sigma. Mr. Bednar holds a B.S. from the United States Military Academy at West Point and an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School.  


Note: If possible, all participants should bring a laptop or tablet to the workshop; examples will be projected by the instructor but it might be helpful for participants to follow along on their own device.








Takeaway/Content Summary


Introduction to Business Acumen


  • Getting started
  • Financial goals of a firm
  • Importance of creating shareholder value
  • Commonly used finance and accounting terms
  • Exercise: Identify the financial goals of a public company to determine financial and strategic goals


How to Read a Financial Report


  • Why the balance sheet balances
  • Accrual accounting and the matching principle
  • Depreciation and amortization
  • Analysis of the income statement
  • Exercise: Using the same public company, analyze its balance sheet and income statement to read and understand basic financial reports


Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)


  • Understanding the different measures of profit and profit margin
  • Return on investment
  • Return on objectives
  • Exercise: Using the same public company, explore KPIs and how to use them to calculate common KPIs


Understanding Business Models


  • Understanding the gross profit margins of your product mix
  • Cash flow
  • Financial versus managerial accounting
  • Exercise: Calculate margins and impact on cash flow to apply a business model analysis to product mix profitability


Making a Business Case for an Advertising/Marketing Investment


  • Break-even analysis and operating leverage
  • The cost of capital
  • Making a business case for marketing spending
  • Exercise: Develop a business case for a specific marketing investment to craft a data-driven marketing spend proposal




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