Shareholder value: the enemy of good marketing

In this concise analysis, Hugh Davidson throws down a challenge to marketers. He describes how shareholder value, the theory that has dominated the way public companies are run, has become perverted and now contributes significantly to the dysfunctional performance at the centre of the financial crisis.

Shareholder value: the enemy of good marketing

Hugh Davidson

Rather than challenge shareholder value (SHV), marketers have tried to adapt to it, with unfortunate consequences. SHV affects everything marketers do, striking to the heart of questions like:

  • Why are most companies run for the short term?

  • Why are so few truly customer focused?

  • Why doesn't marketing feature on most boardroom agendas?

That's why it's important for marketers to challenge SHV, and replace it with something better. SHV is bad for marketing because:

  1. It views the shareholder as the only constituent, treating customers, employees, and communities as minor players. This reflected...

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