FEATURE3 December 2013

Upselling and cross-selling deliver growth, but CEOs don’t rank it a priority

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Stuart Butler-Smith reckons rival market research companies can learn a thing or two from the sales strategies of ComScore and Gartner.

Res_4010896_finance chart

The first-half results from the listed research companies were truly a mixed bag. The general themes were:

  1. Difficult economic conditions: everything slowing down but, in general, Europe is bad; emerging markets are good
  2. Digital strategies: everyone has one, but their importance to the business varies
  3. Ad hoc is flat (at best): but syndicated and continuous businesses are growing
  4. Media measurement of any sort is growing fast: it’s also twice as profitable as market measurement
  5. Organic growth initiatives are preferred to acquisitive growth
  6. Execution issues have restrained top-line growth for some companies

That last point is particularly important. When the world is in upswing, you can take a few chances, and if one or two of them go wrong, the environment is forgiving.

But this is not a benign environment. This is a difficult trading environment, and getting the basics right – executing correctly – is paramount.

Yet Ipsos, Informa’s Professional & Commercial division, Forrester and Harris Interactive, among others, all suffered from execution issues in ...