QUIZ: What kind of VP marketing are you?

1. Despite assurances that the work has been progressing well, and that 'everyone in the agency loves it,' it is apparent in the presentation that in fact they wrote the ad concepts in the taxi coming to the meeting. Do you:

1. Despite assurances that the work has been progressing well, and that ‘everyone in the agency loves it,’ it is apparent in the presentation that in fact they wrote the ad concepts in the taxi coming to the meeting. Do you:

a) Praise the freehand typeface of the punchline as being just what is needed to update the image of the brand?

b) Ask how it would look on the handle of a shopping cart?

c) Request time to think about it. After the meeting you hold back the Head of Client Service and have a conversation about the need for open and honest communication between the two of you.

2. Do you understand the term ‘sequential monadic?’

a) No, but you’ll say yes anyway.

b) No, and you don’t want to.

c) Yes. It is a research methodology used to gain absolute rather than relative ratings of various aspects of the product being researched. Each product sample is tried in isolation, although the same respondents may try another sample at some later stage. It’s main drawback is (Okay, you’ve convinced me – Ed)

3. A member of your department, who constantly e-mails you with quotes from the latest book by David Aaker, has just run a press ad where the brand name was spelled incorrectly. Do you:

a) Remove all copies of the ad from the magazines in the office, but ask him to keep passing on the quotes so that you can keep sending them to your boss under your own name.

b) Praise him for having the logo in an extra large typeface.

c) Have a one on-one-meeting where you stress that ‘retail is detail’ and that the biggest insight in the world can be undone by the tiniest of errors.

4. It’s time for the annual review rating of your agencies. Do you:

a) E-mail the department asking them to list any screw-ups by the agency in the last year?

b) Forget the review, they’re fired anyway.

c) Begin by sending your form to the agency, asking them to use the same form to review you and your team first?

5. Your board is joined by a new VP Finance who constantly asks to see quantified post-evaluations of your major marketing programs, as proof that the marketing budget should be halved. Do you:

a) Retaliate by repeating the fact that there are actually more Bean Counters in his department than there are Brand Managers in yours, closing your argument with the phrase, ‘Hey, do we want to make it or just count it?’

b) Punch him.

c) Suggest you meet for a lunch outside the office to get to know each other a bit better.

SCORING: If you answered mostly:

A) While you grasp some of the basics, your ability to glibly bullshit your way through has resulted in your being over-promoted into your current position. However, you do not realize any of this as you really think that you are a marketing genius. Your staff and your agencies despise you, and you will be fired within the next 12 months.

B) You aren’t the VP of marketing, you’re the VP of Sales. What are you doing reading our magazine? Shouldn’t you be out there selling something? Because you are such a slacker, you will be fired within the next 12 months.

C) You are clearly well versed in the wide range of skills and knowledge necessary to succeed at this level. Your staff and agencies respect you and are inspired by you. However, all this is for naught as, due to a regional realignment, you will be fired within the next 12 months.

Twenty-plus years of marketing was enough for John Bradley; he left to do other things which interest him. He doesn’t write this column to pitch for work, but is just trying to help the next generation of marketers simplify an overly complex profession. He values and responds to feedback at Johnbradley@Yknotsolutions.com.