Your product is only about 10% of what is required to achieve success

Wednesday February 18, 2009,

5 min Read

Developing corporate marketing strategies or enthralling the white-collar executives and top honchos worldwide with his motivational speeches, Bob Pritchard, International Marketer of the Year and CEO of Marketforce One, has been striding like a colossus in the global marketing arena since he brought Formula One to Australia some 24 years ago. He was recently in India to share his marketing acumen and interact with the bright entrepreneurial minds of Indian retail industry. Sukriti Sharma from YourStory caught up with him to know more about his entrepreneurial journey and the secret of being ‘Mr Marketing’. 

“I always wanted to be in control of my own destiny, to succeed on my own terms. I get a great buzz out of being creative, out of helping people succeed, out of achieving success by my own ingenuity. I'm not a 9-5 person. I love meeting successful people and in my career worldwide, I have done that. I learn something from everyone of them. You can't do that in a job, no matter how good the job is.” Pritchard was his jovial self as he spoke about his journey, which looked straight out of a Bollywood script of rags to riches story.

As a young boy, Bob Pritchard used to deliver morning milk, sell newspapers in the evening and, scavenge and sell scrap material in the weekends to make his ends meet. Selling was a matter of survival then. It’s an art now as he teaches 87 of the Fortune 500 companies how to market and sell their products in the market. His “Goosebumps” promotion for Frito Lay’s Smiths snack food Division resulted in a sales increase of 64.5 % ($115 million).

“Remember that although your product may be great, that is only about 10% of what is required to achieve success. The business model, business strategy, business plan, management, marketing strategy and plan, competitive analysis and exit strategy is 55%, global knowledge and the ability to source funding/joint venture/strategic relationship is 35%. Most entrepreneurs only get the 10% right. That is why over 99.5% of all new ventures fail.” YourStory couldn’t have expected a better introduction from Pritchard as we quizzed him on entrepreneurship.

"Keep learning, because if you're not learning, someone somewhere else is and when you two meet, they will win! You have worked too hard to let someone else win."

Pritchard himself has been an avid learner. Turn few pages of his life and you will know why.

Born in a dilapidated inner city suburb of Melbourne, Bob spent his first seven years in a small apartment with eight family members. Losing his father when he was young, a mother with cancer and a handicapped sister, childhood years were pretty tough.


However, he did well at school and once he reached his teens he began singing rock and roll at local dances.


After ten years as a performer- with over 400 singing and dramatic television appearances, and numerous successful recordings to his credit- to pay for his tertiary education, , Bob retired from performing to pursue his business and marketing career.

His first endeavors were in the entertainment arena, staging events, including 38 presentations at the Sydney Opera House. During this period he created the Australian Pops Orchestra.

For the next decade, Bob became involved in many business ventures, primarily involving the marketing of products, before joining Rupert Murdoch’s News Limited. Bob then became Marketing Director for Australia’s richest man, Kerry Packer’s PBL Marketing. At PBL, Bob’s responsibilities included marketing major Australian movies, the 7 nation World Series Cricket competition, Formula One motor racing, Skins Golf, health Clubs, and tours such as Opera legend Kiri Te Kanawa.

In 1988, Pritchard moved to US and founded Marketforce One, a consultancy firm.

“We study the product, the market and the competition until we know it so well that we know how to do it differently. We always look for the different angle, the unique business model. I don't try to necessarily be different; it's just that most business and marketing people are not very creative,” said Pritchard.

Some of the highlights of Pritchard and his company Marketforce One have been creating incentive programs for Japan’s giant Nissay Insurance; staff motivation video and intranet communications system for Citicorp; promotions for Ford; hospitality programs for Wilkinson Sword; global TV exposure for General Mills; retail shelf space for Southern Cross Snack Food; sampling programs for Dentsu; logos and brochures for Global Sports; 16 country, five continent multi-million dollar lifestyle project for The Coca-Cola Company; sponsorship programs for Anheuser Busch and unique positioning vehicles for Vons Grocery chain.

“The most important thing is to have fun! Enjoy what you are doing, do it with passion, love every minute. Make sure you balance work and play. Enjoy your family – we all grow up way too quickly,”

Pritchard ended the meeting on a high note for start-ups and SME entrepreneurs: “I think this credit crisis creates fantastic opportunities for business, particularly young businesses. Word of mouth is the best business driver. You get the best results when you are successful.”


To consult Bob Pritchard on business strategy, marketing, and advertising, pls write to us at [email protected].

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