A Reflection On A Ten Year Milestone|
(Or, Our Pride Is Showing)
Hello, I'm Gary Kullberg, the CEO and founder of the Kullberg Consulting Group (KCG). Thank you for visiting our website as we celebrate our ten-year milestone. As the vast majority of new businesses fail well before their tenth anniversary, we are especially proud of our achievement, growth and the profitable results we've been able to achieve for our clients.
A Simple Beginning
Ten years ago, in March 1994, we said to prospects in our initial mailing:
"For some time now, I have been concerned about the increasing decline of the marketing communications industry. Somewhere along the line, quality of product went down, pricing for services went up, and the true integration of the disciplines of marketing communications never happened. In reaction to this, client trust went right out of the window.
Formally, let me introduce you to KCG, a unique strategic and executional resource designed to provide senior management with intelligent, cost efficient solutions, presented with candor, to their marketing problems."
We started with 34 well-known and well-respected marketing and marketing communications executives, who owned their own companies, not with the purpose of becoming a "global force", but rather to fill a small part of the enormous void created by the distrust between clients and their suppliers. Simply put, KCG was formed to return a meaningful business partnership to the development and execution of marketing communications programs.
What We've Learned
Only ten lessons learned in ten years? You bet. But, taken together, our ten-year milestone confirms our belief that KCG is truly an idea whose time has come. Your past is the strongest criterion that people have to judge your future performance. That being said, we continue to be optimistic about what's next for the Kullberg Consulting Group, such as our new service, Marketing Milestone. Please check it out.
- With little fanfare, the concept of KCG took hold and is constantly growing. Each year has, happily, been profitable. The last three years have seen one successful record breaking year after another. We've just begun.
- The work has been extraordinary, whether on a project or on-going basis. Packaging, graphic identity, branding, consumer and business-to-business advertising and public relations, market research, and other assignments drew praise from our clients, some of which are shown in the "Favorite Quotes" section of this website.
- Outsourcing the entire marketing or marketing communications function to KCG happened quite often. KCG has been shown on client organization charts as the outsourced Marketing and/or Marketing Communications Department, because these clients saw it as a real benefit. This relationship also had significant appeal to clients' Boards of Directors who appreciated its efficiency.
- Venture capital firms also saw the benefits of tapping into KCG. Many of these firms, while knowledgeable about their primary roles, are at a loss when it comes to evaluating or developing marketing budgets and plans, much less evaluating the specific strategies and executional elements accompanying them.
- The number of our strategic partners has nearly doubled. Today KCG consists of 59 executives who run their own companies but, when accessed, work directly on the KCG assignment at hand. All members understand that the whole is significantly more knowledgeable and talented than each part.
- The concept of KCG is still quite new and unknown to many. We've spent little time promoting ourselves. Under the radar? Absolutely. It allows us to concentrate on our clients' business.
One article, in the German equivalent of the Harvard Business Review, did however make us quite proud. In part, it said:
"I stayed in touch with Gary (from a prior article). I like and admire the man for his ethics, his candor and, last but not least, his expertise. … What those KCG experts offer is knowledge, experience and low overhead. Clients like that. As well as the quality of the consultants."
Dr. Kurt J. Altschul
- Over the last decade, our member companies have learned a lot from each other. Breaking down the barriers, so that public relations executives could finally work with advertising creative directors, or sales promotion executives could work with packaging specialists, has been not only a pleasure for the participants but also a very major benefit for our clients.
- There isn't any pressure to "sell" one discipline over another. Because of our unique structure, the correct solution and discipline can be applied to the specific challenge at hand. And, with a substantially improved chance of success, since strategic and executional solutions are coming from seasoned professionals. They aren't focused on getting industry awards. They already have them. Lots of them.
- Having our clients paying media, production and other suppliers directly builds even more trust. Especially in today's climate, eliminating any concerns over financial mischief speaks volumes. And relieves KCG of a large accounting department which, in turn, reduces overhead charges to clients.
- We've re-discovered how much satisfaction is generated with our clients' success. We work very hard and are well compensated for it. But pride of success with our clients is a very important factor. We view our clients not as "cash cows" but as partners.
Yes, our pride is showing. Thank you for listening.
Gary W. Kullberg