It doesn’t happen often, but when I’m asked what I’d do if I were the CEO of [Big Company] tomorrow, I have only one answer: fire the marketing department.
I always hope that the person asking will have the patience to wait around for my explanation, just like I’m hoping you will read on! Because I hasten to add, that I’d hire them (well, most of them) immediately again, just with a new contract which instead of “Marketing” lists their department as “Scaled Sales”. So welcome to the CSSO (Chief Scaled Sales Officer, just to be clear).
It’s simple really, marketing should ultimately serve no other purpose than to increase sales.
What does this mean at a more practical level? It means that the days of measuring a marketing department on intangibles like awareness or brand affinity are gone (I’ll have another post on this), now they’ll be expected to deliver sales!
From a budgeting point of view, it places the onus on them to ensure that the money they are investing is exactly that, an investment, rather than an expenditure. This takes us away from the days of setting one marketing budget annually and then just trying to spend that money. All too often, I’ve heard of companies either buying randomly to ensure all the money is spent at the end of the year or, even worse, halting mid-month because the budget is spent. Even if valuable leads were being generated.
It reminds me a bit of the time I ordered a pepperoni pizza at a great little joint in Norwich, UK and was told I couldn’t get it because they had run out of chili. I hesitated and then boldly asked whether they could put garlic on instead. She told me she would ask … A brief pause later and she returned to say, yes, yes they could. True story.
If your marketing efforts are indeed scaling sales as they should be, then you should be constantly ensuring that as long as that’s happening, you’re there.