Totally agree with this article, you should cut Marketing, but you do need to spend the money on Marketing wisely.

In the past it didn't seem to matter what we did as we always made our number.

The Big Marketing Rip Off

I was talking to one of my team the other day and they had been privy to sight of a report prepared by the marketing department.

The marketing team are running a “social selling programme” and have been doing so for some time in this business. They take-over LinkedIn accounts and they send inmails and try to connect to key targets whilst explaining what they do and why this matters. They buy display ads on LinkedIn too which they see as an “awareness raising” activity with a more traditional click through to a website/download objective.

I don’t know what the budget for this was but I do know that they achieved quarter of a million impressions. I also know that this resulted on a 0.5% download rate of a pdf. And this was being reported as a success.

I know that where I come from a 99.5% failure rate isn’t a success.

My point is, in the land of the blind the one eyed man is king. Where an organisation is caught between what they did and what they know they need to do there is an area of calm water where nothing seems to be happening and I expect that this organisation is in exactly that place now. No matter which way you cut it 99% failure rate isn’t sustainable for any business and the sooner they recognise this the better. We talk to so many companies where they have a hole in the September, October and November pipeline, but marketing insist on living in a pre-covid_19 world!

The problem is though that in the move to social you can’t get a little bit pregnant. You have to make the decision and take the plunge. This company is hoping that the corporate-account-running-inmail-sending-automated-personalisation strategy will help bridge the gap between the old way of working and the new. But however much you want that to be the case though it simply won’t work. This marketing-run centralised approach has netted barely more than 20 new targeted connections, whereas the sales teams that are really social selling have achieved an average of 500 new targeted connections per person.

This doesn’t mean that marketing doesn’t have a role, but it does meant that marketing will need to take a different sort of role from now on. A role of guiding providing insights, empowering, Sterling and reporting/measuring.

At a fundamental level there is a risk that marketing can end-up being seen as a cost rather than an investment because it used to be the case that marketing would create desire and qualify prospects and then those leads would be passed to sales. And this worked because the buyer wasn’t empowered and because it was difficult to find who your competitors were and because there was no way of seeing whether you were telling the truth or not. “We are the market leader with 100% satisfaction guaranteed” would be a tough stamens to disprove. Now of course marketing is in many cases an additional step between the salesperson and the prospect that simply isn’t needed because the prospect can find the seller and the seller can find the prospect…

There’s a good book about this!