Where Has All the Marketing Gone?

Analysis paralysis.  Death by committee.  Group consensus.  Let me check the pro forma.

I am not saying that we shouldn’t exercise due diligence.  And I am not saying we shouldn’t solicit valuable opinions or make sure that the plans are intact and the budgets are in line.  All of that is a must-do.

As someone that grew up in the direct marketing world and has seen it transform from database marketing to direct marketing to CRM to one-to-one marketing to our current world of (largely digital) self-selected marketing –  I am a firm believer that “everything starts and ends with data.”  Yes – we must analyze, market, analyze results and re-market based on learnings.  But sometimes we need to just get on with it.

As marketers we know when things are just right.  We have a gut check and a sense for great work.  And, yes, we have the data to back it up (most of the time, anyway).  So when did we become paralyzed? When did we stop spending our entire marketing budgets and start giving money back to our CFOs every quarter?

Newsflash: When a marketing department is under budget you are not supporting your sales force or sales efforts.  Coming in under budget (at least in planning) is as bad as a sales force not making its numbers.  No, we shouldn’t spend for spending’s sake (that’s another post altogether), but we should spend to support business growth.  We should spend to ensure that the sales team has the support it needs to open the deal or move the deal along or, of course, close the deal.  Yes, we should be there all along the selling continuum or the customer journey – ensuring that there is a positive brand perception in a very cluttered and crowded marketing world.  In a world where consumer marketing and b2b marketing collide, a world where home life and work life merge – we need to persevere with what we know works: thoughtful, insightful, tried and true marketing.  Marketing that your gut tells you is just right, just perfect and makes all the sense in the world.

Let’s keep analyzing, but stop over-analyzing.  Let’s spend, but spend wisely.  Let’s help businesses grow!

Let’s do great marketing and make business relevant again.

by Keith Turco

President – New York

Cross-posted at Ignite Something on the Forbes CMO Network