‘So, you are a marketing exec, then you must be like one of my colleagues constantly asking for expense budgets?’, Marianne asked me and smiled. She was actually not joking about it. Surely it was not the first time I’ve hear people constantly viewing marketing as an expense.
‘You are actually only partially right’, I replied to her. ‘Marketing can very well be just an expense if done wrong, but it should be the most important investment in the future of a company’.
Looking back to some of the issues I have encounter when dealing with business owners and senior managers, I can now honestly say that a lot of them still see marketing as an expense and when going into an in-depth analysis for a business diagnosis, I came to the conclusion that they were actually quite right. Their entire marketing budget was just a big uncontrollable and ad-hoc expense.
The first premise is that if you are considering marketing an expense, most definitely this is true for your case and should consider setting up a performance oriented marketing department, emphasizing the efforts on those activities that guarantees conversions and return, an investment not an expense.
Second premise is that failing to see Marketing as part of the value chain means that the company is eliminating the input of marketing from the value delivery and is limiting the department to a cosmetic and supporting function deployed in an ad-hoc manner.
Marketing & sales (sometimes one department in some firms) are core business activities. It needs to add value to the end service and optimize & enhance the existing services, cross sale and up sale for share of wallet[, the new strategic paradigm.
Third premise is that seeing a marketing department as a support department sets-up the business for oblivion, being unaware or unconscious of what is happening around on the tactical level. Too many firms are stuck in the past when it comes to business development techniques and tools. An entrepreneur should always assume that what used to work in the past might not work any more because nowadays the customer behaviour is changing rapidly.
Excerpt from the ‘Marketing Imperatives for Service Firms – 2019’ – click on the image below for a copy.