Marketers under more pressure to create business value

marketing haIn an age where it’s harder to attract and retain profitable customers, marketers are being asked to clearly demonstrate the value of their marketing efforts.   Still, only 1/4 of marketers can answer the question, “What is marketing’s impact on the business?”  Is this a case of bad marketing, bad marketers or a little bit of both?

How much money is wasted on ineffective marketing?  20%, 40% 80%?  The truth is that it’s a lot a varies by brand, organization and product category. Too many marketers have been taken in by social media scam “experts” who have popular blogs, but have never actually worked for a large consumer brand.  This has led to money being wasted on things like a fancy Facebook page or sinking hundreds of thousands of dollars into a fancy website that consumers ignore while ignoring essential marketing essentials like the four “P’s”.

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I recently had a CPG client who, between a social media strategy and website, had spent close to a million dollars with an agency here in the Boston area.  While it produced a great looking Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Website the sales of the product remained flat and were starting to decline. After meeting with several business stakeholders I recommended that we test compelling marketing messages with our target audience and integrate this message in their packaging and POP displays.  The result?  In a test at Target sales increased a whopping 38% in 3 months.  It seemed that the compelling message at the “moment of truth” was a lot more effective than a website.

This is a great example of creating business value by understanding how consumers make their purchasing decisions and what was the most important thing we could do to impact conversions.  To me, it’s marketing 101 but I always try and think like a consumer first and marketer second.

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Too many marketers are wasting a lot of money on “the business of marketing”.  A recent list of the top marketing people followed online indicated that there were very few who were actually marketing people.  Instead, they were trying to sell their books, get speaking engagements or promoting their agencies looking for the next victims.

The bottom line: Know your market, audience and organization and invest marketing dollars that can be tied to conversion.