Consider this: Maybe, they didn’t receive a good marketing education. Maybe they base their beliefs on antiquated marketing strategies. Maybe they believe that sales is all that is needed…
But regardless of their beliefs or education, some marketing myths do die hard… and they should not be reincarnated. You, as a good marketer, work hard at educating your customers about your products, services, and company. But, in order to obtain the budget to gain and keep your customers – you need to educate your management team.
How to do that? According to Rob Rose, Chief Content Strategist of the Content Marketing Institute, “As much attention as we’re paying to new platforms like Search, Mobile and Social Media, and to conversing more effectively with our customers and prospects – it would seem we’re still not getting through to those who still feel like marketing is “a boat that I pour money into on the hopes that I’ll eventually get to use it” (an actual quote from a CEO).
(I say that comment is scary indeed and comes from a CEO who definitely needs some intense marketing education!)
But, let’s get to the real highlights of Rob’s article, which should help you educate your management people:
5 Marketing Myths
Over the last month, I’ve had the pleasure to visit with more than 10 client companies. They range in size from a five-person startup, to a mid-sized non-profit to a billion dollar global corporation. And a fascinating trend emerged during those visits. For all the progress we’ve made as digital marketers, The C-Suite in organizations of all sizes, still has some die-hard beliefs about marketing that need busting.
Here are five of them in no particular order…
- Sales & Salespeople Should Be Separated From The Marketing Process
This is still common. And it’s still amazing to me when an organization’s management separates the sales team from the marketing process. In many organizations, there is still an “Us vs. Them” mentality – where once the ‘formal handoff’ of the customer takes place, – neither side pays attention anymore.
- Marketing Results & Budgets Are Linearly Related
This one is going to be tough to shake. We’ve become so focused on making digital marketing a “science” with analytics and measurability – that its now viewed as such by some CEO’s and CFO’s. We’ve got to start communicating that a 10% reduction in marketing does not necessarily mean a mere 10% reduction in success metrics (leads, customers, page-views etc.)
- Marketing = Advertising
It’s amazing that this one still persists with so much emphasis on conversation, engagement and content on the marketing process. But it’s still out there. There are CEO’s and (especially) CFO’s out there that still view marketing as “money for media buys”. The reality, as we all know, is that the role of marketing is expanding.
- Since Digital Marketing Is So Fast – Results Should Come Just As Fast
This one is directly connected to #3 above – and is also a tough one to shake. These days, we can be so quick with results on experiments ranging from search marketing, optimizing content, polls and other direct feedback – that somehow the expectation has emerged that results should come just as fast. I visited one organization where the marketing budget was increased in August, and linear results were expected for September (see #2 above).
- If We Can’t Quantify The Results – We Shouldn’t Do It
This is where analytics has the potential to become what I call WMD - or a weapon of mass delusion. In some cases our C-Level managers are expecting every graph to continually go up and to the right. Any deviation from that sets us up for the sideways glance, the uncomfortable meeting, the reduced budget, and more questions (see #2 above).
As Rob summarizes, “it is up to us to work as hard on our internal communication and marketing strategy, as it is on our customer facing one. Otherwise, we’ll perpetuate that most famous of all marketing myths…Everybody’s got two jobs… theirs…and marketing.”