5 Marketing Myths The C-Suite Still Believes Because We Let Them

by Jim Berkowitz on October 12, 2010

Here is a synopsis of a really great post by Rob Rose, Chief Troublemaker at Big Blue Moose, 5 Marketing Myths The C-Suite Still Believes Because We Let Them.  Be sure to check out the complete source article for more!

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).

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..

1. Sales And Salespeople Should Be Separated From The Marketing Process- In many organizations there is still an “Us vs. Them” mentality – where once the ‘formal hand-off’ of the customer takes place, – neither side pays attention any more.

2. Marketing Results & Budgets Are Linearly Related – 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..). The converse is true as well. Doubling the marketing budget does not mean the number of sales will double. Now, in fact – if we’re really successful they may indeed triple with more money.

3. Marketing = Advertising – There are CEOs and (especially) CFOs 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. It’s not just paid media and managing the agency – it’s creating original, optimized content. Marketing is engaging the customer in conversation and developing deeper relationships with our constituencies.

These are not just new media platforms that marketing will throw money into; they are fundamental changes to the process in our organization. The C-Suite needs to understand that all of these things are changing how we go-to-market – and are not just new line items in our precious budgets.

4. Since Digital Marketing Is So Fast – Results Should Come Just As Fast- 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.

The reality is that even though the feedback loops of our efforts have become smaller and more tightly coupled – the customer buying process is more complex than ever. The same tools that make it easier for us to reach consumers, give them MANY more inputs for making decisions.

5. 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.

I read a wonderful book recently called “Street-Fighting Mathematics – The Art of Educated Guessing and Opportunistic Problem Solving”. The author summed the myth of relying too much on analytics well when he said: “too much mathematical rigor teaches rigor mortis: the fear of making an unjustified leap even when it lands on a correct result.”

Guess What: We Create Our Own Reality

The key thing we need to remember about all these myths is that, in most cases, they are not perpetrated UPON us; they are perpetuated BY us.  We allow them to be.  In other words, it’s our actions and our beliefs that allow most of these myths to continue.

As we continually strive to be better marketers for our customers, we’ve got to also strive to be better educators to our management team.  It’s 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.

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