March 10, 2009

The Marketing Zephyrs

Filed under: Marketing Philosophy, Marketing Tactics, Meeting Marketers — Robert John Ed @ 4:28 pm

People online often refer to corporate marketers in a bad light.  They say, “those corporate marketing departments,” though they will seldom actually point out people within an organization.  It’s easy when you’re the small guy, you have very little to lose.  A lot of this is attention seeking, a lot a genuine disenchantment with what corporate marketers are doing.  Still they will not put a name to a face or vice versa, they’ll just critique the company.  These marketing zephyrs (this means that they are invisible, intangible and gone quickly) and are horrible, incorrigible, preposterous!


Yet these people running the organizations are generally incredibly intelligent people.  They’ve been formally trained and spend a great deal (more than writers) of time analyzing and planning out marketing campaigns and ideas.  It’s not an easy job either.  Did you know the average tenure of a CMO is 22 months or so?  Not a long time.  Cynics will argue that it’s because they do a poor job.  That’s probably a valid argument, but the fact is that pulling together such an egregious amount of resources and coordinating tactics while often reorganizing company strategy is ridiculously difficult.  The average person just isn’t informed or trained in a manner that would allow them to do it.  Yet the pundits keep on churning out the vitriole.  I have no specifics I’m referring to, it’s just something that happens every day with marketers (hell, I did this often enough) on the interwebs.  And it’s probably a good thing, it stirs up conversation and gets people thinking.

Last night I saw a great presentation from a marketing manager from Kimberly Clark on Scott Paper Towels and their strategy/tactical implementations over the last two years within the Spanish segment (the Dicho-Nario!).  It was a very well done campaign and made a big splash.  But what caught my attention was that he pointed out at the end of the day, what did it do for sales revenues?  It did very well, but that’s beyond the point.  The point is that many people who actively write about advertising and promotions aren’t really thinking about the cash register, they are thinking about branding.  Which is all well and good, but it isn’t how most organizations actually operate.  They operate on dollars and sense.


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