If you’re like most business owners or marketing executives, in 2012 you looked at your marketing as a cost center. We've all done it. You assumed your marketing would cost you more than you could measure that it added to your bottom line. History and experience told you that is how marketing should be considered.
So you created a budget sometime in Q4 2012 and allocated ‘spend’ based on what you believed it would take to achieve certain unmeasurable objectives like increasing visibility, improving awareness or launching a new product, taking into account competitive market conditions and business goals. If you did this, your 2013 is going to be a lot like 2012 and marketing will again be a marginally valuable cost center. Is this kind of marketing effective? Is it making your business more competitive? Does this kind of marketing support your revenue goals? What if instead you required that your marketing investments were directly tied to revenue or better, more revenue than they cost?
Marketing Should Take a Cue from Sales in 2013
When I first started in sales, most people at the time assumed that selling success was largely a genetic thing. Some people were just naturally talented revenue generators just like some people seem to be born as gifted artists or musicians. You either had it or you didn't. But Xerox and others challenged that perception with the idea that all successful sales people had certain behaviors in common and that those behaviors could be taught, developed, improved and repeated. Successful selling was a process, not an art. Over time the entire CRM industry evolved from this one simple notion. Similarly, it’s a trap to assume that successful marketing is an art. Doing so leads to the idea that marketing should be viewed as an unmeasurable or subjective activity and a (bottomless) money pit with no hope of measurably contributing to revenue. On the contrary, successful marketing results from a process that you follow faithfully and refine continuously.