The hazards of marketing in the nude

"Only when the tide goes out do you discover who's been swimming naked." Warren Buffet

Beginning with the sub-prime crisis in America in 2008, the subsequent billion dollar earthquake shifted the economic landscape ever since.

Many are still paying the price today. According to a 2013 report by PricewaterhouseCoopers, the human cost of the financial crisis was the obliteration of 7 million jobs across the developed world.

When the tide goes out and the good times no longer roll, often the first jobs to be cut are from marketing. 

When the tides goes out, the bean counters can be unclear on marketing’s financial contribution to a company’s bottom line. The connection between marketing and sales is sometimes so vague that the mystery itself results in the death of the marketing position(s).

How to avoid nudity

History is a great teacher because it repeats itself. It tells us, like the preceding decades, there will be more financial crises to come.

Whatever and wherever your position, it’s common sense to safeguard your marketing career by consistently communicating the quantifiable value marketing delivers to the business.

Marketing your marketing

We’re not talking narcissistic self-promotion. We’re talking consistently showing the link - the cause and effect relationship between marketing and sales.

You need to be marketing your marketing.

Showcase the results in a presentation, email weekly reports – communicate with everyone who needs to see it. Educate your peers and superiors about what marketing delivers for the business.

Metrics that matter

Never before has the marketing profession been blessed with so much data around consumer behaviour.

It’s your responsibility to build reporting around measuring marketing’s influence on consumer behaviour.

Being able to extract measurable outcomes from marketing is key to ‘marketing your marketing.’ Because if you can measure it, you can manage it. And if you can manage it, you can showcase it.

According to Chuck Cohn from Forbes, 5 metrics to apply to sales and marketing are:

  1. Lead volume
  2. Conversion rate % - lead to client (sale)
  3. Lead quality
  4. Average transaction value (ATV)
  5. Customer acquisition cost

Educate marketing’s role

If someone at the office quizzes you with ‘what do you actually do’ – then you’re not marketing your marketing effectively.

For the uninformed, marketing is a mystery. For some, it’s making things look pretty. For others, it’s ‘all that website stuff.’

Put yourself in a strong position by educating your colleagues and superiors about marketing’s function and value-add to the business.

Here are three ways to educate:

  1. Provide case studies, showcasing results of marketing’s direct contribution to customer behaviour and sales;
  2. Be part of management meetings - show how you can add value across all departments; and
  3. Start a staff newsletter or monthly bulletin.

In summary

Avoid nudity. Keep your clothes on and build your career:

  1. Use metrics and data to showcase the positive relationship between marketing and sales/revenue;
  2. Educate those around you about marketing’s value; and
  3. Always be marketing your marketing.


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