Myth 1: Marketing Is Under Sales Budget
FACT: Marketing is NOT synonymous with Sales. Neither is it a subsidiary, an entrée, or feeder/filter system for sales. Nor is it customer service, technical support, sales management, or CRM maintenance. It is not even completely encompassed in the broadest interpretation of advertising.
Make sure Marketing gets its own budget.
“How much is enough?” This question gets bantered around too many leadership teams and there is no right answer. Truthfully, the only wrong answer is $0.00; yet this is quite often the default or intended target. Budgets should be granted with enough size that they could actually accomplish the desired results. The sweet-spot is the delicate balance between ‘ample resources’ and ‘swift resourcefulness’.
Marketing is the sum total of all communications by a company, brand, organization, or group.
Note 1: Listening IS part of communication.
Note 2: It is impossible to not communicate.
Every business needs overall strategic market planning (2-5 years out) as well as understanding of the tactical (daily, weekly, monthly, annual) activities to bring desired communications into fruition.
Myth 2: Marketing Is Someone Else’s Responsibility.
FACT: EVERYONE shares responsibility of marketing. Sure there is a specific budget and a department that focuses on it; but it is equally important that the accounting/billing, operations, product design, production, financing, human resources, etc. be versed well enough that marketing actually becomes part of the culture of the business.
Savvy marketers have always understood the value of building lots of connection points between audiences, business, and the products/services they offer. They design these connections directly into the products/services they offer.
Myth 3: Audiences Can Be Lumped Into Homogenous Demographics
FACT: Audiences are incredibly diverse and complex. Rather than defining them by demographics, they are best understood by their actions/activity. Every business, product, brand, organization, etc. has multiple audiences that are critical to its growth. A small brand might have as many as 30-100 separate audience groups.
Each of these audiences wants to either hear something different or hear it in different ways. This is as much about the message as the messenger. Print, TV, Radio, and Out-of-home once dominated such communication; but now yield influence to blogs, podcasts, white papers, independently published research, customer/peer reviews, social media (posts as well as responses), videos, and an increasing number of self-curated options. Audiences consume, contribute, and share information with insatiable appetites during all times of day.
However, consumers (both businesses and individuals) are selective about the information they wish to find and how they invest their attention. Brands who seek to influence their audiences’ thoughts rather than dominate them find better results.
Have you fallen into the traps of these myths? Feel free to share your solutions in the comments section below.
Questions are always welcome as well.