I couldn’t help but jump on the bandwagon with this post and share some of the stuff I’ve heard over the years managing a team of marketers or working in different companies. Some of the sh*t that marketers say to get a program approved or in a meeting is pretty dumb.
Here are some classics:
1. We’re doing this for strategic reasons. This is a classic cover-up for a program that requires significant funds/resources but doesn’t have a chance of making the company a nickel anytime soon (eg. no ROI). It’s also questionable whether the program has any competitive rationale but someone has deemed this project as valuable.
2. ……because the CEO/COO/CMO said so. This is usually the answer you get when someone has no idea why the company wants the marketing department to develop a new product or launch a new program. It’s usually an indication that it’s a pet project for some senior executive to scratch his creative itch.
3. The strategy is to achieve more sales! Uh oh, we’re confused about what the difference is between a strategy and an objective. You hear this type of stuff when an engineer or sales person gets put in to a marketing role. Your first instinct is to run and hide but you can’t. All you can do is ask some penetrating questions like……how do we want to define “more sales”?
4. This program will reduce customer churn by 25% versus plan/budget. If I had a nickel for every time I heard a business pitch that would reduce churn, I’d be a millionaire! Some programs do help to reduce customer churn BUT trying to measure the impact a single program has on churn is extremely difficult at best. It’s a great way to try and slide a program through when there isn’t a strong business case for it.
5. What a brilliant idea! What the person is really thinking is….this program will NEVER work. You have to hand it to Steve Jobs, he was never afraid to tell people that ideas were bad or that some projects should be shut down right away. Saying no, is part of the strategic process, get used to saying it and you will save everyone a lot of wasted effort.