I have no idea why marketing gets such a bad rap. I’m sick and tired of it personally. I can only guess that people are jealous because marketers have an awesome job where we get to throw parties and design cool stuff and don’t have to talk to customers every day. I would probably hate me too.
But here’s the thing: No one’s job is a walk in the park. Here are a few of my favorite stupid things I hear from non-marketers about marketing.
All Marketers Do Is Spend Money
I’ll admit, marketing can be expensive. Especially at organizations that struggle to pay their employees regularly. But here’s the thing. Good marketers pays for themselves. Marketers actually hate spending money, because we know we have to prove an ROI for every dollar we cost the company. I have never met a B2B marketer who’s like “I have this massive budget. I can’t wait to burn it on display ads and liquor!” It just doesn’t happen.
If you have a marketer on your team that you feel “only spends money”, most likely they have fallen victim to a few shortfalls:
- They didn’t state the projected return before spending the money. Doing this results in two outcomes – (1) Stated goals keep them honest and (2) Helps them get everyone on board with the expense beforehand – which avoids uncomfortable discussions later.
- You are making them buy crap for no reason. (Yes, this is a real thing) Don’t get mad at marketing for low ROI when you insist on buying thousands of pens to put at your $60,000 tradeshow booth that costs $20,000 just to ship. No wonder your event marketing isn’t working. You are setting it up for failure.
- They’re not tracking or reporting their return in KPIs that mean anything to you. Marketers speak marketing. “KPI” stands for “Key Performance Indicators” and if you didn’t know that chances are you don’t speak marketing. If marketing insists their campaigns are working and you’re not seeing evidence of that, most likely you have a failure to communicate. Explain to marketing exactly how you define success and ask them to explain to you how they define success. Without an agreed upon set of KPIs, you’re likely going to have a tough time understanding their value.
Those who can’t do, teach. Those who can’t sell, market.
I understand how this misconception would come to be. I tried direct sales. I did not enjoy it one bit. I’m not talking about the cooshy stuff most B2B account reps do. I mean I literally walked around Home Depot for 10 hours a day, 6 days a week trying to get people to sign up for in-home kitchen cabinet refacing consultations. I was paid $25 a lead. They called it “direct marketing” – I called it bullsh*t.
But that doesn’t mean I can’t sell. I have been told by many sales directors over the years that I have the personality and ear for it (whatever that means).
However, I don’t like being called 400 times a day to see if I’ve moved the pipeline $2 further than yesterday. I also don’t like to be in constant competition with the people on my same team. The stress of doing sales day in and day out is miserable. But somehow the puzzle of click-through-rates is exhilarating. It’s not that I can’t do your job – I just don’t want to.
Marketers are the drunk frat boys of the business world
Screw you. We all know that’s sales.
Marketing isn’t a real business discipline
Marketers have a bad rap for being stupid. People claim we don’t know anything about how business is done and, I’ll admit, I’ve perpetuated that stereotype from time to time to get out of boring meetings.
But the fact is that statement doesn’t make any sense.
I graduated from one of the most prestigious marketing programs in the world, Penn State. (WE ARE!) At the time our marketing program was ranked 16th in the world – THE WORLD! But they wouldn’t let me graduate with a business degree without also studying managerial accounting, finance, statistics, calculus and a host of other classes every business student studies. I just took a few more marketing classes than you and a few less [insert discipline] classes. That doesn’t mean I don’t understand business and you sound like a moron by saying that.
In conclusion, haters gonna hate. Marketers are going to continue to be professionally awesome. Also, I love Dilbert and you should buy all of their products. (No they did not pay me to say that.)