Most building materials companies waste a lot of money on marketing. They spend a lot of money on the wrong message with the wrong tool aimed at the wrong audience.
The biggest reason for this is that the performance of marketing departments and their ad agencies are based on completing tasks and not on results. They are measured on two useless measurements.
1. Did they complete the project, such as a new website, on time and on budget?
2. Does the CEO (or worse, their spouse) like it?
They are not measured on the increased sales results of their efforts.
Why does your marketing team get a FREE PASS?
Everyone else is measured on results and not how busy they are. The CEO has to improve the financial position of the company in a way that can be measured. The sales department has to deliver measurable sales results. The performance improvements of purchasing and production are measured.
Marketing is too important not be held accountable for the money they spend.
There are two reasons why marketing gets a pass.
1. You let them. You should demand that each dollar be tied to a measurable increase in sales. You should ask, “If I approve the budget for this project, how much more will we sell? What date should I put in my calendar to expect you to show me the sales increase?”
Don’t let them give you meaningless marketing gibberish such, “It’s for the brand.” Any time you hear the word brand, they are trying to escape accountability.
Another trick marketing likes to do is to tell you good news that has nothing to do with the original objective such as, “We won an award” or “We got a bunch of Likes on FaceBook.” Did you spend the money to win an award or get more Likes? There have been a lot of award winning programs that were complete failures.
2. You don’t let them do marketing. You call it marketing but it’s really the department you go to for any creative sales tools such as flyers, websites and catalogs, etc. Many times, the sales department tells marketing what do. This is a sure way to waste money.
You should never go to them with an assignment, you should always go to them with a problem. And give them the assignment to develop a recommendation to solve the problem.
They usually should spend time in the field with sales people and customers to develop the best solution. If they’re not capable of developing effective measurable solutions, replace them or replace your agency.
There are a few building product companies, we can all think of who do great marketing. Most people assume that its because they have huge marketing budgets. It’s really about how smart they are with every dollar they spend.
Because most building product companies waste most of their marketing money, the ones who demand better results will easily outperform their competitors.
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