So I'm trying to figure out how to take a medieval marcoms operation into the 20th century, and the peasants are revolting. Not us peasants in the marcoms team, who are dancing with St Vitus (see the Wikipedia
article and a Saints Encylopedia
for more information about this 16th Century German mania). The other peasants - the worker bees who pay the bills and those who count how many flyers we sent. But now people are saying that we need to stop being creative and generate wildly successful collateral, and start to concentrate on "da purosesu
"... Time for a rant!The Lunatics are taking over the Asylum!
Since when can you excite (careful word selection to avoid "delight") customers when you're up to your ears with nuts and bolts? Since when can you generate truly impactful marketing communications with lists of ingredients and spadefuls of product info and dosage bullshit that should be printed in 5 point italic Times New Roman on the disclosure statement?
When the discussion degenerates into accountants trying to tell me that the photographs are too small (when the material tests really positively with real customers), and box-stuffers telling me that we need to get a second bid on that service we got for free from some people who think we're cool - then the world's a crazy, mixed-up place. Forget anarchy and civil war...now the meek (read pencil sharpeners) are really trying to inherit the earth!I'm coming out of the closet!
Gentle Readers, I want to use this blog space to proclaim to the blogosphere that I'm part of a bunch of prophets that's going around the world trying to talk to people about making marcoms accountable
, and transparent
to the C-Suite (Boardroom for Brits!). That exercise goes by the name of Marketing Operations Management, Enterprise Marketing Management, mumble mumble - suffice to say there's about 5 abbreviations fighting for the space.
It's embarrassing, but I believe that numbers and evidence for decision-making is important. Heck, I've done over a quarter of a million air miles this year trying to get other people to understand it. I've explained to accountants and logistics people how to aggregate data into actionable insights, how to create predictive metrics that allow for pre-emptive interventions, how to make the marcoms world a better place. I've told communicators and marketers about my secret shame - I love analysis that shows me how to excite customers
and drive our brand engagement through the roof.Some simple math
Here's the point - the only things that add
value to a business are those things that contribute to the brand. Like marketing, R&D, aspirational collateral etc etc. Everything else is part of a process of extracting
that added value and turning it into green folding stuff. And last time I looked at my Grade 1 arithmetic textbook, this is subtraction - x minus y equals z. And anytime y is bigger than x, the result is going to be a negative
Now it took humanity until the 16th century (see this brief explanation
) to invent negative numbers, and a further 100 years or so until Descartes first used the term imaginary numbers
. But now, the lunatics are suggesting that we need to invest more in the extraction (via processes and ROI calcs that either stop the whole locomotive or make it so slow-to-market that it's worthless) rather than the creation of value! Subtraction that generates a negative number. And negative numbers are imaginary - try going to Walmart and offering negative $99
for a DVD player!Get to the point, Terry!
Here's the point - someone has to come around with the straitjacket and get these lunatics out of my way. Sure, use your number and your data to get insights...but make sure that the result is more exciting stuff, rather than a huge folder of numbers and Excel spreadsheets that bury good ideas.
Or am I an idiot?