Four Things Marketing Should Say “No” About in 2013
Are you feeling the love yet? Have you been saying “Yes” more often than a room full of sycophants? Good for you. Last week we looked at the strategic power of some early-year Squirrel Love. Now it’s time to remember that someone has to be the grown-up at this party and be prepared to say “No” rather a lot. Here are four things (among so very many) that should invoke that word:
Say No to the Show:
Now, I love a trade show as much as the next Swag Hag, and my supply of branded lens cleaners and blinky things is sadly low, but I can’t honestly think of a bigger waste of money in a shorter amount of time than your average trade show. You can see my rants on the subject in the related links below, but suffice to say that I think most of these things are a pretty poor excuse for marketing, and we’re egged on by sales because, when all the booths, celebrity look-alikes and, heaven help us, popcorn machines are put away, all we really have is a bunch of names. And names are what the Squirrels collect in their pudgy little cheeks.
I will grant you that a good show is also a wonderful place to build credibility, discredit your competitors, and launch a product, but I would challenge you to drop one show from your calendar this year and try doing some other lead generation with the budget.
Say No to the Foursome:
A foursome in a golf tournament hosted by ANYONE is a sales expense. Period. It’s a big steak dinner with a sunburn. Make sales pay.
Say No to the Warm-and-Fuzzy:
I love warm and fuzzy. Kittens, orphans, rain forests—the whole shebang. I think corporations have a responsibility to fling rude amounts of money to help fix stuff. I am almost constantly approaching businesses for money in the course of my volunteer work, and I think marketers need to say “No” to the vast majority of these requests for one reason: it’s NOT marketing; it’s much more important than that. Decisions about supporting charitable organizations should not be made by sales, marketing, finance or anyone south of the Corporate Overlords. Our job is to push those things up there and be a relentless, annoying voice that urges them to get on with helping out. Let’s not confuse charitable giving, however, with sponsorship. That one is ours.
Say No to Sponsorships:
Not all sponsorships, but most of them. My experience is that the majority of them deliver very little value, and serve only to make us feel briefly noble. For the most part, sponsorships are a lot of phone calls, a vague agreement, a whopping big cheque and a lot of logo files being transferred. Then we sit around like the AV Club on prom night hoping someone will call and not being even slightly surprised that they don’t. If you’re over-run by sponsorship renewals you don’t even recall agreeing to in the first place, say “No” to every single one of them. Then make them earn their crust by showing you some value. Your logo on a banner in a hallway is not value. Neither is a speaking session at 4pm or having your name on the dessert table (see charitable giving above).