Sunday, August 26, 2012

Your Marketing Director's Desk Is A Prison

Call #1: If you're a CEO, President or Managing Partner, call your Director of Marketing's office line three times in the next week.

If she or he picks up the phone, ask the following: What are you doing right now?

Truth is, it makes no difference. If they are at their desk all three times (or even two out of three times), ask yourself why you have a Director of Marketing.  Is it to be your "on call" marketing doer?  If so, then you either need to rethink the person you have in that role or what you expect of that role.  Or both.

As Marketing gets more and more technical, I've seen the role of marketer become more and more of a "desk jockey" position – creating blog posts, finessing SEO, scrubbing webinar lists, and etc.  Important work, no doubt, but is this what you want from a Marketing Director? Let me answer the question for you: No.  Sometimes, yes, but not all the time.

There is much debate about the moment when marketing becomes business development and business development becomes sales.  As well as where the hand-off needs to be for efforts and campaigns.  And there should be that debate.  It's important. So important that I suggest you have a 90 minute strategy meeting on this single point alone.
> On the soccer field, I've seen many coaches tell their defense never to cross the center line.  And for the attackers not to cross it the other way.  In both cases, this seems foolishly limiting to the flow of the game and, often, means there is a gap in both defense and attack.  
However, marketing needs to at least hand off the baton in motion (think relay race) and this requires getting away from their desk and working with both internal and (gasp!) external customers and groups.

Call #2: If you're the CEO, President or Managing Partner, call your Director of Marketing's office line, and ask another question: Which trade groups or associations do you belong to?  (Or use good grammar if you prefer.)

If the answer is "None" or all the groups have the word "Advertising," "Marketing" or "Social Media" in it, then you either need to rethink the person you have in that role or what you expect of that role.  Or both.

If your Marketing lead is a Manager and not a Director, simply search & replace those words in this post.

If your Marketing lead is a Coordinator or Specialist, then you are off the hook.  As far as this post goes, anyway.  You are either just starting up or have bigger issues.