Friday, October 13, 2006

Are You Multilingual?

No, I'm not asking if you speak French. Do you speak the language of the people who approve your marketing budget?

I can't tell you how many times I've heard the classic marketing group complaint: "We have no resources. How can we accomplish what we're supposed to with this budget? Don't they understand why we need to do more marketing?"

Here's the reality: to the CFO and the COO marketing is overhead. It's an expense. They want to keep expenses down. That's you.

MarketingProfs continues its "Mistakes Marketers Make" series with a short article on this subject called Failing to Speak the Language of Business.

When you are justifying marketing expenses to the executives at your company, you need to tell them what what you do helps business - not brand awareness. You understand that brand awareness and web site improvements and all of that relate to profitability. That's not as clear to non-marketers, who often see you as a bunch of people making pretty stuff, a necessary evil that doesn't really contribute to the bottom line.

Remember the old Dilbert cartoon, where Dilbert was sent to the marketing department - which had a big sign over the entrance reading, "Welcome to Marketing - Two Drink Minimum"? You're battling that feeling that marketing is a way to burn cash. 

When you're making the case for your budget and your staff (and your own salary!) make sure you are making it in terms that mean something to the people who write the checks.  

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