Sound a bit harsh? You’re right, maybe it’s not the brand manager you should fire. Maybe it’s the Marketing Director or the VP of Marketing…maybe it’s the CFO. But make no doubt about it, they should be fired…that is, they should be fired if they do what I’m about to describe.
If there is one thing that really gets my goat it’s when marketing does not show up for an industry trade show. I’m not talking about the little table top exhibits at regional event that sales can handle on their own. I’m talking about the big industry conferences that all your customers and potential customers attend. The ones that your competition has a presence at.
I’ve seen it way too many times. Marketing shows up for the final hours of set up to make sure the booth looks good. They stand back surveying their 20 x 20 foot kingdom and pat themselves on the back for how great it looks, and right there in the center aisle near the front, great placement. They put out a few brochures and check that their DVD is running on the big flat screens scattered throughout their booth. Yes, the DVD is excellent, such great production quality. They show how close attention they pay to detail…that one graphic in the corner is a bit off center, let’s get labor to fix that. Ok, we’re good to go. And off they go to get settled into their room and grab a nice dinner.
The next morning they are there an hour before the show opens to run the sales staff through the lead retrieval systems and make sure they understand that only visitors who get their badges swiped should receive the booth giveaway. Maybe they even talk about what the show goals are and why they are important. They spend a couple hours hanging out in the booth to make sure everything is running smoothly. Is traffic what they expected? How are we holding up on giveaways? Everything is good. Ok, gotta run and catch a plane back to the office. Good luck everyone.
I can’t help but wonder, why are they going back to the office? Maybe they need to get an RFP out the door for a customer research project. Maybe they are meeting with a firm who is doing a competitive analysis for them. Maybe they need to figure out why they are taking a hit in customer satisfaction on that new product they launched.
Guess what! All that information is right there in one building for three days. Why on earth are you going back to the office? A marketing person who does not want to be at the show for every second of every day it is running needs to be fired.
Now maybe they are not there because their bosses want to save money on the show by sending less staff. Maybe they want to be there but they are not allowed to be because some genius decided it was better to save the $500 on an extra two nights at the hotel and per diem. If that’s the case then just follow the money trail up the ladder and fire the person with whom the buck stops.
Firing them still seem harsh to you? Not to me; personally I would not ever want anyone that short sighted working for me. Do you? Really?
If you’re a brand manger that gets it start fighting to be at these events. If you’re a marketing person that disagrees with me, please tell me why you think I’m way off base.
If you like what you read here be sure to sign up for our RSS feed at the top right of this page. If you’d like to pay me to do what your marketing person should be doing, give us a call or drop us an e-mail or if Twitter’s your thing you can reach us at @tracibrowne.