Be a Marketing Survivor by Living by the Numbers

In these economic times or any times, it is critical that Marketing and other departments leaders pay attention to the numbers. Marketers and Marketing leaders are usually the first to get cut during operational expense reductions.  I have found that if I hope to survive the challenges placed before me, I better live by the numbers, no matter how strategic I am told or know I need to be.  A few key metrics I believe are critical are as follows:

  • 80 % – 90% of every Marketing dollar spent must have a clear ROI (mostly revenue oriented).  There is no tolerance anymore for unchecked spend.
  • 10% – 20% of every Marketing dollar spent should be strategic in nature because if I am not forward thinking, how do I stay relevant for my business.  Use these dollars wisely to shake up the thinking on the team.
  • Every 3 months, put the bottom 10% to 20% poor performers on performance plans or release them.  This shows strength to management and to the strongest team members, as well as motivates average contributors.  I owe it to all of my team members, even the poor performers, to help them develop themselves.  I have been able to develop poor performers into strong performers, but you have to be honest with them.  The stronger poor performers get, the better I am able to achieve organizational goals.
  • At least once a year, remove the bottom 10% to 20% of your workforce and replace them with forward thinkers, innovators, “new skill players”, and “worker bees”.  This shows a willingness to make tough decisions.  It also protects stronger workers from being vulnerable when cuts are mandated by finance and the CEO/President.

Treat these numbers as directional.  Also, they probably have relevance to most divisions within an organization, not just Marketing.  What other numbers do you think are relevant to managing your departmental budget?  Please add a comment.

45 Comments to “Be a Marketing Survivor by Living by the Numbers”

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