“Since managers realized they had to deal with a steep recession there appeared to be a disconnect between the budget cuts and layoffs that some businesses are implementing and what many naive marketing writers are saying businesses should do,” said Agnes Lamont, vice president at MarketingSage Corp. “This guide looks at the hard realities faced by chief marketing officers and highlights what’s worked for those who survived the last recession.”
In a recession, the idealists argue for a realignment of marketing resources, staff preservation and investments in brand building. The arguments have academic merit, but fail to address the cash crisis faced by the chief executive officer, chief financial officer and shareholders. This idealism often drives a wedge between CMOs and other executives that ultimately results in marketing decisions being made by less qualified individuals empowered to preserve cash and drive immediate revenue. “Cash is king” in a recession so CMOs usually lose this argument, and often their jobs.
Pragmatic executives on the other hand realize that hard decisions and the right business decision are often the same. They slash marketing budgets early and if they find that revenue generation programs are under funded, they recover a discretionary budget by cutting staff and outsourcing program management. By outsourcing their marketing, businesses only pay for the services they need as they need them. This heavy emphasis on near term revenue generation, even at the expense of long term objectives, allows firms to survive, rehire and thrive again.
The CMO’s Recession Survival Guide is one of a series of tools and articles that MarketingSage associates can use to educate and help their clients and prospective clients. It’s part of MarketingSage’s Words To The Wise ™ series available free at www.marketingsage.com/w2w
MarketingSage (www.marketingsage.com) is a US-based contracted marketing team that helps other marketers and business executives increase revenue by cost-effectively generating sales leads, building brands, launching products and developing sales channels. MarketingSage is more effective than typical agencies because its associates are highly motivated business owners (franchisees) with years of experience in their clients’ industry. Associates are trained, equipped and supported in their delivery of best-practice marketing programs. MarketingSage was founded in 2001 and serves national and international clients.