As a Marketing Manager for two hotel resorts, I became very familiar with the challenges of operating a successful marketing effort. I relished the challenges of predicting consumer trends, monitoring competitors and executing sound strategy, but then I learned about the real challenges that doomed the effort before it even began.
Over the years the company, had been slowly and quietly lowering the ceiling for it’s own marketing and business success. As a young, enthusiastic new member of the company, it wasn’t long before I bumped my head on that ceiling. The unforeseen forces I encountered were 1. Corporate politics, 2. Partner loyalties and 3. Fear of change.
It was these same forces, I would learn later in my career, that plague so many companies.
When hired, I had been under the assumption that I was free to pursue ideas that, simply speaking, would make the company more money, and if the “Company” itself was something that made decisions, I am sure my enthusiasm would have been encouraged. But too often I was dealing with people that could not be sufficiently objective – bringing baggage packed full of ego and fear and short attention spans. It isn’t that I was oblivious to the relationship part of business, but I was very suprised to see how often good ideas got derailed.
At that point I did what I think many Directors, marketing or otherwise, do – Rewriting their job description to fit within the walls, floor and ceiling of the company and in essence becoming one of those that protects my job and my comfort zone from the prospects of change. In my case, I reverted to a position where I simply focused on the rather mundane, repetitive, comfortable tasks: getting the brochure out on time, getting lower prices from vendors, and standing ready to cut the budget at a moment’s notice.
After a few months, I decided to open my own agency, eager to find and help companies that valued good marketing and a more objective process. Nearly 15 years later, I am sorry to say, I haven’t found nearly as many as I should have.
Through my career I have worn many hats, from production positions like designer, copywriter, and coordionator to power positions such as business owner, director and consultant. My experience has afforded me a fairly unique perspective on the worlds of business and marketing, and an undertsanding of how and where companies can drastically improve their chances for success.
For too many companies, marketing is believed to be something you do when you need a surge of revenue. Companies that operate on this level soon meet with dissapointing results and in turn develop even less respect and regard for marketing. In order for companies to reap the greatest rewards from their marketing, they need to respect it as a cornerstone of their business.