To Hell With The Marketing Department

Well, not really. Let me explain…

A lot of marketing and advertising people complain that the problem with their industry is that their functions increasingly are being overseen by the procurement, finance or accounting departments. Fine.

But I had lunch yesterday with a very smart market-modeling and advertising-effectiveness expert who said he’s been having increasing success selling his company’s marketing services into big corporations as a result of bypassing the marketing department and instead selling directly to the CFO or senior procurement executives. Why? Because it’s the CFO and procurement executives’ job to be more accountable than anyone else when it comes to responsible spending – whether for cost savings or investment. Moreover, an astonishing number of big companies have incredible marketing and research expertise within the CFO and procurement chambers.

Bottom line: If you can save money or grow profits, the CFO or procurement office will listen to you and be your friend. This is an interesting anecdote, if not an emerging trend. On a personal note, it forces some self-reflection, since: 1) I work at a market-research company, and 2) I work in the marketing department at my company. 


Published by Max Kalehoff

Father, sailor and marketing executive.

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