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How marketers can ‘speak CFO’ to survive the recession

by | Aug 4, 2020 | Marketing Essays

My new column is live in The Drum:

If you want to know how to thrive at work despite the looming economic downturn, learn from the biggest mistake I have made in my marketing career.

When I was the first director of marketing at a high-tech startup company, our growing team was working wonders after a few funding rounds. But we had yet to do any real advertising specifically.

So, I took some time to write myself a brief and then create the outline of a campaign that I then delivered through a creative and humorous company presentation. If I had been working at an ad agency, the idea would probably have been well-received. But at the tech company, I failed.

I had focused so much on the creativity that I had neglected to answer one simple question: “What will be the financial benefit of this campaign?” (The full story is further below.)

And that question will become more important than ever this year as marketers defend their budgets in light of the economic effects of the coronavirus pandemic.

Marketing budgets are plummeting

Under accounting and financial reporting standards, chief executives must consider marketing to be an expense to minimize rather than an asset or an investment for the future. So, the current situation does not bode well for marketing departments because their budgets are often the first to face cuts during economic downturns.

But now marketers might have some help.

Read the rest in The Drum.

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