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They Fired the Whole of the Marketing Department

By Tim Hughes | @Timothy_Hughes

At a meeting recently in London with a Venture Capital (VC) company, they told us that whenever they take over a company, they fire the whole of the marketing department.

Now it’s worth saying that this VC invests in companies and then runs them.  So, not a VC like you often see in Silicon Valley, that just invests money in companies and any management is at arm’s length.

This VC is hands on.

In the discussion over dinner, the VC said that as far as they are concerned if a marketing department, its leader and people hadn’t grasped the basic concepts of digital marketing and social media by now they never will. Hence the first thing they do is fire the department.

The discussion with the VC went on. It validated our current view on the direction of digital marketing and the fact you can do twice as much with half the budget.

Advertising: Spend more, get less

The VC also talked about impact of regulations, such as GDPR. Then he moved on to falling click-through rates and email responses. In short, the response from advertising was reducing year on year and even increased budgets couldn’t stop the slide.  Finally, cold calling outcomes were non-existent, unless of course you are selling low value transitional products.  It was the VC’s opinion that such transactions should probably be moved to web-based self-service.

So, you have fired the marketing department, then what?  Was my next question.

The answer to that was to employ a marketing agency for 12 months and, in effect, treat them as a recruiter, rather than an agency, to find the talent needed for the newly acquired business. Given our experience, that sounds like a pretty good prediction for marketing. We had better get used to it. 

Digital Leadership Associates: We are Global Social Media Management Consultancy. We do three things: Social Media StrategySocial Selling and Social Media Management. Drop us an email or call one of our founders on 00 44 7823 534 557 and let’s talk about how we can make an impact on your organisation.

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