Author: Tim Berney
Posted: Apr 27, 2011

The back porch light in my new house is broken. Or the light switch, which is more of a square button, is broken. Sometimes I can’t get the porch light to come on. And, more often, I can’t get it to turn off. (The electricians say it’s not that easy to fix — different story). 


I am truly bothered by it and can be heard moaning about it almost nightly. “It’s better than nothing” my son told me. Is it really? It’s a waste of both energy and money for it to be on at both 1pm and 1am the way I see it.

I think poor marketing is a waste of both energy and money too. Further, I think far too much marketing qualifies as poor. The largest reason is that so many people get the responsibility of marketing assigned to them. As if it’s an afterthought. “Who’s got time to handle the marketing?" "How about Austin — he’s done a good job of cleaning up the TPS report mess." "Good idea — tell him.” Really? "Dale did a good job of getting those warehouse guys in line, why don’t we put him in charge of accounting?" "And Stacey’s really got the reception area humming, can we give her legal?"

Now, I’m not here to claim that marketing requires any more (or less) skill than being an attorney or an accountant. But, it does require skill. Marketing skill. Skill beyond having an opinion about commercials. Or buying signage at the little league park where your kid plays. Or picking the location of your booth at the trade show. That’s hardly marketing. We used to use a term for ill-conceived advertisements: Badvertising. Lousy marketing needs one too. Maybe Markidding. Or Marcrudding. Or Aargheting. Or throwmymoney awayketing.

Realize this: EVERY organization is a marketing organization. We’re all marketing something, whether it’s tangible or not. Without some bit of selling- be it an idea, a grant request, a service, or a job, you won’t get by. If these folks contributing to marcrudding just realized the value (and potential return) of their marketing activities, they would certainly sell more of something. Marketing’s job is to communicate with the right people, at the right time, with right message. And to stand out while doing so. Marketing activity for the sake of marketing activity is a waste of time and energy.

That fixture on my back porch is putting out light — just not when I need it. Kind of like a lot of people assigned to marketing these days.

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