We’re Gonna Need a Bigger Pie

I had lunch today with the president of a leading graphic design firm and the AVP of communications and marketing for a prestigious state university.  Three fairly well educated and deeply experienced pros.  Captains of industry as it were… all at the top of our games.

Anyway, somewhere between lunch and the bill we got around to talking about multichannel marketing and social media and search engine optimization and the like.  And suddenly the conversation took a bad turn.  Suddenly we were all angry about the fact that the burdens (or responsibilities) of marketing departments have grown tenfold over the past decade, while budgets have remained woefully small (and in many cases have been cut).
As a result, the marketing pie is getting sliced and diced into increasingly smaller pieces.  And to what end?  The marketing departments on the corporate and institutional side suffer.  The agencies and affiliate vendors suffer.  And more important, the corporations and institutions suffer.
After all these years, you would think things might change.  But all too often, marketing is the last consideration and the first dispensable budget item.
Wake up people of Earth.  Marketing is the cornerstone – if not the foundation – of the most successful organizations in the world.  You know, WalMart, Google, Best Buy, Starbucks, Harley Davidson.
Addition by subtraction is rarely a good idea.  And in the case of marketing it is a bad idea. Increase the size of the pie before the effects of starvation set in.