What Marketers Can Learn from Government


There's speculation that fixing the broken congressional and senate efficiency issue starts with spending our time on the right things. To get elected to congress one must spend 30-80% of their time raising money. Recommendations have been given that allowing voters (all voters, not just wealthy donors) credits they can give to congress men and women and senators so they can focus on their real jobs.

This is a perfect analogy for the time spent creating deck after deck after deck for clients. I couldn't find research to give percentages to the amount of time spent in agencies creating decks but an estimate of anywhere between 20 and 40% is likely conservative. Spending the time up front between agencies and brands to align on the goal and how that goal will be tracked and reported helps reduce deck presentation time.

How we create strategies and execute against tactics is far too micromanaged. Agencies and consultants should be very transparent about their efforts, budgets and results. However, they shouldn't have to spend 25% of their time justifying why they have selected this or that strategy or tactic.

When a CMO or CEO questions your strategy, he or she is saying, "Assure me." Agencies, the best way to assure is to either have experience and case studies that back up your strategy, or agree to test a well-hypothesized strategy. Brands, if you've done your due diligence and selected a partner wisely once you've aligned on the strategy, trust it and let your partner execute. Their job is to bring you results.

Michael Slaby, past Obama Administration Chief Integration and Innovation Officer specializes in leveraging innovation to tackle the world's biggest problems. He applied statistics from different voting precincts about what was important to people in that area and created targeted, nearly personalized campaigns. He has also shared, “Fragmentation results when strategy is created from the bottom up. Building company culture from the top down ensures that philosophy, messaging and processes are consistent and coherent.”

The lesson here may be as simple as helping marketing teams and individuals understand where they should be spending their time and organizing strategy. Spending half of the time working on decks rather than on solving problems for brands isn't that far off from the problem of congress spending an inordinate amount of time raising money.

How do you help your teams manage their efforts?

What tools do you use to better understand work flow structure of your teams?

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