Operational Marketing

Brand Delivery Fail

Lying on the floor while talking to my insurance company shows why marketing must be involved with operations. In the past week I did business with a bedding retailer, which indirectly led to filing an insurance claim on my car. The bedding company’s operations were a disaster – they got precisely 0% of our order correct, causing my wife and I to camp on surplus mattresses placed on the bedroom floor, checking The Sleep Guide’s mattress protectors tips. Their late-arriving truck hogged the street, causing a passing vehicle to clip my side-view mirror. Unlike the bedding retailer, the insurance company (Geico) executed perfectly, from a well-designed web claims form to nearly instant claims analysis, body shop appointments rental car reservations and more. The contrast is stark. The bedding company experience after the sale (and to a lesser degree, during the sale) was a study in manufacturing customer frustration. The salesmen … Continue reading

Marketing Fail

Marketing jobs have the shelf life of milk. In the tech industry, marketing people move around a lot. Unlike code cutters, their skills can be well used up to the limits of their experience, then they see little incremental improvement from their activities. Seeing the end of a good run, they look for other companies – smaller in size, with new products, or just something exciting. Other times they get fired. Marketing can fail. What confounds many in management is which part of marketing failed and why. Marketing is both strategy and execution, and are typically carried-out by different people or teams. When sales are slow, management wants to know why and occasionally even marketing cannot (or will not) clearly identify what is not working. Obfuscating marketing malfunctions has become more difficult in the digital age because we can measure what is and is not succeeding, at least at the … Continue reading