November 22, 2019 Daily Post
I hear this question a lot.
“If I ‘do marketing’, it should pay for itself, right?”
“If I run some ads, they should pay for themselves, right?”
“If I buy a website, it should pay for itself, right?”
These are the wrong questions to ask:
Marketing can be directly profitable, but to enforce it as a rule limits your potential:
It’s not Marketing’s job to be profitable. If it were, why would anyone use paid advertising to sell $5 books? If it had to cover its own costs directly, why would some smart brands break-even on acquisition, or run loss-leader campaigns? Treating marketing as a profitable-or-bust activity denies your important work a whole dimension of possibility. Marketing should be effective, but need not always be directly profitable.
It’s Business’ job to be profitable. A business should be profitable. With effective acquisition systems in place, a smart business can turn loss-leaders into highly profitable endeavors with effective retention systems on the back-end. Or they could acquire at cost. Or use bundles, JV and host-beneficiary relationships to create value both for those they serve and for their own bottom-line.
“Should marketing be profitable?”
Who cares, so long as it’s effective, and your business is strategic.