Marketing is an investment in your company’s future success, but knowledge and closing the loop are needed to maximize its efficiency and effectiveness.


Lately, we’ve received a lot of inquiries from trade publication writers asking for tips and tricks on how businesses can cut their marketing budgets and eliminate waste. While I applaud these writers in their quest to more efficiently and effectively utilize a business’ marketing expenditures, the premise of their articles assumes that marketing is a line item expense that can be cut like it were office supplies.

The reality is that marketing is an investment in the future success of your business, just like investing in the stock market — or investing in one’s education — goes towards the future success of an individual.

Is there waste in utilizing the marketing funds allocated?

Absolutely, but this is due to the fact that for most businesses’ marketing is an open-loop function.

An open loop is similar to driving your car to get from Point A to Point B at a specific time, but there are unknown elements like weather and traffic congestion that impact your ability to achieve your goal. While driving, you’re listening to the radio for traffic reports or using a smartphone app to spot problems and navigate around them. You’re occasionally glancing at the clock or your watch to check the time. And, you’re constantly glancing at the speedometer checking your speed, pressing or relaxing the accelerator based on the car’s current speed and your assumed time and distance from other vehicles.

Whew! Wiping my brow. Writing the last paragraph made me sweat. The same thing happens to businesses when using open-loop marketing.

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William Butler Yeats
Think like a wise man but communicate in the language of the people. — William Butler Yeats

Shiro Nakamura, Nissan Design Chief
Design is communicating emotion from designer to customer. — Shiro Nakamura, Nissan design chief

Shiro Nakamura, Nissan Design Chief