The domino effect of marketing

Let’s say your company launches a bold, new marketingprogram and that it generates lots of new business.  Fantastic, right? 

Well, maybe.  Did you think about the domino effect on operations?  No?  Kind of? 

Uh oh. 

This issue has come up a couple of times lately at The Whittington Group.  In one case, we’re developing a comprehensive marketing strategy for a great client.  As we weighed the pros and cons of one bold strategy concept, we realized that this bold idea could quickly generate truckloads of leads and customers.  Which is great only if we also deal with the affect such a drastic increase could have in areas such as IT infrastructure (are the servers up to the task of a 1,000 percent hike in traffic?) and staffing (do we have enough people, and the right people, to handle so many more customers?).

It hit me again in a meeting with a great friend and former client.  His organization (a trade group) has a tiny staff that is being asked to take on a slew of new social media initiatives.  Those social media programs might have plenty of merit.  We all understand the huge and growing impact of social media.  But these programs are also quite time consuming.  And no one has offered any metrics by which to measure the return on investment of the staff’s time. 

This is where marketers must put on their business operations hats.   Everything that happens in the marketing arena has the potential to affect numerous other areas of the organization, from human resources to facilities, logistics, IT, finance, legal and more.  Marketing programs and strategies developed without adequately considering all possible ripple effects run the risk of unintended and damaging consequences. 

- Eric Whittington