No company can succeed by cutting expenses alone. But the practical necessity of today's world is cut, cut, and cut some more.
Yes, we all should have been smart enough to build sufficiently robust measurement capabilities before the dramatic assault on our budgets began. Yes, we should have put some water in that bucket before the fire consumed so much of the house that marketing built.
But we didn't. So where do we turn once all the "fat" has long since been trimmed and all that's left is muscle and bone? And how do we break the downward spiral of cut, cut, and cut some more?
Here are some ideas on what to cut—and what not to cut.
What to Cut
First, get your head out of the emotional sand. You've lost the battle over the power of Marketing to drive the business in the near term. Don't let disappointment cloud your future. Suck it up, look ahead, and don't take it personally.
Second, take a step back and define the objectives for making smart cuts:
- Achieve the target reductions the CEO is asking for (most people stop right here).
- Support the company strategy for competing successfully.
- Conduct a thorough and unbiased analysis of all options.
- Preserve your credibility. Live to fight again another day.
If you're not balancing all of these objectives, you'll suffer death by 1,000 cuts yourself.
Pat LaPointe is managing partner at MarketingNPV (www.MarketingNPV.com) and the author of Marketing by the Dashboard Light: How to Get More Insight, Foresight, and Accountability from Your Marketing Investments.