Marketing by Committee

I was just speaking to a friend who is a marketer. She was dreading a meeting with her company’s “marketing committee.”

Many companies have a marketing committee to help brainstorm and provide input to the marketing department. Management feels that this allows employees to “be involved” in marketing.

This is a bad idea.

Why don’t you have an office supply committee to pick out the colors of pens you order? How about an accounting committee to help figure out where the credits and debits are posted? Or even better, what about a human resources committee to help decide who is hired and fired?

Committees, by nature, are full of compromises so solutions from a committee are usually watered down versions of the original. Marketing by committee leads to lots of bad ideas and poorly thought out plans. Instead of bold strokes from the marketing brush, you get a wall of beige.

This is not to say that the marketing department should be sitting on the mountaintop handing down dogma to the rest of the company. A good marketer in a company will already be engaging other departments about their needs and concerns. Good marketers will always have an ear to the ground about what the feel of the company is.

Hopefully, you hired the people in the marketing department because they’re good marketers who know how to market. Let them do it.

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