Corporate values are all the rage these days. They’re worthless unless companies are willing to sacrifice for them.
I say this because it’s just too easy to spend money, especially on topics that marketers have identified as important to customers. “Doing good” has been a function of communications outreach for decades; wether you call it cause marketing, corporate philanthropy, or corporate social responsibility, it’s easily rationalized as a marketing expense. The budgets are already there, most of the time.
In the coming months C-suites from around the world will be presented with the marketing budget proposals for 2011. Once again, many will approve them without real conviction.
After all, when it comes to marketing, many financially focused CEOs find themselves in a quandary. On the one hand they know that the people who work in the marketing department are smart, creative, well-intentioned and hard-working. On the other, they have difficulty figuring out what these people do all day. Whether their beautiful initiatives actually make a difference.
I read with a mixture of shock and smug satisfaction the recent New York Times story in which a Marine Corps general said “PowerPoint makes us stupid.” It turns out the popular presentation format has been messing up American war strategists just like it has confounded corporate planners.