If you're going to judge the performance of your marketing staff based on sales, make sure they have the time to focus on sales driving activities.

BY CEO & Founder Steve White April 09

Marketing is an incredibly complicated and convoluted field which involves everything from direct marketing, to brand management, customer communications, social media, public relations and on and on. Whether you call the person responsible for your digital marketing efforts the “CMO,” or delegate these tasks to an Internet Manager at your dealership, the fact remains that many of you are setting them up to fail.

According to an article on CEOWorld.biz, the average lifespan of a CMO in a consumer-facing business has dropped to 3.6 years. Sadly, – at least for our industry – many probably think 3.6 years is actually pretty good.

The article’s theory is that a CMO’s job performance rating (and hence their priorities) are typically tied to a company’s growth, while their actual job responsibilities are tied mainly to marketing communications. This, then, poses two interesting possibilities: CMOs get tired of doing a set of tasks for which their performance is not judged. Or, their manager decides they are not doing a good job and lets them go.

While branding, figuring out the correct positioning for the company, and communications tasks  are important to a dealership’s well-being, they tend to be extremely time consuming, leaving little room for your marketing team to focus on activities that directly drive sales.

If you’re going to judge the performance of your marketing staff based on sales, make sure they have the time to focus on activities which directly drive sales.. Some of these activities, such as analyzing campaign results and digging into data, may not be immediately visible to you, but are extremely important in optimizing your marketing mix to drive more sale

While most dealerships (with the exception of larger auto groups) don’t have actual CMOs, those same responsibilities still exist, as they do for any size company. In the automotive world those responsibilities often rest on an individual with a pay plan that is based on sales – which presents the same problems as above. For example, an Internet Manager tasked with many of the same responsibilities yet judged solely on their sales performance. They are sure to be chastised when these extra tasks aren’t adequately accomplished.

Take a look at your marketing and the staff to whom you have assigned various marketing responsibilities. Consider reevaluating if their pay plans are aligned with the priorities you’ve set for them.

This can help you achieve more effective marketing performance as well as increased employee engagement and performance. While the data you need to increase your marketing performance and grow your business may be there at your disposal, if nobody is focusing on it, the dealership will continuously be scrambling to keep up while losing revenue.