How Much Have You Forgotten?

There’s an old saying – “I’ve forgotten more than you will ever know” – which is typically used by veterans in a field, when confronted with new graduates who are filled to the brim with information and enthusiasm but rarely experience. Although always intended to put eager new interns in their place, unfortunately, it’s often the case that marketing executives truly have forgotten more than is good for them.

This popped into my head the other day when having lunch with an associate, a C-level marketing exec for a large company. He rather ruefully told me about a meeting he’d had in the morning where he’d been saved from a major blunder by a new hire, 2 weeks fresh into the field, who humbly pointed out that the latest advertising creative that had been approved was (I’m not kidding) missing the name of the product. A national campaign in the tens of thousands of dollars was about to go to print, giving consumers a great list of features and benefits, without telling them what it was that they should ask their local retailer for in order to buy. Oops. My associate had forgotten something very basic – proof reading and fact checking an ad before print.

One of the reasons, that this happened, of course, was that the company didn’t have a process for managing marketing materials from concept to print, including steps for review and approval along the way (frankly, something like MarketingBox). If you’re a marketing executive, and you have a sneaking suspicion that you might be forgetting more than YOU know, consider implementing a marketing materials management system to keep track of the steps. It’s certainly more cost effective than making basic blunders on huge campaigns… or hiring a lot of eager interns to reminder you of fundamentals.

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