27 February, 2006

Marketing, a.k.a. Tourette's Syndrome

We receive a quote from a supplier. The Crazy Man and I are pleased because it matches what we expected to be paying rather than the higher amount our account manager at the supplier kept insisting was the real cost.

Unfortunately the supplier has cc'ed Marketing, who are the ones hanging out for the items in question. Before the Crazy Man or I have time to lock in the price by acknowleding and accepting the written quote, the Marketing manager replies to the supplier, cc'ing us and the account manager who gave us the verbal quote on the high prices to begin with.

Marketing: "Thanks for the cheaper price, but this is all very confusing. We were expecting to pay the dearer price that you've been telling us for the last few weeks we're supposed to pay. Can you please explain why we're not paying the higher cost? Because we've reworked our whole business plan around the higher price, and this means we'll have to change it now."

We're now waiting for the account manager to inform us that the cheaper price from their underling was an error, at which point the Marketing manager will start wailing (again) about having to pay the higher price.

This has helped me work out the difference between strategic marketing (where the Cow-orker was based while working under the Marketing Shrew) and random bone-headed marketing, which is what I'm trying to deal with at the moment.

One involves grand visions that are almost completely divorced from the capacity of anyone to deliver them, while the other is simply blurting out the first stupid thing that enters your mind.

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