Why is this? While there are a number of reasons, four major ones come to mind.
- Committees are interested in processes. Marketing, however, requires results. While committees are great to discuss things ad nauseum, marketing requires action. Most committees are the antithesis of action.
- Marketing is about leadership. Committees rarely have a dedicated leader. Quality marketing is spearheaded by an energetic and enthusiastic individual that is not beholden to the discussions and time-suck of 8 to 10 other people.
- Committees try to make everyone happy. Quality marketing sometimes requires that certain decisions be made with which not everyone will be happy. Rather than over-analyzing data and trying to keep a smile on everyone's face, aggressive marketing will sometimes stub toes and leave a few bruised feelings. In the quest for market share and brand message in today's hyper-competitive environment, these are small prices to pay.
- Marketing should be done by — gasp — marketers. While the people in your marketing committee are no doubt skilled and talented in their chosen fields, they are not marketers. Modern marketing requires a mix of education and experience. You would not ask a skilled violinist to fly a plane. Similarly, you should not ask your VP of operations to guide marketing.
Groups and committees have their place and time. If you are playing team sports or passing legislation, committees are your thing. If you are trying to advance a marketing message through a bank or credit union, there are few better ways to kill creativity than by sticking it under a committee.
The solution? Your best bet to accomplish great things in marketing is to either hire an in-house professional with the experience and drive to get the job done, or to work with a qualified external agency partner.