And how 'bout the large business-to-business marketing teams? Many are among the biggest offenders, and their direct marketing groups are certainly no exception.
Why is B2B so bad so often?
B-to-B marketers view themselves differently -- Ask the CEO of the soda company what business they're in, and she'll probably say, "We're a marketing business that happens to sell sugared water." Ask her counterpart in a software company the same question and he might say, "We're an engineering firm that has to do marketing and advertising and all that shit."
Marketing managers aren't in charge of marketing -- In many cases, the people with the real power over B-to-B marketing decisions are in other functional areas -- like sales. There's the stated CMO and the de facto CMO. What's often missing is a true marketing champion. In B-to-C, marketers are more likely to actually control marketing programs.
Sales steals money from marketing -- Talk about the rooster guarding the hen house! How many times have you encountered a VP of Sales and Marketing who doesn't even believe in marketing? In those cases, you'll often find a chronically underfunded marketing department.
Accountability is insufficient -- One surefire way to ensure that marketing budgets remain perpetually low is to not track results to the return on investment level. Most B-to-B marketers that don't show a sufficient ROI don't get fully funded. Those CFO's are great at simple arithmetic.
Not enough first-rate talent -- This is particularly true among small to mid-sized marketing organizations. The business-to-business marketing industry needs a lot more people capable of producing awesome stuff. It's a great opportunity for rising stars.