In a perfect world, the word "layoff" wouldn't exist. But this isn't a perfect world -- far from it. In fact, as I sat down to write this, I found that there were more than 51,000 results for the term "layoff" in a Google News search from a single day. Sure, a lot of that volume can be attributed to the fact that digital media outlets pile onto the same story the way clowns cram into the same car. And, obviously, these are still difficult economic times. But it's no exaggeration to say layoffs -- or the threat of layoffs -- remain a very real part of business today.
Of course, layoffs happen for a variety of reasons. New technologies pave the way for new businesses that disrupt the old guard. Managers make poor planning decisions. And there's that turbulent economy that really hasn't recovered for most people. There are all sorts of reasons why we see layoffs. But sometimes those layoffs come from marketing department missteps.
It could be a brilliant marketing idea that backfires or a CMO who's slow to see the future. But the fact is, sometimes bad marketing decisions have dire consequences that a company can't recover from. And while it's hard to draw a direct line from a specific marketing call to a pink slip, it is instructive to consider how marketing played a role in some recent high-profile layoffs. After all, if you can't learn from mistakes, you probably don't belong in the marketing business.