Your Marketing Deck - Is It Smarter Not To Have One?

Is it smarter not to have a marketing deck?

Keep breathing…

It’s interesting – every time I query a manager about how helpful their marketing deck is in making a presentation, they defensively jump and tell me that they don’t “use” the deck in the meeting.

Every time I attempt to elicit a response from a manager by saying “Nobody reads marketing decks,” I never encounter a retort.

Marketing decks are more often than not poorly designed: the information in them is inconsistent, they are typically way too long, the branding is miserable, the images are pixelated, and a lot of times you need a magnifying glass and a PhD to understand the graphs.  (I could go on forever.) Yet, somehow, they remain the foundation of “marketing” in our industry.

Decks are more akin to the “Conch” in William Golding’s classic, Lord of the Flies, than a functioning, useful marketing tool.

The only really valid argument I encounter for why marketing decks still exist at all (and I don’t think they will exist in their current form in ten years) is that the investor is used to receiving information in the form of a deck.

Let's step back.  A marketing deck is simply a way to present information… nothing more, nothing less.  Right?  Therefore the investor doesn’t actually need the “deck”. The investor needs and wants the information in the deck. And if we are all being honest, the investor needs only about 10% of this “information.”

My guess: it's a lot harder to actually get an investor’s attention if you deliver the information to her in the exact form he/she is expecting it.   Think about it.  Nobody blinks an eye at a deck, nobody gets excited about a deck, the managers don’t like their deck, the investors get tired of weeding through decks, but you’re saying that it’s something we just need?

Every manager I talk to thinks they are different, special, and unique, which is important.  It is that unshakeable belief that is marketable.  They are confident, brash, powerful creatures that are going to step out onto the global stage, raise $100 billion, start their own foundations, and change the world.  And what is the very first thing they do? Create a deck that looks and sounds the same as everyone else.  They end up in the “food” line with their heads down.

Yes, in not having a deck you might not get to talk to a couple people, but think about all the other people that you might end up talking to if you create a more dynamic and efficient presentation.  There are a couple cool examples here.

Statistically, most capital raises fail.  Yet all you managers keep telling us marketers that you need a deck, and, more specifically, what constitutes a good marketing deck.

Do you need a marketing deck?  You tell me.

By Kyle Dunn