Who Needs Marketing?
It boggles my mind that marketing is seen “nice to have”or “other duty as required” in some small to medium sized companies. It confuses me that organizations see marketing as separate and distinct from sales. I cringe when I hear the term “marketing fluff”. Great marketing and sales work together in order to establish a positive perception about your company and its product, creates demand and generates revenue. It’s that simple.
The Marketing Mix
During college, I learned about the 4 Ps of marketing also known as “the marketing mix”. While some may argue that this framework is outdated please bear with me for a moment.
The 4 Ps of marketing are: product, price, promotion and place/distribution.
- Products – are the goods, services and solutions you offer for purchase. These tend to fill a need, solve a problem and provide improvement to a situation in your customers job or business
- Price – is what it costs your customer to buy your offering. Not to be confused with the value it delivers
- Promotion – consists of all direct and indirect communications made to show, prove value, build relationships, and and yup sell your product
- Place – is how, where and who delivers your product to the end customer
Maybe this is outdated, but if you were to think about your company and what it sells, these four things must be in place for you to generate revenue. You need to have an offering (product), you need to charge for it and make a profit (price), your customers and prospects need to know about it and buy it (promotion) and it has to be delivered profitably to the location that it will be used/consumed (place).
So where does sales fit into this mix? Sales is considered direct promotion which is a component of the marketing mix. If you’re a systems integrator you may wonder where does professional services fit into the mix? Or, where does my unified communications practice fit in the mix? The answer: product, pricing, place AND promotion.
So where Am I heading with this?
I’m not saying that marketing should run your company and oversee sales, product management and your professional services group. What I am saying is that marketing is what each person and group in your company must do. That marketing is not a department or something your President’s receptionist does part time. Your company must market itself constantly and thoughtfully.
Consider this quote from the late Management Consultant and Visionary Peter Drucker.
“There is only one valid definition of business purpose: to create and keep customers. Therefore the business enterprise has two—and only two—basic functions: marketing and innovation. Marketing and innovation produce results; all the rest are costs. Marketing is the distinguishing, unique function of the business.”
Marketing your company is the responsibility of each individual in your company. Marketing can be the overarching umbrella that keeps everyone aligned and focused on your core purpose: to create and keep customers. I’d suggest you do these three things:
- Define what marketing means and should do in your organization. Use Drucker’s definition above or take a look at these marketing definitions from key marketing leaders compliments of Kent Huffman
- Use frameworks like the 4Ps and 4Rs of marketing to help keep you focused
- Making marketing a core focus of each person in your organization