One thing that excites me when working with businesses is to explain what marketing really is.
For a lot of people, it’s all about social media posts, quippy taglines and stand-out packaging. Hence the fact marketing can at times be de- scribed as the fluffy stuff!
This thinking I attribute to a combination of:
- The Australian Culture… which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. We are not big talkers. We typically focus on producing good quality products in the hope that they sell themselves.
- The Australian market place. We are still a very emerging market. The competition is nowhere as rife as other countries. So we don’t have to try as hard.
- The lack of understanding of what marketing actually is. The rise of social media hasn’t helped this. A lot of people today think marketing is primarily a LinkedIn or facebook post.
This thinking completely undersells the contribution intelligent marketing can make to a business, leading to missed opportunities and significantly reducing the return on any marketing investment.
When done correctly, marketing takes a whole-of-business view. Not only is marketing responsible for the future vision of the business but actually bringing the vision to life.
Every marketing touchpoint is a strategic building block to achieve the long term vision and value.
One single social media post is not a building block, but the collective of all communication touch points across all stakeholders is.
Going back to my uni days, we were taught marketing consists of 4ps: product, place, price and promotions. This is still relevant however I would throw branding in the mix as a stand alone (versus keeping it under the promotions umbrella) for the reason that in the last 20 years our relationships with brands have grown and deepened. Who we choose to work with, where we live, what we buy is very much linked to our personal identity, i.e. We use brands to tell stories about who we are.
Deep breath. Lots to consider. Now overlay this with sales, profit projections, innovation planning, people and culture/internal marketing, business valuation…. not so fluffy!
Marketing sits across all these touch points. It’s continuously connecting the dots, making sure that the backyard (what we are doing in the business) is in step with the short and long term aspirations, and the front yard, the story telling piece (what the outside world sees or perceives), is aligned (and creates the right attention) for the business/brand, market and customer.
Why consider total business marketing?
First and foremost, long term business value. (Note for the sales people out there, weekly sales attribute to long term business value. So yes marketing needs to drive weekly sales also).
So how do you go about total business marketing, i.e. where you start and how you progress (even when curveballs are thrown into the mix)? Here are some tips which can be customised based on your business and resources:
- Ensure that your marketing team has a direct line into the CEO. Business goal alignment is key.
- Ensure that marketing has a comprehensive understanding of the total business and the market. This is not a job that you bundle in with your PA or HR team (something that I heard recently!).
- Acknowledge and support that Marketing owns the responsibility to continually educate the business on marketing.
- From my experience the best business and marketing results are derived from an openness and teachable attitude from both the decision makers (e,g, CEO) and marketing. Essentially we are one team, wanting the same things… long term business growth.
Now over to you, to unleash your marketing beast!