Currently, we are exploring the concept of “What Good Looks Like“. So to put this post into context, I strongly recommend starting off by reading – What Good Looks Like… an Introduction. So where does marketing fit in? In my experience, far too many companies, especially SMEs, marketing sits firmly in point 3. Marketing is about developing effective market engagement. Whilst it obviously has a key role in this element, it should be involved in discussions on all 3 aspects. Lets look at these in order:
A Strong Proposition
Let’s face it, trying to engage with a market where they don’t value your offering is doomed to failure, however much you throw at the marketing communication process. To avoid this, you need to be considering marketing right from the start of the process. It is part of the marketing role to understand what value you are adding to your marketplace. You then translate this into a message that can be easily understood by your target market. Whilst you may take the view, “I know where I add value“, exploring this more fully often brings up some interesting and unexpected ideas.
A Joined-Up Operation
It is easy to take the view that marketing is all about external communication, but in reality, internal marketing has a significant role to play to ensure that everyone in the organisation is communicating the same message. Furthermore, close integration of marketing functions (whether they be internal or external) with the rest of the organisation is key. The marketing team understands what you are trying to communicate, so are best placed to see where other aspects of the business can have an impact. For example – That service call where your creative solution prevented significant down time for the customer speaks volumes about your creativity & problem solving This should be part of the marketing message.
Effective Market Engagement
Whilst this is seen as the key role of marketing, It’s essential that activities are driven by the company’s strategic plan. A failure to do this can lead to a situation where the “Tail is wagging the Dog“.
So What is the Role of Marketing?
The marketing function is custodian of the company image, and champion for the message you are trying to communicate. As such, it needs to be full integrated into the company strategy. Ensuring this happens is a good starting point in defining the role of marketing in “What good looks like”