Do you want Real Marketing? Do you need a Real marketer?
Do you want Real Marketing? I only ask because there seems little of it about. What do I mean by ‘Real Marketing’? I suspect that what follows will come as a surprise to many who think that they know all about marketing without ever having studied it. I might single out accountants and many managers, especially in the SME sector, but that would be cruel.
Real marketing is not simply about promotion let alone just advertising and possibly PR (itself often perceived as free advertising – As if Editors were not wise to that idea!).
It is actually a ‘Strategic Management Discipline’ (Source – CIM, Harvard BS, Henley College, Ashridge, MBS, LSE and many others who should be taken seriously) and should be at the centre of everything an organisation does to do its business now and for the future.
Real marketing encompasses at least 5 areas
- Sales (Yes, this is a subset of Marketing not the other way round)
- Promotions (We do this as well as, not instead of)
- Finance (Pricing, yield, profit, revenue flow, ROI and ‘Will we make any money doing this?’) Research and Development (What are we going to make money out of once the market for what we are doing now declines)
- Distribution (What’s the point of making, promoting and selling something if the customers cannot get their hands on it in the right quantity, at the time that they want it, and where they want to buy it from)
Real Marketers not only deal with all of the above but also with how each area interacts with all of the others and not just once but all of the time in an environment where everything changes all of the time and there are no hard and fast rules to follow.
In the days when I had my own marketing consultancy my least favourite client said
“Maurice I have this great product – market it”
whereas my favourite client said:
“Maurice I have this great idea for a product should we market it?”.
My point is that by the time you have made something or got a service ready for launch you should already have done a big part of the marketing. At the simplest level, do you already have complete answers for the following questions as an absolute minimum?
- Who wants it?
- Who needs it?
- Who is already doing it? How are they doing?
- How much is someone willing, and able, to pay for it?
- How many people are likely to buy it, at what price, at what volume, from where, and when?
- How and at what cost can I get it to them?
- How and at what cost can I tell them about it?
- Can we make or do it all at a price that lets us make a sensible profit and pay back the banks, investors and shareholders with enough left over to grow and develop new products or services in the future?
Real marketers also need crystal balls because future gazing and a 360-degree vision of their environment should also come with the turf. Add in SWOT, PEST, and BCG analysis (if you need to ask I’ve made my point!) and one should see that its not for amateurs, the faint hearted or those of closed minds.
Organisations frequently believe that they cannot afford to do all of the above. I suggest that, for long-term survival, they cannot afford not to.
My question is therefore why, when times are tough, do they cut marketing expenditure first, leaving themselves silent and blind in the marketplace?
In my, admittedly biased, view the last salesman should turn out the lights just after the last marketer has left. If you can still promote and plan you can still sell even if you have no bean counting and production left (you can always find someone to make things and take care of the numbers). By contrast it doesn’t matter how much you can make or how good your control of the numbers is if you have no way of getting it to market and then sold.
If they are not supported and cosseted by good marketing, your sales force will struggle, become demotivated and eventually move on.
Incidentally, firing your long established salespeople when times are tough and replacing them with new ones who don’t know your business, clients or marketplace (even if they appear younger and more energetic) because sales are falling in a declining market may not be the best strategy either!
Finally, why did I submit this blog? Well, actually, I am looking for an organisation that needs a real marketer – ME – because I have just had my own post made redundant (posts are redundant not people – this is for all of the others out there in my position), following internal consolidation, although I must say that my present employer is treating me very well under the circumstances and is certainly not committing all of the ‘sins’ above.
If you don’t yet have all this information you need to obtain it or seriously rethink whether you should be in this business. Melville marketing can obtain it for you or teach your staff how to do that and possibly suggest sources too.
- When growth Stalls – you need to look at new opportunities, marketplaces or product extensions to get you moving again.
- When times are tough it is tempting to cut marketing expenditure – if you must OK, but you should realise that you leave yourself silent and blind in your marketplace.
- With expert help, perhaps something can still be done on low budget even if only enough to tell your clients and peers that you are still around to do business with. If your competition cannot do even this, you are ahead when things improve.
First Published on www.ecademy.com by Maurice Watts, the Marketer on 17-Jan-03