I actually knew that already, but I was worried when I decided I wanted to pursue my MBA in Marketing and Organizational Management & Strategy that I would be behind the times. Why? Well, there’s been a shift in the last couple of years towards this need for “real business,” mainly anything in the financial sector. We needed to fix what had been done in 2008, and somehow revenue generation and marketing weren’t being linked.
We also face a time when business isn’t about the concrete anymore. For example, my EVO is an amazing phone. What makes it amazing however isn’t the screen size or little kick stand; it’s the wonderful Sprint service I get even in the mountains of Virginia, the Android operating system, and a whole store of applications. Those intangibles mean we’re thinking of marketing beyond the look and feel, and instead to performance and affect benefits. Marketing has to be connected to revenue. How else would you find out there’s something to buy?
Have you heard of wallet share? Companies want to maximize the likelihood that the money in your wallet will purchase their product or service. This may not be a new concept, but I believe there’s also something called brain share. We are so connected nowadays, companies have to compete for your attention long before they can even think about your wallet.
The disconnect between brain share and wallet share may be where companies are having issues. I can just imagine a conversation among executives where the circular argument is between telling people about the offering and getting them to buy. While it seems logical to me that both need to happen for money to come into the company, I have seen sales organizations say they don’t need marketing.
But great sales organizations include great marketing. Why? Because it’s more than just the PowerPoints!
Understanding your customer base, watching for trends or government regulations affecting them, asking about challenges they face, and on and on…these are tactics sales people use often to make sure they are customizing their efforts to each customer. Marketing does the same thing, often on a broader scale and a bit earlier in the sales cycle. So why would anyone want to skip the marketing?
Don’t let it happen to your organization. Please don’t be the hub for formatting PowerPoints about messages you didn’t get to create. Be active and insistent that you are critical to the bottom line. Then do it.