It would seem to us at gutowski & milner, that the Marketing function is often seen as the “poor relation” to Sales within many organisations, & in our experience this is a mystery when you truly understand the critically important nature of the function that Marketing plays.
Let’s start at the very beginning. Marketing is often perceived as the responsibility of the Marketing Department, or Marketing Head. However, we try to encourage our clients to see that Marketing is the responsibility of all stakeholders (no matter their role) within the enterprise – from Janitor right up to CEO!
The reason for this is that everyone at some point in time has an impact on the outside world, & therefore, represents the company / will have an impact on how the enterprise is perceived. Also, Marketing relies on the feedback from all departments, for example:
- Consumers / final customers = packaging / design / web / social media
- Distribution partners = outer packaging / customer service teams / web portal (extranet) / invoicing / credit control / ERP system
- Vendors = access and or responsiveness to or from Purchasing teams
- Prospect customers = exhibitions / web content / social media
The traditional definition of Marketing refers to the “4P’s”, these being:
- Product: Self-evident, but obviously the product has to work, be of suitable quality (you cannot market a Fiat Panda as if it were a Rolls Royce).
- Price: Must be relevant or realistic (back to the above car analogy). Too low & you can long-term detrimentally affect the positioning (increasing prices is normally more difficult than reducing them!) of your brand. Too high & you will not deliver on the Sales expectation.
- Place: What is the channel that you intend to sell to? Direct to user, eCommerce/ Bricks & Mortar/ Clicks & Mortar, via Distribution or a mixture of all of these.
- Promotion: How are you going to promote the product or service?
However, as we have already indicated above, there are other elements to consider in the Marketing Mix, these being:
- People: Not just your own employees, but those of your customers as well. Do you have everyone in the value chain fully briefed as to the USP of your product / service over the competition. Do you have an incentive in place to help motivate everyone?
- Physical evidence: It is critically important that your customers can see you in the market – this might be by way of their competitors selling your products / services, placement in other channels (see “place” above). Even the most basic things like ensuring that your corporate identity is consistent & visible throughout all elements of the communication function.
- Process: Ensuring that conducting business with your company is easier than that of the competition. This might include localised Account Management / Customer Service / Finance teams, visibility of the financial statements, ease of accessing product availability details etc etc.
You can doubtless see from the above, that Marketing should be all encompassing within the organisation, & effectively represents the “glue” that keeps the organisation together.
Without effective Marketing, you are simply one of many companies offering a product or service at a price. You have no added value, are solving few problems & have no or little USP. You are simply a commodity vendor selling a commodity product at a commodity price.
Put simply, Marketing allows the enterprise to plot their destination, on a course that is preferred, on your time & in a form of travel that is most suited to the company. Without Marketing, you are sitting on the water, at the mercy of the currents, just hoping that somehow, in faith – you will arrive at the hoped for destination (or there abouts!).
I know how I would prefer to travel!!
Please feel free to contact us at https://www.gutowskiandmilner.com/contact-us/ in the first if you would like to discuss Marketing or indeed any of our other services.