Updated: Apr 19, 2019
Why are we so insistent on treating Marketing as the application of this season's must have skill?
Whether it's influencer marketing, personalisation or the see-saw of big data to small data, I find myself becoming increasingly frustrated when so many, are so insistent, upon reducing the discipline of marketing to what seems to be this season’s must-have skill. We’re totally forgetting the primary function of marketing: $ and helping generate them, profitably.
Whilst I’m not suggesting that data and today’s legendary AI aren’t an incredibly valuable part of the armoury, they are part and parcel of the bigger picture, which is increasingly being neglected by many.
Creating the engine of value
The role of the marketing function is to enable and build sustainable revenue for the organisations they serve. Sustainability is critical.
As marketing functions are built and strategies defined, there seems to be a massive blind spot in applying the concept ‘sustainability’ to our overall marketing approach. I’m not referring to the so-called ‘green washing’ of 10 years past, but the ability to deliver value to customers both consistently and profitably, over time. This can only happen when we align the business fundamentals with customers – and build from there.
Understand the commercials. Think like a critic
Our challenge as marketers is to understand the business drivers and performance like a CFO and have the ability to overlay this with creativity and insightfulness to champion customers of today and tomorrow.
This is where the magic happens, giving license to add value, and the opportunity to drive sustainable revenue improvements.
Real value opens the wallets of our customer, makes them love us and keeps them buying more profitable products. Real value is not acquiring a customer at $500 with a total average spend of only $105. I know this sounds ridiculous, but I see it often.
Influence beyond function
Marketers have the opportunity to transform business performance, cultures and brands. Success can be infectious. When ideas are grounded in commercial reality, there’s simply more chance they’ll be taken seriously by those with influence.
Marketeers need to spend more time building networks outside the marketing function and rise above the initiatives.
I appreciate the functional accountability for marketing departments differs from industry to industry and organisation to organisation. Regardless of this, we can still influence, whether it’s directly or indirectly. Commercial creativity can be infectious when it begins from a solid commercial foundation.
This often means positioning marketing in the minds of stakeholders and marketing teams simultaneously.