Marketing was once one of many disciplines, on an equal basis with other disciplines such as sales, finance and HR, manufacturing or operations, engineering, or product development. Some would even consider it a less critical field.
That’s not true anymore! Marketing has become a significant part of our Organization and individual lives.
The Organization has a Marketing Department
In today’s interconnected, service-oriented businesses, everyone is a marketing professional. This is probably truer in specific industries than others. However, consider the following pockets of marketing activity by non-sales/marketing staff:
Anthony, our front-line Customer Service Manager, answers hundreds of weekly customer questions about their email subscriptions or helps them unsubscribe. His mission? His mission?
Tom and Andrew, our client data analysts, talk and email regularly with clients as we send back and forth data for processing. The opportunity is always to ask for more information, talk about email programs, give advice, or assist with their business.
Every day, receptionists welcome people on the phone or in person. How many people get their first impression of your business from the receptionist? How many people who call or visit your office are actual or potential customers?
Our heads of product management, Dan, and quality assurance, Terry, talk to customers about reporting or custom functionality needs. They don’t just want to know the answer but also to try to understand the market drivers and think about the implications for other customers.
A hiring manager or recruiter will conduct screening interviews for candidates applying for a position. The “chosen” candidate will be one of the candidates who are interviewed. This means that the recruiter must sell that person, and therefore all the candidates since the winner cannot be determined at first, on the greatness of our company.
Kate, our accounts receivables and billing specialist, calls clients who have unpaid bills. It’s a real art to get this right. It’s hard to be The Enforcer while expressing appreciation for the client’s business.
These things all sound like marketing to my ears. What should a company do with all this non-marketing advertising?
Incorporate the work of marketing into all employees’ daily lives: Teach everyone how to think like marketers; give them easy ways to communicate market feedback.
Marketing is essential from the perspective of an individual, both in business and everyday life. However, the target market definition will change depending on the situation. Here are some examples.
Are you interviewing for a new job? How well have you built your brand (your list)? How well-written is your resume?
Do you want to increase your department’s budget or purchase a new hardware item? Are you sure you have defined the return you expect on the incremental investment that you are proposing?
Need to finish that project? What is your universal selling point to convince others to help (“Here’s why you should cooperate”)? Are there any incentives (“I’ll pay for dinner if you help me with this”)?
Are you working hard to achieve a promotion or a raise? You can get there by identifying a new segment of customers, a problem you want to solve, or an answer to the problem.
Want to travel somewhere that is off the beaten track? You’ll need to find some selling points that resonate with certain family members. (It’s beautiful, inexpensive, excellent food, and nobody else has been there before). You’ll have to make it appealing to their specific interests to convince them to come along.