When I was going through business school in the early 80’s, Marketing was generalized as Price, Product, Promotion, and Place. Very simply, if you were doing these things well, you were doing a good job of Marketing. Oh, how things have changed! This blog will go into the areas that I believe a successful Marketing organization should be doing well.
The Product – The Marketing organization is responsible for knowing what characteristics your product must have to satisfy the customers’ current and future needs. This includes not only product features, but also delivery times and methods, brand optimization, packaging, as well as geographical and language preferences.
Price and Terms – Marketing should know the optimal price for the product based on brand, competitive positioning, and margin optimization. Terms should be defined properly to minimize risk and maximize cash flow while being in line with market and customer norms.
Promotion – Printed media advertising is basically a thing of the past. Your Marketing organization should be placing digital ads in all the right social media and industry/market related mediums. Product presentations for use by sales channels should be digital and easily downloaded to tablets or PC’s for easy visual presentations to the customer base.
The Quote Through Order Entry Value Stream – In the past, Marketing generated a quote with the specified product for a certain price delivered on a specific date with defined terms. The customer then sent in a purchase order, and Marketing entered the order, which was then processed and shipped. Today’s value stream demands that Marketing provide a digital medium (sometimes found on the website) whereby the customer can click through a number of options, receive the price and expected delivery of these options, and then place the purchase order, all with a few clicks on their PC or mobile phone. This entire process should take minutes compared to days or weeks in the past.
SEO – This is the acronym for Search Engine Optimization. If your Marketing organization does not have goals and actions directed at getting your website at the top of a Google search for your company’s product offerings, they are not doing their job. This is now one of the most critical functions of a Marketing organization. Inbound leads generated from the web should be tracked and measured against targets.
Market Analysis/Segmentation – The Marketing organization is responsible for knowing where the geographic market is for your products, the size of those markets, and who has what you don’t. Marketing also should be cognizant of the things needed to be done by the company to keep existing share and win additional share, should that be the strategy.
Competitor Analysis – Flying blind here is not an option in today’s business environment. Marketing should know everything of any significance about each of your competitors no matter where they are in the world. The success of your business and the strategies you deploy depend on this knowledge.
Perhaps this listing of key Marketing organization responsibilities is much greater than you expected. I believe most industrial product manufacturers do not have Marketing organizations delivering on many of these things. My advice to those of you reading this is “if you want to thrive and prosper, Marketing better be damn good at all of these or in the process of getting there.”