Marketing is a creative, ever-changing orchestration of many activities needed to accomplish the overall strategies and objectives of a business or organization. As I said before, it is the heart and brain of every business.
In order to understand marketing's role within a business, it is useful to consider its interrelationships with other business units. Although, by no means complete, it does show how marketing plays an important role in all business areas.
For example, if you've developed a sound marketing strategy, it will address the following issues:
- Product / services offerings… and how they will fill the unmet needs / wants of your target audienceOptimum pricing… based on competitive offerings and your prospects' willingness to pay.
- Hiring, training and compensation requirements… particularly associated with sales personnel, customer service representatives, and contact employees.
- Bill accuracy and design.
- Operational processes and systems… especially as they relate to the overall customer experience.
- Sales / Distribution Channel Identification.
In this way, excellent marketers act as objective filters for all company information, practices and policies… particularly those which impact the customer experience.
One of the best ways to describe the role of marketing within any business is by creating a mission statement with supporting objectives. They should look something like this…
The Marketing Mission is to:
Tirelessly anticipate, research and communicate marketplace wants… then ensure that all functional teams are committed to delivering the promised customer experience, plus one, 100% of the time.
That translates into the following marketing objectives, which are to:
Develop, manage, communicate, and implement versatile, inter-departmental programs designed to achieve a company's strategic vision, mission and objectives
Management is efficiency in climbing the ladder of success; leadership determines whether the ladder is leaning against the right wall. Stephen Covey
Culture and Leadership Styles
In order to allow excellent marketing to "happen" business owners must create an environment and develop a leadership style that enhances its growth.
Below are some of the most important of these. Leaders must act as catalysts for change by:
- Adopting and communicating an attitude of servics.
- Demonstrating ideal behaviors and tolerating nothing less.
- Understanding and encouraging healthy conflict.
- Creating a climate where truth is heard and valued.
- Confronting the brutal facts of reality.
- Making sure the right people are hired, not just people.
- Placing their employees' ambitions over their own.
- Becoming and staying constantly curious.
- Never forgetting their passion and vision.
My own 10 Fundamental character traits that Fantastic leaders consistently demonstrate
- Fair: Good leaders arm their subordinates with the resources necessary to 'win' first and then judge performance accordingly. They trust and empower their employees and insist on the truth at all times.
- Fostering good relationships with colleagues, vendors, customers and employees.
- Focused on prioritizing and achieving their objectives. Additionally, they have set clear goals by breaking them down into smaller, unfrosted ‘executionable', measurable goals. They differentiate between long- and short-term objectives and ensure that employees understand the part they play and their responsibility for making it happen.
- Firm: Leaders are firm, but kind. These traits are not mutually exclusive. Leaders get the behavior they exhibit and tolerate.
- Feedback providers: Leaders must have the courage to provide employees with continual, specific feedback – whether positive or negative. They should also ask for coaching and provide an environment which encourages the surfacing of pertinent ‘conflicts'. They insist on the truth at all times and use it to expand peoples' capabilities.
- 'Follow-Throughers': They take a hands-on approach and do whatever is necessary to ensure that agreed-upon activities are happening. This is made easier because they develop and communicate scalable procedures and systematized processes.
- Fit: Leaders must be fit for the job and its responsibilities. They are knowledgeable, hard working, experienced, committed, and competent. Additionally, they are self-aware, authentic and persons of integrity. They keep their egos in check and are humble and self-confident enough to encourage and accept challenges and points of view that are opposite of their own.
- Flames: Great leaders exhibit the passion that fuels the company's vision…. becoming beacons of energy and enthusiasm. They love what they do and it shows! They are the light that ignites others into action and helps make dreams become realities and the impossible… possible.
- Fun: It's okay to laugh and be a little silly at work… and studies have shown that it actually has a beneficial effect on employees' attitudes and the amount of work that gets done. Take your work seriously, not yourself.
- Flexible: Stuff happens! Welcome change, expect change, and prepare for change.