Marketing is Everything

Big “M” Marketing is not advertising!

Bill Taylor, CMO, Gordian Knot Analytics Group, Inc.

Author’s note: I originally published this article in 2013, for a blog on Continuous Innovation I was writing. The subject material continues to be relevant and is a cornerstone for how every CxO should think about Marketing.

Marketing is not advertising!  There, I said it! I am concerned that far too many companies still think of marketing as simply the advertising function for the company, and if you don’t believe me, look at most job descriptions for a Chief Marketing Officer, or VP of Marketing, or Director of Marketing, or Manager of Marketing. Very rarely do these roles take on allof the text book responsibilities that form the entire basis of marketing. Do they in your company?

While advertising (creating awareness and communicating the advantages of your products and services to your end-customers) is an essential component of Marketing, it is a strategic mistake to limit your view of marketing this way. So, what do I mean by Big “M” Marketing?  I believe Peter Drucker sums it up best.

“Marketing is so basic that it cannot be considered as a separate function. It is the whole business seen from the point of view of its final result, that is, from the customer’s point of view.”  Peter Drucker

In other words, Big “M” Marketing is the essence of everything a company does to satisfy its customers; everything else is secondary to that.

The first pages of virtually every Marketing textbook define Marketing as “… the function of satisfying the needs, wants, and desires of your customers with products and services of value, better than your competition.”  The other 700 plus pages explain in excruciating detail how to enable this seemingly very simple definition.

“Marketing is so basic that it cannot be considered as a separate function. It is the whole business seen from the point of view of its final result, that is, from the customer’s point of view.”  Peter Drucker

Why is it then that most companies, and their leadership seem to have such a narrow view of Marketing? I believe over time products and underlying technology, sales channels, and financial models supporting them have become increasingly more complicated. Organizations have separated out the various components of marketing (Product, Pricing, Promotion, Distribution, Customer Care, etc.). Further, organizations have established pools of expertise for each of these components in different / specialized departments – Product Managers are responsible for defining and developing the solution. Marketing owns advertising and media relationships. Finance might be responsible for pricing and discount authorization functions. Sales owns a large portion of the pre-sales customer engagement relationship and revenue generating responsibility. Service owns the post-sales customer experience, and so forth.

marketing is everything 2

However, disconnects surface whenever you ask these various groups what their role in the Marketing function is. I often hear comments like these: “I’m in sales – those marketing people are nothing but a bunch of hot air.”  Or, “I’m in product development, marketing and sales can’t sell these awesome gizmos I’ve just spent years developing.” Or, “I’m in finance, I have to make sure that those marketing and sales people don’t give it away for free.”  Or, worse, “I am in marketing – I don’t do sales.”  Frightening!

Not everyone views his or her role as an integral part of the broader Big “M” Marketing function, and it gets less clear, when Marketing is buried underneath one of the other disciplines or disconnected from the direct customer facing activity altogether.

As the Top Executive of a company, one of our roles is to enable and facilitate integrating this holistic view of Marketing into the zeitgeist of every other group – or more to the point, our job is to ensure that every group’s responsibility and accountability for satisfying our customers’ needs is clearly articulated and well understood. But, our biggest challenge may be that we came up through Finance, or Engineering and our view of Marketing may be limited. We may have had very little exposure to the Marketing function except in Dr. Smith’s Marketing class when we went to business school 20 or 30 some years ago. Or, we may have even dropped out of college to go invent the next awesome thing, and never made it to Dr. Smith’s Marketing class.

“If you are not focused on embedding Marketing throughout your organization, you will fail in the marketplace. I can safely say this because if you are not satisfying your customers, your competition will.” Theodore Levitt

If you need a wake-up call, get started by reading or re-reading the classic article by Theodore Levitt – Marketing Myopia. It will remind you and your team to consider what business you are really in, and who your real customers are (hint: you are not the device or service you produce, and your real customers are the folks who write the lastcheck for your product or service). Then, take a hard look at your organization and make sure that every function understands their respective role in supporting your end-customers. Make certain your HR team is incorporating some aspect of supporting the customer in everyone’s job description; that every manager has objectives to support improved focus on the customer. Compensate everyone for performance in this effort.

Have your engineers and R&D scientists sit through a customer sales pitch, or a focus group on your next awesome gizmo – it may not be as awesome as they imagined it to be. Have the finance folks attend the next trade show and have them work the booth – let them see how hard it is to convey the value of the product. Let everyone in the company know when customers are coming to visit, and why they are an important customer – roll out the red carpet in every corner of the facility; get the security guards (often the first point of contact for a customer coming to visit your facility) or the cafeteria workers to sit through new employee orientation where you introduce what your company does and how it’s organized, and what employee values everyone is expected to support. By the way, if you haven’t done it in a while, spend a half-day with your call center staff listening to support calls – you might be surprised by what you hear.

Everyone should be an advocate for the end-customer, including your channel partners and 3rd party suppliers.

Further, make certain that Marketing, Sales, Operations, Finance, and Service are engaged with Engineering and Development before the product is coming down the manufacturing line and “escapes” into the marketplace. Integrate them into the product release stage reviews. Hold everyone accountable for the value proposition of Right Product, Right Time, Right Price, and Right Place.Catch people trying to do the right thing for the end-customer and reward them when you do – it’s contagious.

In short, everyone in our respective organizations should understand what value he or she is bringing every day to support the customer attraction, win, and retention cycle. If we cannot articulate the value of the activity in terms of Customer Centricity, then eliminate it (or if you must – the individual). As harsh as that sounds, I’ve more often discovered that if you ask your staff how they can support the end-user better, they’ll have plenty of great thoughts on that – all we have to do is listen, and then of course, be prepared to act on those suggestions.

There is a lot more to discuss about Big “M” Marketing, and ways to get everyone thinking about satisfying the needs of our customers, and why it’s so important to the Continuous Innovation process. Contact Gordian Knot Analytics Group today and find out how we can help.

Understanding Consumer Trust with the Trust Framework from Gordian Knot

Establishing a New Framework for Understanding Brand Trust

MEDIA CONTACTS:

Bill Taylor, info@gknotag.com

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Gordian Knot Analytics Group Has Developed a New Approach for Measuring Brand Trust.

PHILADELPHIA, PA, May 22, 2018 –  Ongoing events in the news highlight the frailty of brand trust, and the difficulty of recovering from the consequences one negative event can create for a brand. For a brand to succeed, it must develop a rigorous understanding of consumer trust components, consistently measure its performance against these components, account for the intrinsic biases in human behavior, and then unceasingly take corrective actions if consumer perceptions of the brand are at odds with what the company desires.

“People want to do business with brands that reflect and support their values and interests – with brands they trust –  and because of the vast choices available to most consumers today, they will avoid those that don’t,” says Bill Taylor, Chief Marketing Officer for Gordian Knot Analytics Group. “It is critical that a brand establish a new framework for measuring consumer trust.”

Many companies are missing the most important components of brand trust making it difficult to fully realize the long-lasting effects of positive brand trust (repeat purchase and retention). Using a new analytical framework founded in developmental Psychology, and developed by Gordian Knot Analytics Group, brands can now create a highly repeatable trust metric that accurately portrays the depth and nature of consumer trust.

Gordian Knot Analytics Group, Inc. has produced a comprehensive white paper to help you understand how to measure trust more effectively – while accounting for fundamental human behavior biases. To learn more about the Gordian Knot Brand Trust Framework and download the full White Paper, visit our website at www.GKAGmarketing.com and click on the User Content tab.

 

About Gordian Knot Analytics Group, Inc.

Founded in 2015, Gordian Knot Analytics Group, Inc. (GKAG), a leading innovator in data analytics, is focused on explaining, predicting, and optimizing extracted trends and drivers from our clients’ data assets that traditional data processing application software and statistical analyses are inadequate to handle. Gordian Knot Analytics Group’s Applications are helping our clients’ – leading companies in retail, healthcare, travel, and financial services – generate sustainable growth, improve customer satisfaction, and maximize the value they to their customers. For more information go to www.GKAGmarketing.com, or drop us a note at info@GKNOTAG.com. Like and / or follow us on LinkedIn.

Addressing the Skills Gap in Data Analytics

MEDIA CONTACTS:

Bill Taylor, info@gknotag.com

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Gordian Knot Analytics Group Addresses the Data Analytics skills Gap Fueled by Marketing Demand.

PHILADELPHIA, PA, May 15, 2018 –  Much has been written about the growing data analytics skills gap – how the demand for individuals with strong data analytics and advanced statistics skills is suitable and growing. The job posting site, indeed™ currently lists over 28,000 openings for “Data Scientist.” Adding “big Data” to the search increase the count to over 54,000!  New listings for Data Scientists exceed 1,000 every day – that’s a lot of demand! Compounding this challenge, we face a supply situation where the world of education can’t produce qualified individuals fast enough, creating qualified staff in-house is producing mixed results, and taking experienced talent from other companies is impractical.

“Without a solid understanding in analytics or complex statistics, your marketing professionals will not be able to utilize the vast information resources your company has been amassing,” warns Lawrence Choi, Gordian Knot Analytics CEO. “But getting marketers to think like statisticians is not a good use of their talent either. Think of it this way, before the time of the modern portable computer and powerful software, one had to be a proficient software programmer to get the system to perform even the most mundane tasks. One spent all their time programming the computer and not understanding the information it produced. Your marketing professionals need tools that will allow them to be more productive and concentrate on being – well – better marketing professionals.”

Gordian Knot Analytics Group, Inc. has produced a comprehensive white paper to help you address the skills gap challenge head-on. To learn more about the analytics skills gap challenges and download the full White Paper, visit our website at www.GKAGmarketing.com and click on the User Content Tab.

About Gordian Knot Analytics Group, Inc.

Founded in 2015, Gordian Knot Analytics Group, Inc. (GKAG), a leading innovator in data analytics, is focused on explaining, predicting, and optimizing extracted trends and drivers from our clients’ data assets that traditional data processing application software and statistical analyses are inadequate to handle. Gordian Knot Analytics Group’s Applications are helping our clients’ – leading companies in retail, healthcare, travel, and financial services – generate sustainable growth, improve customer satisfaction, and maximize the value they to their customers. For more information go to www.GKAGmarketing.com, or drop us a note at info@GKNOTAG.com. Like and / or follow us on LinkedIn.

Understand the real drivers of consumer needs, attitudes, and behaviors.

Change Your Luck with Better Casino Marketing

A recent article published in the February, 2018 issue of Casino Journal, discusses the need to better understand your customers’ needs, attitudes, and behaviors. Read how Gordian Knot’s proprietary technology can turn your marketing data into actionable, scalable marketing tactics driving streamlined customer acquisition and sales conversions. Read the full article by clicking on the link below.


Marketing with an Attitude


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Get in touch with Gordian Knot Analytics Group. Marketing analytics solutions from Gordian Knot Analytics Group will let you get a handle on your marketing activities, helping you engage with your prospects and current customers in more meaningful ways - easier, faster - giving you more time to concentrate on the things that matter most. Reach us at info@GKAGmarketing.com

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Marketing analytics solutions from Gordian Knot Analytics Group will let you get a handle on your marketing activities, helping you engage with your prospects and current customers in more meaningful ways – easier, faster – giving you more time to concentrate on the things that matter most . . .

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