Everyone knows you shouldn't ignore marketing. After all, it's the reason why you're reading this article. But some people can be a bit too analytical about marketing. They see every single marketing campaign as an end unto itself. In other words, they ignore the bigger picture (and the broad idea of marketing). They can't see the forest for the trees, making them forget all the fantastic things marketing does for them.
Problem: C-suite executives understand that it takes marketing to raise brand visibility. But sometimes, they get myopic in their thinking. As a result, they harm their marketing efforts and don’t stick to the plan.
Opportunity: Of course, you shouldn’t ignore marketing. But it's essential to zoom between the finite and the broad. In other words, a lousy campaign doesn't mean total marketing failure. Instead, it's a learning opportunity.
Resolution: Discover the ten reasons why you shouldn't ignore marketing. It'll provide you with greater context and the bigger picture. Remember, marketing is a long-term activity. So, understanding its nuances helps keep things in perspective.
1. Marketing is About Finding Out What You Need
Marketing is about finding out what you need. Sure, it may sound counter-intuitive since we always say marketing's about the customer. However, marketing provides you with essential information. Therefore, it's vital to view marketing with a holistic lens. Everything you do with marketing has a purpose. And it provides data and information. Together, all of it allows you, as a leader, to make strategic decisions.
Ultimately, marketing helps you make sure you’re getting the information you need to create the best experiences for your customers.
2. Marketing is About Listening Behavior
One of the fundamentals of marketing is that listening behaviors inform it. In other words, the best marketers know they need to listen to leads and customers. Moreover, by listening, you can make necessary adjustments from sales to R&D. And because you listen, you can encourage your customers to change their behaviors. For instance, you motivate them to look less at competitors because you give them what they need. So, you're directly influencing them.
Inevitably, by listening and adjusting, you form deeper relationships. And that leads us to the third reason why marketing is so important.
3. Marketing is About Building Relationships
One of the best reasons you shouldn't ignore marketing is about building relationships. This is a lot more than just selling something. It's about creating a bond between you and your customers. In marketing, it can happen through in-person meetings, digital, print, B-2-B marketing, and other types of marketing. All of it helps you build stronger relationships with your current customers but also attracts new ones. The success of any business relies on its relationships with leads and customers.
4. Marketing is About Finding New Customers
Sometimes, all you need is to find just one new customer. This single customer could be the one who recommends your services to other businesses. Inevitably, the more people who know of your brand, the higher the chance one of them will know someone who isn’t a customer yet. And that’s why relationships matter. They help lead your company to new customers. So, think of creating a referral program. Your best new clients come from your current customers.
5. Marketing is About Improving Your Brand
Another reason why you shouldn’t ignore marketing is that it's about improving your brand. You've probably heard this before, but it's still important to remember. To do this, you want to ensure your brand is present in the right marketing channels. In other words, you want to be strategic—both online and offline. Again, it's essential to look at the big picture as a leader. It's not about one campaign. It's about the entirety of everything you do.
6. Marketing is About Research and Development
Marketing is about research and development. This is what you do when your team creates different types of marketing campaigns. It’s also what happens when your team selects specific marketing channels. Ultimately, you’re looking for the best ways to get your message to your leads. However, all of it happens with actionable intelligence and data. And that means your marketing team needs the best tools to inform sales, operations, etc.
7. Marketing is About Reputation Management
You shouldn't ignore marketing as a leader because it’s also about reputation management. As we know, your company's reputation could get damaged easily in today's digital world. It really doesn't take much. All it takes is an errant tweet going viral, and you find yourself in a defensive position. To the earlier point about marketing being about listening, reputation management is why your team needs always to listen socially. The right tools allow you to know everything that's said digitally about your brand and its executives. In short, marketing is a round-the-clock activity around your brand.
8. Marketing is About Ongoing Success
Marketing is about the ongoing success of your brand. In other words, it helps leads and customers realize why you're the best in the market. Further, marketing is about the ongoing success of the effort. There could be many competitors in your industry. But, there's only room for one top performer, your company. Fortunately, you can know how your marketing and lead generation perform with today's tools. Looking at the whole of your efforts informs your team milestone by milestone or step by step.
9. Marketing is Constantly Changing
Of course, you know that we all live and work in a dynamic environment. And it’s another reason why you shouldn't ignore marketing. Change is constant, and that's predictable. However, companies can now benefit from potent tools with artificial intelligence and machine learning. But it's vital to keep it simple and not complicate things. And that's why a technology built on a singular framework is critical. Tech's changing too quickly. So you can't afford not to have one system for marketing, sales, and operations.
10. Marketing is About Your Brand's Legacy
Consumers want brands to stand for something beyond just their products. They increasingly look for socially responsible brands. How can your brand incorporate these brand principles into your long-term strategy? You start by incorporating your brand’s history into its future. A brand’s history can shape its future in two ways. It can give you strategic insight into your past. And it can inspire confidence in the future due to its past track record. So, as a leader, you need to consider what you want for your brand's legacy.
In sum, of course, you shouldn't ignore marketing. You know that! However, you shouldn't also look at one metric of performance and make conclusions. As a leader, it's your role to be the strategic thinker and decision-maker. Sure, you must have the ability to focus on details, but you also need a broad perspective. Knowing the more general marketing elements allows you to be more thoughtful about how you direct your team to act.
Ben Stroup is Chief Growth Architect and President at Velocity Strategy Solutions where he helps leaders design, develop, and deploy smarter business growth strategies. Ben is a futurist, disruptor, and data champion. He leads a team that takes a structured learning approach to business challenges, which allows them to assist leaders in bridging the gap between ideas, innovation, and revenue—taking ideas from mind to market.
Velocity Strategy Solutions is an on-demand, next-generation business strategy and management consulting firm which provides clients with a relentless focus on data, execution, and results that positively impact the bottom line. Velocity delivers integrated people and revenue strategies combined with a disciplined approach to growth architecture that elevates the capacity of leaders, teams, and organizations to succeed and win more.