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Expert Answers to Biz Questions

Listen in! Pick up some expert advice to a reader's question that we selected from CyberSchmooz.

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Marketing Matters

 

It's time to make marketing the key driver of your business. The business enterprise has one key goal – to create customers and, to do this, it has two primary functions – innovation and marketing. Most business leaders have embraced innovation as the heart of their company, but lately, it seems as if marketing has been relegated to a position that's staff driven. This leads to missed opportunities, waste, and even failure.

 

The original intent of marketing is more critical now than ever. The world is overrun by innovative business models, solutions, technologies, and products. These new offerings have to be commercialized and brought to market so that they can generate revenue and help the business to earn a profit. For example, if you make beauty products, then you might want to concentrate on beauty PR to market those products so that you can earn a profit with them. Innovation by itself just can't sustain a business. It has to be paired with marketing. 

 

Marketing's Decline

As opposed to being valued and led as the main driver of the growth and viability of business, in recent years, marketing has stagnated. The thing is, marketing needs to be product-specific. If you've got a company that specializes in pet shampoos, you need pet shampoo marketing. You can't just scale your budget back and hope that the customers will continue to pour in. You also can't just market your company and not any of the individual products and/or services you offer.

 

It isn't a surprise that businesses seem to be cutting back when it comes to marketing. It seems to be on the decline all over. The thing is, if a business wants to be able to thrive in the commoditized, competitive, cluttered marketplace of today, it needs to unleash all of the massive potential that marketing has.

 

Innovation Must be Marketed

There have been countless articles written that explain how important marketing is when it comes to the innovation fueled marketplace of today. Even though many of them intend to promote new approaches to sales, they all make the case for marketing as a whole. The thing is, business leaders might have the confidence they need in their ability to create innovations, but not all of them have that same confidence when it comes to commercializing them. 

 

Innovative new products need more extensive and intense engagement with and from customers than products that already exist. See, curiosity may fuel the interest of the customer with products that are new early on, but later in the sales cycle, those same customers are more likely to raise doubts and be uncertain as they think about how they might need to adapt in order to use these products. 

 

Because of this, sales teams should come up with psychological profiles of their ideal customers. Then, the salespeople should be trained to be less focused on the whistles and bells and more focused on using the information from those profiles to let customers know how they can use the products to their benefit. Marketing enables this.

 

In essence, marketing needs to be more about getting products ready to launch than about the product after it's launched. This is done by expanding existing markets or creating new ones. Business leaders need to understand or develop how these products will fit in with the lives, values, and needs of their customers. They should create an experience for their customers that turns their product into the total solution for their customers. Because of this, marketing should be less defined by budgets and managed by departments, and instead, embraced as a discipline for business throughout the entire company. 

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