Don’t You Just Hate The Word…..MARKETING

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I spent some time this week talking to a CEO group, as they completed the 9 Boxes Benchmark Workshop answering our 45 questions about their strategic marketing capability they asked us some very, very relevant questions specifically – what really is marketing? That’s when I decided I really hate the word ‘marketing’.

Our process helps CEOs and business leaders begin to understand what they should expect from marketing – they should be having strategic conversations about:

  • Their business culture and position
  • What is their market landscape and where’s the future opportunity?
  • Where’s their competitive advantage?
  • What products/services are they offering to their clients?
  • And how are these being delivered?
  • Are they meeting their client’s expectations?
  • Do they really know who their clients are?
  • AND what keeps their clients awake at night?
  • Etc, etc, etc

They are not having these conversations so their expectations of what marketing can deliver and achieve is low! After many conversations with CEOs, including our clients early on in their journey with us, their expectation is we can deliver a marketing activity plan [at best] and an e-news [at worst]

The bar is so low, we HAVE to be able to change the perceptions of marketing’s contribution to business.

In a recent article by Tim Williams he talked about the magic [strategy] and the logic [implementation] that professional services firms deliver. I think marketing [services] firms are so busy selling the next bit of ‘logic’, because that’s their business model; they forget the ‘magic’.  We talk about what’s strategic, and what’s tactical to our clients, and it takes us all of our might and will to keep them in strategic space. They want to stay there but the temptation to default to the ‘e-news’ conversation is overwhelming. It’s too easy for them to revert to what they “know” – the low bar and for marketing not to exceed expectations.

Also we believe the temptation is to adopt ‘logic’ or activity due to the fact that it is producing tangible outputs in the short term – stuff that is easy to see and account for, but like junk food – a “quick fix that leaves you ultimately unfulfilled”?

Yet there are some CEO’s we have worked with who have seen what strategic marketing can achieve for their business and now “get it” – it’s planned and long term strategic thinking. So, we are going to keep asking our 45 questions, we are going to keep on creating ‘magic’ conversations and we are going to keep on changing the way CEOs and business leaders think about marketing. For want of a better name………what would you call it?