Marketing Leadership = Marketing Success
The world of industry has learned that investment in executive leadership development is vital to the long term success of every enterprise. Strong leadership is especially critical in marketing. While research and development might create fantastic products, if no one understands their value or how those products can solve problems, all that R&D effort adds up to economic loss.
The marketing department is now central to the success of every business. Smart industry leaders will invest in marketing processes, systems and management skills proven to be effective in conveying the truth and quality of the company, no matter what it is selling.
Everything old is digitally new again
Back in the day, before computers and Internet and 4G speeds, there were travelling sales people and product buyers. Sales people hauled their goods from door-to-door, explaining to buyers the value of those goods. Sellers who did well knew that the initial goal was the development of a trusting relationship with the buyer; the actual product they were selling was secondary. They also knew that if they earned the buyers’ trust, they could continue to sell subsequent goods to that buyer.
Over time, it was that emotional relationship between the two that closed the sale, not the actual pitch of the day. Through extended conversations and multiple transactions, sellers learned what was important to buyers – what they were feeling - and offered products that were most likely to respond to those feelings.
Todays’ primary marketing venue – the Internet – is still directed by these fundamental principles. Smart marketing leaders spend significant resources identifying the problems potential customers are trying to solve, and then devising information and marketing tools that identify their product as the solution to that problem.
The beauty of the internet is that it provides a much wider range of presentation options than were available before its advent. Educational articles, competitive comparisons, buyers guides, online tutorials and blogs are only a few of the digital tools used to inform potential buyers of available products as solutions to their problems. Marketing leaders will understand how each of these tools can address the feelings of potential buyers and will structure their marketing to connect purchase and use of the product to those feelings.
Long-term vision means long-term success
Developing a robust marketing strategy requires focus and investment in both technological and human resources. Technological advances continue to open new avenues of communications, and marketing leaders will need to be adaptive and flexible to move company images and values quickly into new formats.
Customer feedback and comments should drive innovations in products and services, and be immediately translated back into marketing processes. Ultimately, the connection between the customers’ needs (their feelings) and sales of the product should be reflected in increased revenues, the actual standard for measurement of success.
A skilled and insightful marketing team leader is critical to corporate success as the nexus between the quality and value of the product, and the willingness of the customer to buy it. Tomorrows’ marketing leaders will establish long term strategies that build incrementally on a number of platforms, all focused on the goal of building customer loyalty to guarantee repeat sales over time. These strategic platforms should include seeking customer input, connecting that input to the function of the product, and then presenting the product as a solution to the customer’s need.
Skilful use of technology will keep the customer informed in whichever digital format they prefer. The complexity of the varied internet marketing options will require a team of marketing professionals, each one excelling at a few digital tools and the entire team excelling at them all. Investment in this resource, the marketing leaders and team members, is an investment in the ultimate success of the company.