Commerce: If you are not making it or selling it, you are overhead
There are two basic things that organizations do to make money. The first is to make something of value. The second is to sell that product or service to people who want or need it and have the ability to pay for it. Any activity not directly related to these two activities is added overhead and needs to be justified.
Marketing’s role in an organization is to facilitate the making/selling process. Here are the top 10 things a marketer can do to make sure he or she is helping an organization make and sell more and are not just adding to overhead.
1. Learn and share consumer needs and wants with the organization.
Marketers should speak for consumers’ wants and needs by being able to translate problems and needs into specific product or service features and benefits that your organization can profitably deliver. Help everyone in the organization understand what the customer/consumer values and is willing to pay for.
2. Understand and explain consumer and market trends.
Don’t just look at what has happened, but use that understanding to predict where the market is going. Helping the organization prepare for change will make it proactive instead of reactive.
3. Understand “core corporate competencies” and how they can be used for competitive advantage.
Don’t come to manufacturing with ideas that have no chance of being made. Bring opportunities that can maximize what your organization does best.
4. Help obtain consensus for, and direct, actions that enhance corporate vision.
Marketers should be the architects of plans and programs that build and reinforce the mission of the organization. Marketers need to have the vision to see what the finished product will look like before a prototype is even made.
5. Create and drive projects that enhance shareholder value.
Don’t just have activity for activity’s sake. If it doesn’t add value, don’t do it. Marketing can help focus the entire organization on what is really important to the success and future of the organization. If a marketer’s “to do” list has more than four or five projects, you are probably trying to do too much and will lack the focus needed to move quickly.
6. Serve as an internal problem solver.
Don’t say, “It’s not my job.” Solving problems often leads to insights that create opportunities. Every time you roll up your sleeves and help solve a problem, you create another opportunity for learning that can improve your products and processes.
7. Be a quality champion by establishing a culture where quality decisions are made with a clear understanding of customers’ needs, wants and values.
Never allow a product or service to be shipped or delivered until it is right. Marketing needs to be the customers’ champion when it comes to quality.
8. Facilitate efficient manufacturing by aiding and coordinating the forecasting process.
Use your market trend insights and knowledge of upcoming advertising and promotion programs and competitive events to adjust and time a commodity’s production.
9. Facilitate financial and purchasing decisions through short- and long-term trend, new product and competitive analysis.
Accurate forecasts will help minimize inventory and maximize product availability. Accurate forecasts allow you to have the right product at the right price when and where you need it, but not sooner.
10. Create communication and promotional vehicles that make the selling process easier, more effective and more profitable.
Done properly, communication programs will pre-sell your product or service, making your sales efforts much more efficient. When marketing keeps sales people well informed about promotions in a timely fashion and listens to sales inputs on customers’ needs, customers are not “caught short” and can make the most of your promotional efforts.
About the author: Scott Francis is the president of Topline Development marketing consulting and co-founder of Snap Lab Media™, the marketer of SnapTRAC™ software as a service for advertising agencies and larger enterprises that rapidly builds mobile websites, generates QR codes and provides analytics without the need for programmers. Visit SnapLabmedia.com, call (920) 722-1317 or email Scott at Scott@SnapLabMedia.com.