CPR for Marketing? Part 2
My last post rekindled the issue of marketing’s value based on an extremely limited sample of two marketing colleagues.
But I do have a bigger anecdotal sample to draw from, and it’s based on the hundreds of business professionals who attend the American Marketing Association’s Marketing Boot Camp that I teach around the country. The attendees come from different size organizations in a variety of industries. Most are fairly new to marketing & a few are seasoned veterans who come for a back-to-basics refresher.
The moment of truth
Early in the program we review a comprehensive definition of marketing … then we “get real” as I ask attendees to candidly describe the marketing function in their organizations.
On the downside, I’ve heard responses such as “We’re the ones who get blamed when sales doesn’t make their quota” to “We’re the ones they come to when they need an ad or brochure” and “What’s marketing?”
Not all doom & gloom
I’ve also heard from attendees (the fortunate ones) who tell me their marketing is both a strategic player and respected function. It all depends on on the situation within the organization and how executive management views marketing.
What to do if you’re not among the fortunate? Stay tuned for my next post …
I have been to the mountain, and I have read the tablets, and they say to me… “Marketing is an organizational function and a set of processes for creating, communicating, and delivering value to customers and for managing customer relationships in ways that benefit the organization and its stakeholders.”
I agree with this definition. But…and forgive me…yet does anyone else feel that this definition is almost too vague to be helpful to someone who is ernestly trying to understand how to benefit from the power of marketing inside of their organization, or just plain save their job?
Not to be difficult, but consider the following definition of the word “defintion” to help see where I am coming from…
Source: Merriam-Webster’s Medical Dictionary, © 2002 Merriam-Webster, Inc.
n 1: a concise explanation of the meaning of a word or phrase or symbol
Now let’s substitute a few organizational functions for the word marketing, and see if the definitions don’t remain equally true in our experiment…
“Customer Billing is an organizational function and a set of processes for creating, communicating, and delivering value to customers and for managing customer relationships in ways that benefit the organization and its stakeholders.”
“Quality Control is an organizational function and a set of processes for creating, communicating, and delivering value to customers and for managing customer relationships in ways that benefit the organization and its stakeholders.”
Go ahead, and insert your own business functions, and see if the definition holds. It is like a marketing madlib. It is FUN!
Now wouldn’t you agree if you have a truly precise, and concise definition of a word that it would be somewhat difficult to swap other nouns in, and still have the definition hold true?
If not, then how could you tell one word from another. And in this case, how can you tell what marketing is supposed to do differently from about every other function inside your business, and therefore helping you better measure, and manage those specific value adding activities? How do you act on this definition of marketing provided by the AMA?
Now consider the following definition of sales from http://www.dictionary.com :
sale ( P ) Pronunciation Key (sl)
The exchange of goods or services for an amount of money or its equivalent; the act of selling.
Activities involved in selling goods or services.
I think most people know what to do with that!
Could it be the Emperor isn’t wearing any clothes? Could it be that the AMA must remind its members how new marketing is as a field, and should present its definition for what it is – a best general description of an ever developing field of study…Ok, go ahead everyone, shoot me for treason!