Editor’s Note: Annually after the Labor Day break in the United States companies begin to deeply evaluate all aspects of their business with the goals of both improving business performance in the last four months of the year and of initiating the preparation of budgetary and resourcing plans for the upcoming calendar year. One of the areas of evaluation that typically comes under increased scrutiny during this reenergized time of focus is the function of marketing. Provided below are four short extracts that highlight areas of marketing that may be beneficial for review by leaders and planners as they begin their post-Labor Day marketing planning and evaluation efforts.
How Scientific Can Marketing Be?
An extract from an article by Nate Holmes
Marketing isn’t famous for being overly concerned with facts. At best, marketing informs people of products and services that can elevate their potential and wellbeing. At worst, marketing spins facts and bamboozles the public. Less discussed, however, is the way that marketers can deceive themselves.
For several decades, there has been a push to make marketing more scientific, data-driven, and measurable. Numerous agencies, software platforms, and self-proclaimed gurus have rallied to the cause. It has been such a popular idea that CEOs and CFOs now believe that marketers actually control the metrics they measure.
The more that digital systems track every click, view, search, and comment, the more confidence there seems to be that marketing can be done with scientific precision. I think this confidence is misplaced. While I’d like to see more scientific thinking introduced into marketing, I also want to be realistic about where it can help us, and how it can mislead us.
Why Brand Awareness Matters
An extract from an article by Kaya Ismail
While brand awareness generally means how familiar consumers are with your company and its products or services, it’s essential to get more specific than this. Jake Taylor, marketing analyst at CORT, believes companies need to consider whether brand awareness means customers have heard their name before, or that their customers understand their specific products or services. Brand awareness is defined by the goals of the marketing team.
For companies that don’t sell everyday items, for example, it’s not as important for their brand to be top of mind for consumers. “Instead, I want to know that when our customer needs us, they recognize the brand and understand the services we provide,” said Taylor. That’s why brand awareness can mean something different for every organization.
Do You Understand Marketing?
An extract from an article by Dr. Philip Kotler
Marketing’s key processes are: (1) opportunity identification, (2) new product development, (3) customer attraction, (4) customer retention and loyalty-building, and (5) order fulfillment. A company that handles all of these processes well will normally enjoy success. But when a company fails at any one of these processes, it will not survive.
CEOs tend to see marketing as a department that comes into play after the product has been made, and the remaining job is to sell it. We argue instead that marketing must be seen as setting the strategic direction for the firm. Peter Drucker stated it well over thirty years ago: “A company has only two basic functions: innovation and marketing.”
The Fabric of Digital Marketing
An extract from an article by ComplexDiscovery
One unspoken but highly relevant factor in a digital marketing program’s success is the health of the target market. One only has to look at the last tech bubble to realize that many individuals who viewed themselves as marketing experts before the bubble burst were more the beneficiaries of great market conditions than great marketers. When the bubble burst, it quickly unmasked those leaders whose marketing programs were not comprehensive or cohesive and whose strong contribution to the organizational bottom line was because of market conditions, not solid marketing efforts.
Bringing value to the bottom line with digital marketing consists of more than regular cotton candy emotional accents on popular topics. It consists of the comprehensive and cohesive use of the proper tactics, techniques, and tools, applied to share the right information with the right audience at the right time to positively inform that audience’s thoughts, decisions, and actions. If a marketing leader can do this consistently over time, they should be able to deliver a positive and quantifiable impact on an organization’s bottom line with digital marketing.
- Taking Marketing Seriously? Indicators, Impact, and Individuals
- Six Signs Your CEO Takes Marketing Seriously