I’m Glad You Asked …
Random Musings from a Marketing Entrepreneur
By Karen See, CEO
I have probably discussed marketing challenges with several hundred companies since opening this firm eight years ago. In reflection of why some companies succeed at marketing and others continue to bounce from strategy to strategy; marketing exec to marketing exec, agency to agency, I thought I’d share some observations.
- Marketing-savvy companies have key people who can explain their organization through stories that captivate imagination and create visual imagery of what they do and how they do it.
Whenever a company’s’ team needs a white board and 30 minutes, the message being delivered is “We’re a generic company with no imagination.”
- Marketing-savvy companies have leadership teams that understand the brand IS THE COMPANY , not the logo (although the logo is the visual representation of the brand).
Brands should have value. They should create an immediate image/reaction in the minds of their constituents. Every touch point between the organization and its audience is reinforcing what the brand stands for. Brand confusion comes when the marketing campaign positions the company as one thing (i.e., customer-centric), yet the reality is quite different (the voice messaging system is complex and unfriendly).
- Marketing-savvy companies have a name that is memorable, unique and relevant … not something so generic that anyone could claim it (i.e., Healthcare Solutions Group, Galileo Communications, Summit Technology).
- Marketing-savvy companies have access (internally or externally) to creative business thinkers that put innovation, competitive dominance and customer value first.
When the management team spends more time psycho babbling the color of their logo rather than strategizing on how to become a market leader, there should be cause for concern.
- Marketing-savvy companies make decisions regarding marketing campaigns with a small and relevant team. They are not made by someone’s family member or the entire organization. They are made by the team that was involved in the strategic direction from day one.
- Marketing-savvy companies entrust their marketing to experienced professional. They do not put an unsuccessful sales rep in the role nor do they promote their administrative assistant into the function. They understand that marketing’s role is to participate in the creation of the CEOs vision … and to make that vision reality.
- Marketing-savvy companies do not rely on just internal gut instinct regarding their value proposition. They willingly and frequently ask the market for feedback on the perception of the brand.
- Marketing-savvy companies have CEOs and marketing executives who spend a significant amount of their time meeting with customers and customer-facing employees. They search for and seek out issues and opportunities and boldly push the organization to continuously innovate.
- Marketing-savvy companies go outside the organization for creative big ideas. They know that internal marketing teams can easily switch to “group think” and therefore, worry more about what the CEO will like versus what the market will embrace.