The greatest marketing challenge

The greatest marketing challenge
SHARE
THIS



Sales people live and die by the numbers. At the end of every quarter, make it or miss it, they start again. It’s like Groundhog Day. Bill Murray could certainly appreciate the feeling.

The biggest problem of course is missing it a few times in a row. If you do have a patch of inconsistency, you’re likely to be confronted with a different challenge – finding a new job.

For those in marketing, the exact opposite is true. A brand is built consistently over time. Campaigns may run quarter to quarter, but brand loyalty is built on shared values.

The only way to see what an organisation’s values are, is to see them put to the test over an extended period. Sentiment can shift like your mood, sometimes as erratically as the wind, and it’s measured in shades of grey. Loyalty on the other hand is either there, or it’s not.

Someone who understood this well is the late Steve Jobs, founder of Apple. He was once quoted as saying: “It took us three years to build the NeXT computer. If we’d given customers what they said they wanted, we’d have built a computer they’d have been happy with a year after we spoke to them – not something they’d want now.”

It’s this mentality – this long term thinking and Steve’s ability to craft a yarn – that has seen Apple develop an intensely loyal following. His position was always centred on how his company didn’t just make cool products, but was changing the world. And it worked. In the most recent Interbrand Study of the Best Global Brands, Apple sits top of the pile with a brand value of $98,316m. Better still, it’s reflected in the share price which has grown five times since the start of 2009.

For marketers, the challenge is this – being sensitive to the sales team and the selling cycle, while finding a balance that allows them to paint a picture highlighting their organisation’s values.

This tension is a dilemma. It’s a dichotomy – particularly because of the cannibalism of marketing functions.

Not only is there a battle at the C-suite for mindshare with other divisional leaders, even within a marketing team; the programs people, the product people, the advertising people, the digital people, and the communications people often don’t see eye to eye.

Of course with a finite budget, people tend towards varied expectations and goals, but the primary issue is where this manifests in the different functions speaking different languages. So, how is this problem resolved?

As a communications professional, you may say I have an agenda, and I do, but it’s possibly not what you think.

I sit on the leadership team across two agencies that have serviced the technology space for the last 15 years. From where I sit, this fractured ecosystem of marketers makes all functions a lot less effective. I strongly believe if marketing is to be the greatest support to the sales team and the business as a whole, it must clean house.

Specialisation is helpful but not if it splinters to such an extent there is no overarching dialogue. Reporting structures therefore need to tighten up and greater levels of accountability need to be tied to this goal.

Statistics revealed at the 2012 Global PR Summit showed 83% of survey respondents believe reputation is the consequence of the authentic behaviour of an organisation.

This is something PR must lead. It’s a lesson marketers must learn from. Communications professionals’ core value is their ability to create a narrative. They are storytellers by nature. If ever there was a time to elevate their status within the business and actively work on re-architecting the perception they are just spin doctors, or PR people chasing headlines and clippings, it is now.

The proliferation of social tools means cultivating community must be a seminal KPI at the crux of every marketer’s ambition. With so many communities to engage, being able to tell the right stories at the right moment, via the right vehicles, is central to everything else.

Programs will therefore generate more leads. Product will be valued more highly because it is differentiated more articulately. Advertising will cut through more effectively, and digital assets will become customer relationship gold.

Consequently, communications initiatives will create a legacy and a platform from which the share price can build on.

For me, it’s just common sense. CMOs must understand the growing influence comms pros have over the marketing matrix. They are the reason much of a purchaser’s mind is made up before the customer even speaks with someone from sales.

It’s time the organisational chart reflected the new balance.

Aaron Crowther is the group business director for Spectrum Communications and Max Australia.

Please login with linkedin to comment

Latest News

Bauer’s Cosmo Named Official Mardi Gras Media Partner
  • Marketing
  • Media

Bauer’s Cosmo Named Official Mardi Gras Media Partner

Bauer Media has announced Cosmopolitan magazine as an official media partner of the 2018 Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras. COSMO’s Mardi Gras sponsorship will deliver a month-long celebration of activities in the Parade’s 40th anniversary year. In addition to the event sponsorship, COSMO is producing its second Pride Issue for March, on sale 5th […]

A Guide To Understanding Your Digital Marketer
  • Opinion

A Guide To Understanding Your Digital Marketer

In this guest column, Logie-nominated journalist, Leisa Goddard (main photo), who is also the managing director of media, PR and digital agency, Adoni Media, offers her personal guide to making your way through digital marketing buzzwords and gobbledygook… Do you feel as though your digital marketer speaks to you in a language you don’t understand? In today’s highly-competitive world […]

Opinion

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
SpotX Appoints Gavin Buxton As Asia MD
  • Advertising

SpotX Appoints Gavin Buxton As Asia MD

Video advertising platform SpotX has announced it has appointed Gavin Buxton as managing director of Asia to lead the company’s expansion in the region. Buxton has over 17 years’ global experience in the digital advertising space, having worked in leadership roles at tech and publishing companies, including Microsoft, Turner Broadcasting, and LinkedIn, with the last […]

Big Mobile Doubles Down On Ad Tech & Rebrands
  • Advertising
  • Technology

Big Mobile Doubles Down On Ad Tech & Rebrands

B&T Awards 2017 finalist Big Mobile has unveiled a fresh look to reflect its new ad tech credentials. The company successfully pivoted its business from ad network to mobile ad tech vendor when it announced a joint venture (JV) with Widespace in October last year. As a result of the business changes, Big Mobile wanted […]

March One Appoints New Senior Account Manager
  • Advertising

March One Appoints New Senior Account Manager

Independent ad agency March One has appointed a fresh face to the team, with Melanie Tozer to reinforce its mission to put humans first as a senior account manager. Tozer (pictured above), an up-and-coming talent from New Zealand, will align her extensive experience in FMCG marketing with March One, having worked on accounts for Bunnings […]

What To Expect From The App Economy In 2018
  • Opinion
  • Technology

What To Expect From The App Economy In 2018

Here's an insightful, authoritative synopsis of the app economy. So, you're right, it wasn't written by a B&T journo.

Opinion

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Farm Foods Rebrands To Target Modern Aussie Families Via Tiny Hunter
  • Marketing

Farm Foods Rebrands To Target Modern Aussie Families Via Tiny Hunter

Seasoned meat supplier Farm Foods Butchers has rebranded its selection of sausages, burgers, meatballs and ready-to-cook meat products to appeal to the modern Aussie family. The 100 per cent family-owned and operated business based in Breakwater, Victoria worked with Sydney-based branding and packaging design company Tiny Hunter. Together, they created a brand which connects with […]

Animal Logic Shows Off New Website In Collaboration With Protein One
  • Marketing
  • Media

Animal Logic Shows Off New Website In Collaboration With Protein One

Aussie visual FX and feature animation studio Animal Logic has unveiled its new web experience – a reimagined website – in collaboration with Sydney digital agency Protein One. Animal Logic felt it was important to engage a local digital agency to represent its brand online. The company’s online personality was one that required a team […]

Raunchy Marathon Ad Causes Utter Confusion
  • Campaigns

Raunchy Marathon Ad Causes Utter Confusion

B&T likes to award the "dumbest ad of the day" with a 15-inch devon knob. And this would be a processed meats shoe-in.

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Red Agency Wins Bio-Oil PR Account
  • Marketing

Red Agency Wins Bio-Oil PR Account

Red Agency staff set to challenge for the record for most people to squeeze into a lift after winning Bio-Oil business.