A Different Perspective
By Leslie R. Wolff – A Marketing Curmudgeon
In a recent article in the prestigious publication the Harvard Business Review the writer declared, “Marketing is Dead.” It grabbed a lot of attention especially on the business oriented social media such as LinkedIn.com. The onslaught of comments from around the world was interesting, but the opinion from those with the most experience in the marketing arena seemed to feel that HBR hurt their reputation as a publication to be taken seriously for having published this piece which had little merit to it.
“Success is neither magical nor mysterious. Success is the natural consequence of consistently applying the basic fundamentals.” – Jim Rohn
In a world driven with a fascination with Internet technology and its various applications there seems to be a misunderstanding as to what’s a delivery system and what is smart thinking.
There is no magic formula to marketing, there are basic fundamentals combined with commonsense, creative thinking, effective communications, imaginative execution and sound implementation of the related strategies. BUT it all starts with understanding the “Fundamentals” which are –
Thinking … The obvious fundamental “If everyone is thinking alike, then somebody isn’t thinking”. – George S. Patton
The General had a point. Too many firms marketing activities are based on a “reactive” mode of operation rather than a “proactive” one. How best to get the right perspective to what should be done and how to get it done is to initiate and encourage conversation, even critical commentary from those who work in all areas that impact the customer, including the customer themselves and even vendors who would probably be happy to be recognized for their knowledge of the field … and your competition.
In a recent article I wrote on “Mimic Marketers” I described that most marketers prefer to “replicate, duplicate or imitate rather than originate.” Part of this relates from a fear of taking risk, but risk is reduced when one has established an environment where everyone is motivated to think for the benefit not only of the company but the security that underlines their concerns for the success of their employer and their employment in a difficult economy.
II. Observation and Absorption – Creating a differentiation
As inferred above most businesses in most categories tend to operate like each other which always leads to opportunities that often are overlooked and untapped. Therefore it’s key for create a marketing intelligence approach to notice what your competition is doing, absorbing as much info as you can on their operations looking not only where you are similar but identifying the positive differences you can provide that will set you aside. It’s called “thinking
outside the box.”
“Most of us don’t recognize opportunity until it goes to work in our competitors’ business.” – P. L. Andarr
The Message – Understanding the right perspective
Communication that impacts, creates desired response, stimulates, motivates and activates the targeted audience starts with words supported sometimes with visuals designed to grab attention, create awareness and much more.
“We begin to learn wisely when we’re willing to see world from other people’s perspective.” ― Toba Beta,
One of the most overlooked aspects of communicating your message can be observed in just examining your business card file. Usually 7 out of 10 cards would leave you in a quandary trying to figure out what they do. Company name and possibly the use of a tagline goes a long way to positively position your firm just in the interaction and interchange of activities that take place on a daily basis on the business landscape.
“Finding out that something doesn’t work is also the first step toward learning what does work.” – Duncan Watts
In your advertising, promotion and public relation efforts one has to create a message that resonates with the audience and the most effective way to achieve that is to reach out from their perspective. Simply focus on what’s important to them, what benefits do they perceive they’ll receive by making the decision you want made to achieve your goals.
“If there is any one secret of success, it lies in the ability to get the other person’s point of view and see things from his angle as well as your own.” – Henry Ford
The message to you is to understand the integration of communicating your message through all the structural elements of your strategy with persistency and consistency will reinforce the impact potential of that message and ultimately your bottom line.
People – The ingredient that’s the foundation of business
“None of us are as smart as all of us. “ – Phil Condit
Nothing get’s done without the involvement of people, although this often overlooked by management who have an “ivory Tower” mentality. When one creates a “we’re all in this together” atmosphere, marketing efforts get better, sharper and more successful. This is especially true when all know they in some way will benefit for putting forth their best to enhance the success of the “team.”
Attitude – The fundamental that reflects on the success of everything you do
“Attitude defines the altitude you can reach”
The stance you take influences the outcome you’ll get and the attitude approach you establish in your marketing operation and activities plays a significant role in the quality and quantity of the results you will gain. This is just commonsense and understand these “Fundamentals” are key to what marketing is. It is and is not the latest information, communication, promotion, publicity, sales, training systems and techniques when woven together produce a beautiful, powerful and workable marketing mosaic.
At the beginning of this article I criticized the Harvard Business review article stating Marketing is dead, well in its defense I’d like to share a description of Marketing that reinforces the rationale for the consideration of the fundamentals mentioned above. It comes from a highly respected Harvard Business School professor, Theodore Levitt in his book …”Marketing for Growth” when he described –
‘’Marketing is all the exhilarating big things and all the troublesome little things that must be done in every nook and cranny of the entire corporate organization to achieve the purpose of attracting and retaining a customer.” – Theodore Levitt
And that was in 1969 and it still holds true today!
‘Don’t let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do.’
Leslie R. Wolff is an experienced professional, obviously an outspoken curmudgeon with more than a half century in the marketing arena His mission in his business, speeches and writings is to reestablish a lost factor in business … commonsense! It is the foundation on which Smart Thinking is built. Les is CEO of The Smart Marketing Group, who simply help clients work smarter. He can be reached at 215-334-3432, firstname.lastname@example.org, Skype: Smart Marketing or http://www.smartmarketingroup.com
His E-Book” Smart Thinking- Vol.-I” is available @ www.smashwords.com/books/view/34172