Marketing ends? Really – where? Two aspects you need to consider are the Tactical realities of the work getting done, and the branding responsibility taken on by Marketing. By a strict tactical definition – marketing is about the strategic positioning of an organisation’s offering – taking a potential customer through the buyers journey of creating awareness – through to purchase. However, the brand ownership responsibility does not end at a marketing to sales handoff. Marketing owns, helps define and drives the brand messaging consistency throughout the organisation. In this respect there is no end to Marketing.
Day to day tactics have to get done, like the new web design, SEM / SEO / SMO strategy development, communications plan, product launch, new promotion, ad campaign …. Tactical aspects of marketing are meant to potential customers through the buyers journey… and to ultimately handoff a well qualified lead to sales, and the rest of the organisation. This part is clear. In the strict functional role, marketing provides all the tools to help lead prospects through the buyers journey, providing a strategy for how the tools and tactics will augment, speed up or guide the journey. From this definition, yes the marketer has a clear, well defined, and clean end definition to their task.
Having launched 80+ new technology products, a dozen of which were entirely new markets, paradigms, or brands; gives you a perspective on the gravity of consistent branding throughout a market launch. New Product Introductions (NPI) are an extreme startup case. At this extreme, you must ensure the whole organisation aligns on the messaging, what the firm represents, and what the new offering promises to clients. NPI’s force product marketing to own ALL aspects of the launch, including setting out a strategy for organisational readiness, brand training throughout, and deployment of the new product. Here the brand must flow through all aspects of the organisation. It simply is not enough for the marketing job to be merely at the front end of the sale. Branding flows through every touch point and customer contact moment of truth.
Long story short – the end of marketing depends on how your firm views the role. From a strict demand generation, buyers journey mapping perspective, a marketer’s job is focused on the tactics that support the buyers journey through to a sales handoff. In effect, the end of marketing is at the handoff. Tactically this is an important delineation, and must be clearly understood for the efficiency of your enterprise.
Putting on your brand lens – the answer to the end of marketing – is that it permeates all aspects of the organisation’s offering. Every customer moment of truth (touchpoint with the firm), is an opportunity to confirm or deny the brand promise. As such, marketing must take the joint responsibility with senior leadership – to own all aspects of branding. That includes defining it, training all departments of an organisation, and ensuring the right message comes through at every touchpoint. Remember, even the trash collectors at Disney are helpful to guests – delivering on the brand promise.
Article by Charles Dimov