What is a marketing champion? It is someone who understands the value marketing adds to all areas of a business no matter what department they work in. Employing people who live and breathe marketing from the Managing Director through to customer service representatives can produce benefits and competitive advantages that enhance your entire business.
“The business enterprise has two–and only two–basic functions: marketing and innovation. Marketing and innovation produce results; all the rest are costs. Marketing is the distinguishing, unique function of the business.” – Peter Drucker
The marketer’s obsession with the customer, creativity and strategic thinking are all ideal attributes for business leaders whatever the size of the company. Theresa Gattung is a prime NZ example. A leading businesswoman, she comes from a marketing background and was CEO of Telecom before co-founding the hugely successful My Food Bag.
Marketers as senior business leaders is also a trend internationally, as more CEOs of big UK companies have a marketing background than ever before.
So how does this apply to Kiwi businesses? Why do you need to do to be a marketing champion? And what benefits will you see in your business?
The benefits of being customer-focused
A marketer’s role in a business is to be the customer champion. They always put the customer first. An essential part of marketing is an intimate understanding of customer journeys, as well as demographics, preferences and behaviours. This information is used to make informed decisions on everything from developing the most compelling offer to what the best communication channels are. If everyone in your business understands what your customers want, outstanding customer service and communication naturally follows, leading to better sales and greater loyalty.
If you want to take this one step further, customer personas are the ultimate way to understand the segments of your customer base. Based on data-driven research, they are highly detailed profiles of a ‘typical’ customer that allow a marketer to step into the customer’s shoes and think like them. If you would like some more information on how to create your own customer persona, Niel Patel has some great information. But for best results, it pays to go through the process with a marketing expert. Get in contact with us here at Energise and we can work through the process with you.
The benefits of building a brand, not going for a quick sale
We have said it before but we will say it again, a brand is one of the most important assets a company can have. It’s intangible but intrinsically linked to the heart of your business and the way customers view you. Marketing is all about building a brand that customers like and trust – the foundation to long term relationships and customer retention. It’s about more than going for the quick sale to boost this quarter’s sales figures, it’s about creating and nurturing an engaging, authentic story that resonates with your customers.
The benefits of a long term, holistic business view
One of the most basic marketing activities is the constant monitoring of what markets and competitors are doing to inform your next step. Market environments are constantly changing as technology, social trends and government policies develop so you need to keep pace.
Keeping tabs on what is happening around your business means you can be ready to capitalise on any immediate opportunities and to minimise any threats that pop up. Don’t be purely reactionary though. Make sure you take a long term view of external factors and put plans in place to give you the strategic advantage in the long run.
The benefits of marketing to entrepreneurship
Most business owners are entrepreneurs by nature. It takes a certain type of personality to be as motivated, tenacious and resilient as a business owner needs to be. The basic steps necessary to building a successful business – finding and retaining customers, creating the most compelling offer and packaging it in the most attractive way for this particular customer are core aspects of marketing. You can’t be an entrepreneur or business owner without being a marketing champion. Marketing leads to sales and the bottom line is no sales, no business.
Let’s scale it back. There are simple steps you can take right now. It doesn’t need to be overwhelming. Getting everyone in your company to be a marketing champion may sound like a big goal, but you can start with the basics:
Put the customer first
Create Personas that make it easier to identify with your customer
Keep the core brand values in mind with everything you do
Take note of what your competitors and the markets are doing – your business doesn’t operate in a vacuum
Take a long term view of everything from brand building to forming relationships with customers
Establish these marketing basics with everyone in your business and you will be well on your way to building a team of marketing champions and the foundations for long term success in no time.