04 Nov Marketing Starts Sooner Than You Think
When the engineer from research and development informs the marketing department of an exciting, technically superior new product and asks them to take it to market, it is too late. When the President announces a newly acquired subsidiary and calls on the marketing team to determine how to best integrate it with the corporate brand, it is too late. And when the head of sales requests marketing support to promote a big idea, it is much too late.
Too often, marketing is viewed as the last piece of the puzzle. It is seen as the function that will take a new product, business or idea and figure out how to make the market want them. This is a traditional and short-sighted understanding of marketing.
Good marketing is about determining what the market needs before spending anytime developing a new product. It is about understanding where the opportunities are before pursuing an acquisition to meet them. Good marketing gets its big ideas from the customer and funnels them to sales, not the other way around.
Good marketing doesn’t overcome poor products, brands that don’t fit, or ideas customers don’t want. Good marketing thinks first and acts second. To do so, good marketing must be called upon early and often.
What business are we in? What business should we be in? What does the market need and want? What will the market find compelling? These are marketing questions and should come first. If marketing is not involved in answering these questions, marketing is not playing the right role nor is it adding real value to your organization.
Marketing can help accomplish big things, but only when it is involved right from the start.