Posted by : Amitha Amarasinghe Wednesday, October 27, 2010

marketing

One of the most commonly misinterpreted management quotes of all time is "Marketing is everyone's job". It is everyone's job, but it is not everyone's 'job function". This essentially means that you have to perform your 'assigned job function' (whether it is finance, R&D, HR or administration) in manner that it creates value for your end customers and making sure the end customer is delighted. Because at the end of the day, it is the end customers' decision to purchase from your company or not; will decide whether you will get paid or not at the end of the month. "Marketing is everyone's job" does not mean that everyone needs to come up with tactical (or strategic) suggestions to 'help' the poor souls in the marketing department, as it is commonly misinterpreted.


How can other functions contribute to marketing?

Yes, when they say, "marketing is everyone's job" there is an underlying truth in it. The difficult part to understand is the true meaning of this statement. When you do not know the true meaning, you go and try to mock the work of marketing people and pretend to be even smarter marketers than they themselves are.

Let us take an example from HR function. If marketing is everyone's job, it is the job of the HR manager too (right?). Does this mean the HR manager needs to go through all marketing textbooks and come up with suggestions for next big brand launch campaign? I believe not. Instead, he can use his knowledge about managing people, to keep the employees of the company motivated and happy. Because only the happy and motivated employees can make your customers happy and motivated (to buy) in return. That is how an HR manager can play his/her part in marketing.

So how can those of you who are in other functions really contribute to marketing? First, start asking these questions when you make decisions within your assigned job function (whether it is finance, R&D, HR or production)

1. How will this decision affect our customers?

2. If I am a customer, how will I react to this decision?

3. What are the costs & benefits for the company's long-term success if I make this decision?

If every finance manager, HR manager, production manager, distribution manager can ask these three simple questions before they make decisions within their assigned functions, that is their contribution to 'marketing'. Yes, if you can answer these three questions in a way that your decision is made as a 'win-win' solution for both the company and the customer; you have done your part of 'marketing', even though you haven't come up with a 'brilliant' marketing idea of putting up a hot air balloon in the city center carrying the company logo.

But unfortunately, this isn't what happens exactly at most organizations. Instead of makings things easier for the customer; people take decisions to make things easier for their own staff. They impose all sorts of crazy systems and procedures, simply to make their own jobs easier; rather than for making the customers experience better. Take example from some of these IVR menus used by companies to handle customer service. Are these menus actually designed in a way that it will make the customers delighted? No. Instead, these IVR menus are designed in a way that, it makes the call center operators' (and manager's) job easier. They never ask that second question above, before them implement such pathetic IVR menus at their call centers. This rule applies to all decisions made at finance, HR, production, distribution, technology and administration. It is not right to make decisions, which will make your job easier. The right thing to do is, making decisions, which will ultimately delight the end customer, even with an extra bit of burden in your daily work.



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