Monday, December 10, 2012

The Marketing Organization

Most people believe that marketing is advertising. You take what the factory creates and sell it by screaming about it on TV or by emailing everyone. Frankly, many companies do just that. That's where they start, and that's unfortunately where they stay, right in the outer circle of this organizational chart. They guess at and implement these tactics and when their advertising doesn't work, they don't know why. But go in just one layer of this diagram and real marketing starts to happen.

This is where you realize that not everyone is a good fit for your product. You bring in researchers and strategic talent to define and find your users and followers. You start looking at your product through your customers' eyes. You and your team develop the product’s story. You examine and network into industries that would benefit from your product. You look at pricing. For example, maybe a subscription is better than a one-time purchase. You evaluate your ROI to determine which tactics result in profits and find out why. Most importantly, you take a hard look to see what the customer experience (with the product as well as the sales cycle) is all about. You understand it and you improve it.
Not surprisingly, the next layer in is about creating amazement; recognizing what your customers want before they know they want it. A great example of this type of product design in action is the intuitive features on a tablet; then, so is something as simple as a restaurant having clean silverware. Here’s where you use champions to focus on support and usability. These champions examine and measure customer relationships, and, based on data, improve the product.  They create and implement collaborative sales methods that educate and engage your customers. These methods also recognize and exploit regional and culture-specific opportunities as the world becomes your marketplace. 

At the center of it all is the Chief Marketing Officer. The CMO is responsible for the relationship between your customer and your product. This leader is the customer guardian and the product advocate. The CMO knows that for the product or service being sold to be remarkable, it has to have this organizational structure built in. When business practices are aligned with customer-centric research and focus, revenue opportunities are exposed and your team will change the marketing agenda.  

Marketing becomes easier because it is based on facts. It is no longer a shouting match at the customer, but a dance with the prospective customer while existing customers become partners and even advocates. When you build your business from the inside out, starting with the CMO and moving out to staff implementing tactics, a significant transformation happens. Your marketing team sees your customers' expressed and unexpressed needs, and these are the opportunities that are satisfied by your product.

Inspired by a blog post by Seth Godin, The Circles of Marketing
Motivation from Jay Yarow's The Org charts Of All the Major Tech Companies (Humor)


  1. Many marketers are still wishing it was the good old days when they felt they were in charge. With the new awakening of the buyer having new tools the object is to engage the prospect - good post Marion - thanks

    1. Always a good feeling to get a compliment from a such a credible source. Thanks so much!