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)

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Warm Bodies and the Rise of Zombie Marketing

The recently released film, Warm Bodies, is a romantic comedy told from the point of view of a zombie. It's a story of a unique friendship between Julie, a young woman, and "R", a zombie and we should add it to a growing list of TV Shows like The Walking Dead and celebrated movies like Dawn of the Dead and the cult classic Shaun of the Dead, that film makers have used to encourage our curiosity with Zombies. Whatever is at the root of our infatuation, by tapping into it, companies are using the undead to breath life into an existing brand.

For example, look in your local toy stores for Zombie themed products, from Legos (check out the LEGO Zombie Apocalypse page on Facebook) to dolls.  The gaming sector is no exception. Resident EvilSirenHouse of the Dead and Dead Space among others have built their reputations upon some form of undead.  Late last year, the US streetwear brand, Rocawear, got into the act by introducing tattooed model, Rick Genest, also know as 'Zombie Boy' as the look to star in the label's Spring/Summer 2013 campaign.  His ghoulishly striking urban youth presence may challenge your personal perception of Zombies. 

Then there is the story about a government agency that is a great resource on survival information during a catastrophe but no one was visiting its website. So the Center for Disease Control decided to take all of its information for surviving in a disaster and wrap it within the context of how to prepare for a zombie apocalypse. The approach helped the agency to resuscitate its message and tap their existing fans to improve their online visibility
So Zombies are more than previously human, gory, stumbling, villager-chasing creatures; they're also part of a lucrative trend that over the past four years has generated $5.74 billion to the global economy.  Check out the infographic below from to see just how much they're worth.

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