I am often surprised about how people perceive marketing. It is reduced to a single dimension: advertising. Certainly, this is an important component of the marketing mix that is commonly known as the 4Ps (product, place, price, promotion), but marketing is much broader and more strategic than many people think. Therefore, I sometimes have to battle against the erroneous notion that marketers typically only produce catchy slogans and a lot of fluff. That is not my perspective on marketing, and I clearly see my role as a marketer as being more substantial.
Marketing is mainly about understanding the market, communicating the product's value proposition, and building relationships with customers. What does this exactly mean in terms of a marketer's responsibilities?
- Planning to set goals and to define the target market.
- Positioning to differentiate the product in the market.
- Creating campaigns to acquire, retain and engage customers.
- Messaging to clearly communicate the value of the product.
- Using quantitative analysis to improve marketing effectiveness.
Many companies in Silicon Valley are driven by engineering talent. This is great, because good engineers are obsessed with building awesome products, and this is the foundation of any successful marketing. If a company offers an inferior product, it is very hard to market it and achieve sustainable growth. However, I also believe that marketers are as critical as engineers in every organization ensuring that product development and market requirements do not diverge.
The focus should always be on the customer; however, it becomes increasingly difficult to get their attention and loyalty. Today's global markets are changing rapidly, and empowered customers have almost an infinite number of choices. This makes marketing even more important, as the motto "If you build it, they will come." does not work anymore. Hence, I see my role as a marketer as not only feeding development teams the information necessary to build the right products, but also making sure that customers have an outstanding experience with the company and its products.
Marketing is very exciting, and this is why I am really passionate about it. I hope that more people will start to understand the power of marketing, and that it is much more than a commercial on TV.