What is the Marketer's Job #1?

What is the marketer's job #1 job?

Be careful here, because the obvious answer may not be the right one. Let's look quickly at some the top of mind responses.

- To make money by spending money
- To build the brand
- To reenforce the positioning image
- To coach his team of marketing professionals
- To set up a robust evaluation structure for marketing expenditures
- Test into successful new media models
- Create new products that prospects and customers will buy at an acceptable ROI for the company
- To sell management on bringing marketing to the C table
- To reduce customer attrition
- To build programs that achieve the sales results with more cost effective new customer acquisition
- Integrate all silos so the company speaks with a single voice when talking among themselves and the company's customers
- And the list goes on ad infinitum…

But as you see, the answer is all of these. And that's the problem.

Such an endless list not only exhausts the marketer who leads it but it stretches the organization to the breaking point.  Just "doing stuff" does not get the job done.

So I contend that the marketer's #1 job is prioritizing and reducing complexity so the organization can successfully implement processes that support the company's mission.

But here's the rub. The most talented marketer in the world cannot thrive in an organization where the mission is muddled and overly complex. So it all starts at the top and trickles down.

Even if there is a clear agenda with a grand mission, addressing the challenge can take many forms.

The marketer must strive for simplicity and clarity. This probably means no more than three key strategies at one time each year. No group, regardless of how large it is, will sustain broad based focused efforts beyond this level of complexity at any one time.

And please, make sure the tactics do not conflict with the strategy.

For example, one of my professional friends works in the online telemarketing group for one of the largest banks in the world. The group he manages must abide by strict rules about when his team takes a bathroom break, how long they spend on a single call and they are required to leave for lunch exactly at 12 noon. Any deviations, regardless of the reason is "written up."

Recently, my friend was "written up" for leaving for lunch at 12:07 even though solving a customer's problem who was on the phone should have been the greater priority.

This scenario is repeated hundreds of times throughout this organization demoralizing employees and contributing to customer discontent.

Adding injury to insult, the bank required attendance of a webinar for all employees telling them how important it is to satisfy customers and not give up without making certain the customer is taken care of.

This is an example of adding unnecessary complexity to customer service that not only assures the key strategy of customer retention fails, but frankly focuses on the wrong thing.

The bottom line: keep It simple, reduce complexity, and make sure your key strategies are supported by the marketing team and everybody in the company. In the end, your people will enjoy greater work satisfaction and your customers will make you rich.

Posted on April 5, 2011 and filed under Direct Marketing Strategy, Database Marketing.