Marketing Starts with Business Strategy

by Andrew Schulkind

Marketing, whether the digital marketing that we focus on or marketing more broadly, is about a whole lot more than sell sheets and social media. As Target Marketing Editor-in-Chief Thorin McGee put it recently, “Marketing starts [with] business strategy.”

In other words, if you’ve isolated yourself in some marketing silo that only every once in a while crosses paths with the folks in sales customer service, and other departments, you’re doing it wrong.

That’s because those other departments have information that you’re unlikely to have. (And if you do have it, you’ve likely paid a lot more to get it than they did, though that’s another story.)

Marketing across departments

Where is the Information?
Sales people are likely to know more about what motivates your prospects than anyone else in the company. Wouldn’t that information be helpful in crafting your marketing message and approach?

Customer service people are likely to know more about what your customers love – and hate – about your firm and your products/services than anyone else in your firm. Again, that’s information that’s going to help you create genuine connections with your target audience.

Product designers, finance executives … you get the picture.

This isn’t to say that there’s no value to surveys and other field research. Sales people and customer service reps will filter information inadvertently. And of course, they will also have contact with only one sliver of your audience.

Build the Bridge
Still, your marketing must be the bridge that connects these various departments, each with its own needs, to reliably create a message that resonates with your audience.

The understanding you can gain into what your customer wants, what motivates them, and on what they will base their buying decision is critical to your marketing success.

All of this means that your job as a marketer isn’t just to produce slick materials. Your primary goal has to be to encapsulate all your organization knows about your audience into materials that will appeal to that audience.

Understand your customer, address your internal needs, and your marketing will be a success.