Well−versed in what’s now,
ever–ready for what’s next.
NOW & NEXT
Brands Leave Money on the Table
Posted by Sam Meers on Friday | July 6th, 2012
A neighbor of mine sold his house today. And while he was happy to get a price close to what he was asking, he was not happy at all with the experience. The buyer’s Realtor was a jerk from the first conversation to the last — always challenging, always negotiating, making the process more complex than necessary — all in the name of getting a better financial deal for her client.
Obviously, she was efficient and good at sales on behalf of her client, but what else did she do in the process? She tarnished her brand in the mind of the seller. He will never use her. He will never recommend her. In fact, he will likely share his sentiments with friends when he learns they are considering working with her. While she may have worked to get her client a good deal, she will never get a listing from my neighbor — and probably not from anyone with which he shares his story.
Marketing driven companies focus on the customer. They seek to understand why the customer cares to buy their products and services. They use customer insight to develop products, to identify distribution channels, to set sales strategies, to identify operational efficiencies, to set pricing and to develop segmented go-to-market strategies.
Most importantly, marketing driven companies understand their brand. They understand each brand touch point matters. They understand their brand must be communicated clearly through all channels and all departments. They understand their brand advocates will carry their story forward, inspiring their customers, their employees and their community. They understand their advertising must be echo the brand and respect it in every way.
Companies that are not marketing driven will always exist. Some will find success, but none of them will achieve the level of success they might if they were to become marketing driven. None of them will ever reach the potential of their brand until they truly focus on the customer.
Companies that seek operational efficiency will only go so far. You cannot save your way to prosperity.
Sales strategies only take you so far. A sales person always wants to cut the price to make the sale and work to make it up on volume, which rarely works. Sales focused companies see higher customer attrition and leave margin on the table.
There is nothing wrong with efficiency and sales. They are a must in any organization. But when they exist in the absence of a strong customer-focused marketing strategy, they become a promise that never quite gets fulfilled.
Marketing people are always looking for ways to increase the price (and therefore margin) by adding value — either real or perceived. That is why the brand is important. And until a company comes to understand how to be a customer-focused marketing driven organization, they will be destined to live in the lonely world of efficiency and price.
Just like the Realtor my neighbor will never recommend.