I had an interesting meeting with a friend and she asked me what I think that marketing or strategic marketing is. What do we do and how, something in less corporate terms than what we use to describe our work. I guess I started looking for terms that could my children use in school (because my little-one said at school – when asked what your parents do – that I am on the phone all day and yell at people J). So it was an interesting brain-teaser.
Well I guess the parallel of what I think we should do is basically be a Waze for the business. Better to say what marketing (and strategic marketing specifically) is to your business, is the same as what Waze is to your car and trip to wherever you are going. Our companies, clients, etc. need or want to get from point A to point B. There is a variety of tools under the umbrella term marketing that can help on the way and that can help navigate and facilitate the trip – in Waze I would see the parallel at user friendliness and usability of the user interface and information shown. The strategic part is to be able – at a certain point in time – to pick the best route to get you to the designated point B. That is the ability to calculate and show variants of the route for the specific trip. Show a choice.
The manager behind this is somewhat the combination of the driver sitting behind the steering wheel and trying to navigate the car – which has the driving abilities based on the size and other attributes of the company – and of an overhead watch in a helicopter trying to foresee what is ahead for the route to be clear, but as well as seeing what is going on the side of the road, how is the weather and other conditions both predictable as well as unpredictable. Trying to double-check if the point B of the trip is still the same and recommend aborting the trip if needed.
About the car, it is worth saying that if you like driving than look at the diversity of vehicles. From an electric sports car to a some kind of a specialized robust mining behemoth vehicle, all may be good helpers, but sports e-car is not going to help you much when you need to navigate a mine and a big cargo truck is not going to be the best performer on highways. But if that is what you have, you have to work with it – knowing its strong and weak spots. Similarly big companies may have big budgets, but a lot of opinions to deal with and structures to work with. A small garage start-up is quick and lean, but does not have such opportunities and experience. Ultimately we (marketers) are trying to facilitate sales growth, by building brands, product promotions or being at the right place in the right time. That’s why looking at (strategic) marketing as your Waze – to get you to your business goals – makes sense. And we’ll do the best to take into account all the variables as well as experience to get you (your business) there.