j03874751.jpgIf you don’t give customers a set of positive values that they will associate with you, expect to hear that often.

Companies have been sinking deeper into the bog of misunderstood marketing by entwining it with other business functions such as sales. To club them together is corporate suicide simply because marketing is about generating value and generating consumer appeal. Whereas sales is about building on the value generated by marketing activity.

Making sense of why we club these diverse aspects of a business’s activities is not hard. Director of Sales and Marketing – it sounds like a great job, but it’s actually two jobs, both complimentary of each other. It’s like the story of the chicken and the egg: nobody really knows which came first, but they do know that one cannot exist without the other and now companies are starting to realize that respect is due to both.

Executives view marketing as a necessary evil, but are now willing to allow the freedom it requires and only 23% of them say marketing makes a considerable value contribution.

To be successful in any business you need to master both sales and marketing but the idea that marketing can actually generate revenue, just like sales and service departments, is alien to many senior executives. And in organizations that consider marketing a vital function, the marketing team is under tremendous pressure to produce results and to produce them immediately.


A good judge of marketing efficiency is when a company or individual can spin a bad incident or experience to make it look like a learning curve – and if they can make just one point, they will say that there was a problem but it was discovered early, the company is now in a position to make sure such a problem never happens again. Customers love that and it adds value to the organization with very little investment.

So why marketing is is getting so little respect from executives? The first reason, quite simply, is that many senior executives do not fully understand the role and purpose of marketing within their company, in part, because many top executives tend to come from finance or operation backgrounds.

Marketing often finds that while it can indicate how much a particular campaign can costs, it cannot accurately account for the revenue generated through it, which makes it hard to determine effectiveness and return on investment.

Given these challenges, marketing must have a new edge, new definition and respect for the value it imparts to an organization. The first step is instilling discipline and ensuring that all quantitative factors of the function are accurately measured and return on investment is calculated accordingly.

Marketing is however not just about adding value to a product by promoting it. It is also about gathering and categorizing feedback to determine consumer behavior and needs which will help product development and make sure that development teams have adequate insight into these factors which makes sales and customer service more effective.

The positioning area no longer cometh – it’s here and if you don’t allow marketing to take its rightful place beside sales as an important organizational function, the positioning era will leave you lurching.