“There is only one valid definition of business purpose: to create a customer" - Peter Drucker, image courtesy of The Drucker Institute at Claremont Graduate University.

“There is only one valid definition of business purpose: to create a customer" - Peter Drucker, image courtesy of The Drucker Institute at Claremont Graduate University.

MARKETING YOUR BUSINESS

Marketing is at the heart of long-term business prosperity. How well you undertake your marketing will define your company's fortunes over time.  Apply these best practices to prime your organization for success. 

YOUR COMPANY'S DNA

According to management theorist Peter Drucker (1909-2005), marketing is a critical function of any successful company and the customer needs to be at its heart. 

Drucker took his customer-centric principle seriously indeed. “The customer is the foundation of a business and keeps it in existence,” he wrote in his seminal 1954 publication The Practice of Management. The purpose of a business is “to create a customer” and retain that customer into the future.

He believed that marketing is a vital function in the creation and retention of customers. How effectively a business undertakes its marketing is a key predictor of the company's survival in the marketplace. Concern and responsibility for marketing must therefore permeate all areas of the enterprise,” he argued. 

EMPOWER THE CMO

CMO tenure is notoriously short. It's tough for a chief marketing officer to get her arms around her organization as fully as she needs. Even as the marketing function spreads its wings within many companies, too many activities remain outside of the CMO’s direct control. Although the CMO works across many areas in the business - sales, product development, legal, communications, finance, HR - her executive influence is often second fiddle to the respective department head. 

This represents a missed opportunity. CEOs would do well to give CMOs as much strategic and operational control in the business as possible. Ideally the chief marketing officer should be a CEO in waiting, in the manner that the chief operating officer (COO) role has traditionally been viewed as a grooming position for chief executives.

The CEO must place an outright priority on marketing in all its facets, from client communication to product development to employer branding to pricing. The CEO must be the CMO incarnate, and vice versa. 

BEYOND LEAD GENERATION

Lead generation can be an important component of a content marketing program, but it should never be leads for leads' sake. A contact detail in your database means nothing if the individual is not actively open to your business and your content.

 A better way of thinking about the relationship between lead generation and content marketing is in terms of audience development.  

Your lead generation activities should focus on creating an audience that is willing to engage with you and ultimately drive your bottom line. And that takes time, patience and commitment. You're in it for the long game. Your clients, now and into the future, will thank you for it.