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Marketing is about much more than just selling…

Cathy Winston on Mar 20th 2018
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Marketing defined by the grandfather of marketing Philip Kotler ‘is the science and art of exploring, creating, and delivering value to satisfy the needs of a target market at a profit.  Marketing identifies unfulfilled needs and desires’. 

 Yet the majority of SME’s do not recognize the impact that marketing can have on their business. When most management teams discuss marketing they are purely describing communications, advertising, PR, exhibitions and digital, but do they discuss relationships and the power of a loyal customer?

Old school marketing was about pure sales and profit. Now with increased competition, an array of communication methods (particularly online), and consumers who want more than just great value, marketing has become more about customer relationship management.

“Your customer is your only profit center” (Peter Druker) so by doing an exceptional job with your customers and by your employees being focused on doing this exceptional job, you will see profit growth.

You must look at the customers you have, ask them what are their needs, and how can you improve on meeting these needs. How can we help our customers achieve their goals, how can we go above and beyond for them, how can we stay ahead of the competition? In my experience the customer is getting more and more lost in spread sheets and in big data. Customer research and focus groups were hugely popular years ago, however nowadays businesses use online comments and score sheets to assess their effectiveness. These are useful but only capture a small percentage of your actual customers.

When working with businesses on developing a marketing strategy, I have asked them what your number one competitor would do if they were handed a database with all your customers information, their names, positions and email addresses? I imagine they would set about meeting them all to discuss how they might be able to assist them with their business challenges. So would it be a good idea for you and your senior team to contact and visit customers to discuss challenges they are facing and how you might be able to assist them. Ask them how you’re performing on your service, and where might you improve using a checklist of service metrics.

If I can assist you in designing your Customer Service Research Programme or by facilitating employee discussion on best practice then please email me at cathy@cathywinston.ie

 

 


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