In the old days the summers were longer, telephones had wires and you could leave the front door unlocked all day.
In the old days of business, Management’s job was to run the company.
The Engineering department was responsible for inventing the product.
Then the Manufacturing department built the product.
Then the Marketing department marketed the product.
Then the Sales department sold it.
Everyone had their own, very specific (and very insulated) role to play. Not only that, it was easy to blame someone upstream if something went wrong. “Hey, I’m just the marketer! I’m sorry that the wheel fell off, but it’s not my fault!”
Of course, in the old days marketing wasn’t really marketing in the way that we know it now. “Marketing” back then was what we would probably call “advertising” today. The role of marketing was to communicate the values and raise the awareness of whatever it was that the company was selling. Marketing’s existence was pretty much defined as helping salespeople sell. Crucially, marketing was about communicating value after the product or service had been created.
Today, things are different.
Today, prospective customers value a product’s attributes in numerous other ways then just “does it do what I need it to do.” The way it looks, works, integrates and performs. The experience in buying it, owning it, as well as the quality of after-sales service. In short, today marketing has become the actual PROCESS of creating a product or service.
Today, marketing needs to be built in (and upon) at inception, not after the fact. Not only does that mean that the Marketing department needs to get involved at a much earlier stage than before. It also means that R&D, Engineering, Manufacturing, QA, Sales and Customer Service become marketing-driven departments that act – and react – together. They are no longer independent silos with self-determined agendas.
Forget whatever job title your boss gave you. Today, you’re responsible for marketing the product.
And so is everyone else.