There’s a lot of mystique and myth about marketing (and sales). What are they really? In this post we propose a solid, proven systems approach. Serious marketing leaves no room for improvisation. It requires thought, consistency and relentless effort. The methodical effort translates into consistent, monitorable results with built-in continuous improvement.
Marketing is not a “company function”
People working together in an organization do not do so in a vacuum. Even the most self-centered and inward looking organizations understand that “the market” is the reason why they exist. Within the prevailing paradigm of management, the market is addressed by the “marketing function” and their responsibility is to devise ways to address the market to allow the sales function to generate revenues. In a conventional silo-style organization, the marketing function crunches the revenue projections that prompt the CEO (and the CFO) to take action.
This is a very limiting way of looking at marketing. Instead of seeing it as a company function or silo, we can can think of marketing as a pool of competencies, or the know-how that can be lent to projects where needed. Marketing is essentially a work of intelligence in every sense.
A proven method for marketing and sales
Knowledge should be made available wherever it is needed. By thinking systemically, we can see that the method for successful production from the Theory of Constraints can be extended to the processes of marketing and sales and provides a highly effective, proven method. This approach is known as ‘External Constraint’ and marketing and sales are never separate but highly interdependent.
So what, then, is marketing? To paraphrase Goldratt, it is lining up the ducks in a row so sales can shoot at them easily. This is done methodically, first by identifying the market, then segmenting the market in a very specific way, based on the Undesirable Effects a particular segment suffers from. This is because by crafting an offer that addresses those undesirable effects and makes them go away, we demonstrate in-depth knowledge of our customer and increase exponentially our chance of success in closing.
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About the Author
Angela Montgomery Ph.D. is Partner and Co-founder of Intelligent Management and author of the business novel+ website The Human Constraint . This downloadable novel uses narrative to look at how the Deming approach and the Theory of Constraints can create the organization of the future, based on collaboration, network and social innovation. She is co-author with Dr. Domenico Lepore, founder, and Dr. Giovanni Siepe of ‘Quality, Involvement, Flow: The Systemic Organization’ from CRC Press, New York.