When many people in the business world hear about their marketing department, they roll their eyes. Marketing has a reputation of being mostly fluff and very little results delivered. Sales people go and find new clients, production people deliver whatever the company makes, but no one really understands what in the world marketing people really do. Is a marketing team worthwhile?
Marketing is a must in my opinion, but I consider it attached at the hip to the sales team. If you separate it into a different entity, the marketing team becomes significantly less useful. A good marketing team is great for augmenting the efforts of the sales and customer service staff’s. The marketing team will give sales people the knowledge, direction and materials that will greatly increase revenues. A great marketing team will also closely monitor the production staff and customer service people to ensure that the product consumers actually want is whats being delivered.
Apple is a case study example in stellar marketing. Before Apple had developed technical leadership with the iPod, Apple was able to sell billions of dollars worth of computing equipment that simply couldn’t go head to head against the PC mark. Apple’s marketing though is what helped them through those difficult times; product design and usability were great, their advertising campaigns were engaging and customer support far surpassed their Window’s based competitors. Steve Jobs leadership has helped Apple to maintain it’s finely honed marketing edge and now that it’s products are becoming much more competitive on a technical basis, Apple is exploding in value. A company without a quality marketing team in a similar position would have been bankrupted before it had the opportunity to better develop it’s product lines.
My conclusion is that marketing is a must, but don’t do it if you can’t do it right.