If I were a nuclear scientist I’m sure I could not be asked the proverbial question more often. “What’d ya do?” they comment. And there lies the first of the many dilemmas this question poses. What do I do?.. …I know what I do but the complexities and the variety of disciplines are such as to leave me tongue tied. In fact so complex is the final response that I have decided to make it the subject of this extended blog.
Can I begin by apologising to my colleagues and fellow professionals. What you read here will probably be ‘ho hum’, but for some it may just remind you of what we marketers are supposed to be, because some of us have forgotten.
Marketing is a series of disciplines. In an ideal world it has a beginning and end, although it’s rather like a wheel that keeps turning with the disciplines in a constant state of movement. All these disciplines can be described as part science, part art and at its centre is the company and the most important part of all – the customer, client, consumer whatever – as Tom Peters says in his book ‘Passion for Excellence’, “A customer, is a customer, is a customer”… call them what you want.
So just what do I do? Well there are marketers and there are marketers. Me? I’m a wholistic marketer – that is to say I take the discipline and their foundations and utilise them to create a plan or in complex terms a ‘strategem’ to communicate. And what do I communicate? I communicate the use and benefits of a product or a service as it appeals to the needs and wants of a CUSTOMER.
And for those who have reservations or who just simply couldn’t care less, here’s a blunt message that won’t win me too many friends- but it is at least honest. If you’re in business and you’ve got an accountant and don’t employ a marketer, you’re stark raving nuts. You my friend have the cart before the horse. “You will of course respond, “But I haven’t a clue what you do?”
You’re right and as I can’t explain absolutely what I do and unless you’re a marketer who has spent time in academia learning the game – you’re not likely to understand either. But here’s my vain attempt. I’m the guy who can ensure you’re hard earned buck works its little head off for you in the right way, at the right place and at the right time to reward you with real profit. As for your accountant, you don’t understand what he does either but with his image of respectability he’s there to count the beans that we marketers help make. If you like we’re the soldiers who fight the battle and they are the blokes who count the dead.
So my job is to consult a crystal ball with the benefit of as much analysis as possible, that’s ‘ Research‘. Develop a positioning – that means place the product where consumer’s perception can best develop the right image. That’s Positioning. Guide the brief to create the brand that’s Branding. Apply the brand implementation principles, that’s Brand Management. Develop promotions and advertising in line with its targeted positioning and that’s Advertising. Tactically plan its projection – Media.Create performance criteria, that’s Performance Monitoring and finally sit on the product development team to ensure that the feedback allows for us to tweak the product or service for compatibility with the CUSTOMER’s expectations. That’s roughly what I do and I charge less than an accountant.
Now tell me please. Why do people tell me I charge too much?