Tuesday, January 20, 2004

Fan Mail Marketing Questions

One reader sends in the following:

In a role as Strat Mktg Director, how much customer interaction do you have? Do you meet key customers and quarterback big sales, and handle PR and media engagements?

Or are you mostly concerned with position, strategic direction, partnerships, etc?

The short answer is: depends on the size of your company. I have been in "strategic marketing" roles that did every single activity you have listed, plus lots of others. This would be typical in smaller companies where the marketing team has ownership of figuring out the market, defining the product, doing business development and getting it rolled out and sold to customers. In this "cradle to grave" scenario, the marketing team owns the product from concept to obsolescence and overseas each part of the process including development, sales, business development, PR, etc. Perhaps there are specific departments what specialize in these areas (design, salespeople, marcomm, etc.), but the Marketing Manager owns the product and thus rides heard over the process and each team.

Currently, my "strategic marketing" role is almost exclusively the latter listing of responsibilities: positioning and strategic direction. It is almost an "Ivory Tower" sort of position, figuring out what is on the chess board and what it's going to look like in the future. I send suggestions on where to move the pieces to the Powers That Be. Sometimes they listen, usually they don't.

The job I verbally accepted today - while a marketing role - will be almost 40% sales focused, and I am expected to go out and close big design wins and key customers. There will be less input on product development and more focus on customer development.

This really branches into a whole discussion of "What is Marketing?", and I recommend you read the discussion over at Brand Mantra which goes into this topic at length.

No comments: