Businesses don’t think they need marketing — until they realize that they really need marketing. But what do they exactly mean by marketing?
I had a really interesting conversation with an SVP friend of mine, a really smart and creative guy who is also in a marketing leadership role. We get together to chat, network, and discuss how our roles operate inside the companies we work for. It is interesting how many very similar stories we have especially in our sales meetings.
Too many businesses look at marketing teams as the execution of strategic tactics to sell products or services with the strategy being that if you do x-amount of certain activities you will drive enough leads to hit your number. Sometimes that works, but without a brand vision leading the company’s path forward it would be in the minority. So what’s missing?
Look at the stand-out successes in business over the last 30 years, Steve Jobs of Apple, Richard Branson of Virgin, and Elon Musk of Tesla. What each of these people had in common was that they were CEOs and could understand and relate their offerings to the public and change industries. They inspired those around them at the office, in their networks, and in their industries to believe in what they were doing. They also led their companies with the entrepreneurial spirit and vision of an innovator and ideation marketing leader.
Creating success in the entertainment business is not that much different from success in food and beverage brands. They all have a lot of competition. In the same way, one rock band stands out from the crowd — one energy bar company becomes the go-to bar of the masses when they finish their Peleton session. Why? It is down to the brand-driven by ideation marketing.
When you work with GCG you won’t be part of the survey that says we are not making you our priority! You will be our priority.
CEOs today generally don’t take on that role, they come out of elite business schools like Harvard where business is approached by the book with little focus on envisioning the company’s path forward. They have their heads deeply implanted in data analytics, PowerPoints, and spreadsheets. It is a strength of a CEO to be the captain of the ship and recognize that they need someone who is an ideation individual to complement their steering of the ship, thinking outside of the proverbial box.
Few companies can succeed just by running their businesses like a numbers game. Few have the advantages of government subsidies, windfall demand, positive organic trends, and straight-up good fortune. Most business successes can be attributed to ideas, creativity, tied to go-to-market strategies, and building the emotion of attraction to their companies products and services. But is that the job description of today’s head of marketing or CMO?
So, back to my conversation with my marketing SVP friend. When the CRO calls a meeting to discuss pipeline and forecasts and tells you “we need you to deliver more qualified leads because the ones we get don’t close” the problem isn’t just the leads, it is also the lack of ideation that increases brand perception helping sales close more leads. The person leading marketing has probably been hands-tied by the C-suite and tasked to repeat and amplify the execution of strategic tactics, a form of the definition of insanity, rather than letting them be an ideation marketing chief, delivering innovative ideas to assist in creatively marketing and positioning the products, the business, the brand.
eMarketer.com released a survey that noted the leading barrier to success between marketing and an organization is “Delivering innovative ideas” 48% not lack of leads.
Maybe the disconnect within the organization is because the head of marketing ‘thinks of themselves’ as a marketing ideation chief but the rest of the organization sees them as managing the team that executes strategic marketing tactics. It may be assumed that they do both, even though you measure one with KPI’s and ignore the other as it is harder to measure and attribute revenue to. I think the focus by the c-suite on marketing tactics is proven out with the rise and prominence of marketing automation specialists and CRM data managers in organizations and teams.
Marketing Ideation is a visionary and creative process of generating, developing, and communicating new ideas that enhance brand management establishing, maintaining, and growing the all-important trust factor. That will help your sales team close more leads! The reason this is so important is that all the strategic tactics that the team executes are pointless without the innovative ideas that create stickiness and magnetism to elevate your products, services, and brand.
If your business is struggling, maybe this is one place you might want to pay more attention to, and at GCG we can help! Remember, “Creative” is our middle name.