Charged with defining and communicating unique product attributes and critical elements of competitive advantage, marketing departments often fork in two directions – Marketing Tyrant or Marketing Weenie.
Why do those on the marketing bus turn one way or the other? They are usually driven by the frustration of being responsible for communicating advantage, but not having control over the existence of that advantage.
The Marketing Tyrant – “Make the focus group happy or off with your head!” Never a pretty picture, the marketing tyrant behaves as if complete control is theirs (whether in the organizational chart or not). This can lead to the communication of compelling, yet undeliverable, promises that damage brand credibility. It can also drive development that follow, rather than lead, customer behavior. (If your customer has all the answers they probably don’t need you!)
The Marketing Weennie – “Our product is a commodityeeee, we’re not doing anything uniiiiiique. Do something unique, pleeeeeeeeeese.” Without any feeling of control over product the Marketing Wiennie is left to whine and take orders. This ends with communication that is un-inspiring, wordy and lacks any impact on brand equity.
There is a third way, where marketing feels empowered to effect product and energizes the complete corporation to innovate in ways meaningful to your customers – The Marketing Persuader.
The Marketing Persuader works to drive every process in your organization towards meaningful competitive advantage by following three core initiatives, which I will talk about Monday.