As students of karate, we enter the dojang, bow to show respect to our teachers, remove our shoes, and don our dobak, our uniform. No longer do we wear our street clothes, we all dress the same. Yet, our ranks are easily identified by our belts and yes, by the respect other students show us, by virtue of our successes. We have become a member of a new world, the world of martial arts. However changed, we have not forsaken our former life, and yet we still are…
As marketing professionals, we too enter the building, say good morning, open our Outlook and determine what the day will bear. Marketing (big M) has changed. We are a member of a new world, yet we shall not forsake the former. We’ll enhance it?
As PMMs, we are the advocates of our products. We focus on the bottom-line, the win. Yet today’s marketer cannot ignore the voice of the customer, without risking abject failure. It is apparent that the previous world of “push marketing” is no longer the path to success going forward.
I say that in Marketing’s dual world that we advocate for both our customers and our products!
I suggest every PMM, marketing manager, or PM can thrive within these two worlds (company goals, customer focus) to ultimately “be one” with these places by:
- Clearly defining your vision – that’s the over-arching strategic plan. It doesn’t matter if you are a C-suite professional or manager. You are a leader, this is what a leader does: chooses the path, the process, the plan.
- Asking what battles your customer needs help in winning; go after these, win these battles.
- Stating in a clear, uncomplicated fashion what the product/service is, and what it does to solve the key problem with which the customer is wrestling.
- Go beyond the obvious. Ask is this the REAL benefit? Nothing else matters.
- Listen. Listen. Ask questions. Listen more. Advocate for your customer. Evangelize.
- Persevere – the answer may not come immediately, but the goal is always in sight.
- Accept responsibility for your training – later, accept the reward of a plan well executed and enjoy respect from the community you helped grow.
In short, for success, we must straddle two worlds – one known, the other, not so much.
Choon Bee (ready position).