Market to Market
To buy a fat pig, home again, home again...well you know the rest? In many respects, in business, some say, it's all about the marketing. I remember years ago the pork producers of America launched a campaign to "market" pork as "the other white meat." The premise was they wanted to expand their consuming audience to include people that were shying away from red meats in favor of healthier, leaner white meats.
Now let's think about this for a minute? Pork, lean: it's from a PIG, an animal not only synonymous with FAT but often preceded by the word. Are you kidding me here, or what? Despite the absurdity of the concept, it was an extremely successful promotion. It got people's attention and those that were previously less inclined to think of this cholesterol laden dinner as a suitable choice, began giving it a try and started to think of it as a lean meat.
Many business consultants and coaches who work with clients to develop strategic growth have found that marketing is generally both the least understood and appreciated function of a business. It is also, the number one challenge for most businesses. Part of this has to do with the innate truth that Jack Welch pointed out, "Without the sale, nothing happens." And if you want to get your ducks in a row, the precursor of the sale is what, you guessed it: marketing.
Add to this the lack of patience, as most programs can take 6 month to a year or longer to have an impact on sales. Often times, CEOs want more immediate results because they wait too long to try and fix the problem. Often times they look for something to implement that can have a short, term quick hit while determining what the company needs to do to improve growth overall. This strategy tends to buy me some time to get the "real" growth program in place. But the truth of the matter is, sound marketing campaigns take time and thought and the clear vision that is consistent with the companies overall vision. One has to also understand what marketing is: everything that is said and done in an effort to make the phone ring and the customer to buy. After that, presuming what you have done works: you get the sale.