(Re)defining marketing

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What if marketing’s biggest problem and challenge wasn’t the onslaught of new social platforms or edgerank, Google’s changing search algorithm or even inbound marketing or marketing automation? What if the biggest problem and challenge was its definition?

There are some differences, some tasks that change from company to company, but overall, you know what Accounting does, you know what Sales does, you know what HR does, you know what Customer Service does. But what does marketing do? It markets your product, but what does that mean? Does marketing guide product development or does the Product team do that? Does marketing find leads or does Sales do that? Does marketing do media outreach or does PR do that? Does marketing guide design?

Maybe it’s because I’ve been doing marketing for roughly 15 years and I have a better understanding of its nuts and bolts, but it feels to me like marketing is the least well defined group. it’s the group that has found it’s work. So often it ends up with a long grocery list of to dos and very little input. On the other hand Marketing sometimes sits at the table and pushes the agenda forward along with our friends in Sales, Biz Dev and Finance.

I think, in part, this explains the increasing popularity of Growth Hacking and the “growth” team.

True, the fact that Growth Hacking is based on efficient, scalable growth is appealing to say the least. But I believe that the fact it’s so mission driven has something to do with its appeal.

And maybe that’s what we need, the end of marketing and the beginning of growth. Who gets the leads (or even customers if you’re a SaaS company)? The growth team.

Let the President and CEO decide who the company is, the values, the culture and the big picture stuff and let HR find the right people to execute, let Sales close the right clients. Let the Growth increase the user base, by focusing on efficient and scalable tactics?

(Photo credit: Efrén)

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