Becoming Professional: A Blog

3 Steps of Business – Managers vs. Marketers

Posted on: June 10, 2010


I have been active in the business world for about 2 years now, including internships and volunteer activities. And what has always stunned me is the dichotomy between the management or operations side of a business and the marketing and sales side. The two groups may be working in the same industry, heck even the same product for the same company, but they have two immensely different philosophies.
 
Managers and Operations staff are all about delivering the product or service. As they should be. That’s their job. Meanwhile Marketers are all about getting the word out there. As they should be. That’s their job.
 
But when it comes time to get customers in the door, make them happy, and make the business profitable, which group should take the lead?
 
Let’s take step one of the process:
     

1) Get Customers in the Door     

Managers and Operations staff tend to believe that if you have a great product at the right price, people will show up, cash in hand. Marketers believe that if you have the right promotions, you can convince people to buy something at least once. I’m going to let my Marketing colors show here: If it were as simple as having a great product to get customers, Marketing wouldn’t exist. Since Marketing exists, there is probably something to the idea that you have to promote the product.         

  

      

      

2) Make Them Happy happy customer smiley      

At this point, even a Marketer such as myself has to bow down to Operations. They’re the ones delivering the service, so they are the ones who get to take the lead here. This is also where many companies get in trouble. As @JeffrySummers said, “Management deals in what is, while marketing deals in what should be.” If you have been promised one thing by Marketing and get something else from Operations, you will likely not be happy about it.       

  

  

     

 This is where having that disconnect between Marketing and Operations is the most dangerous. If you wanted a round peg but got a square one, you would be a disgruntled customer. Disgruntled customers don’t tend to come back. That means the Marketers have to keep funneling 100% new customers through the doors, and there is nothing harder. Speaking as a Marketer with a background in encouraging customer loyalty, it is much, much easier to encourage a pleased customer to return than seek out an entirely new one.        

      

3) Do It Profitably   successful businesswoman 

Anyone who says that this is an Operations or Management responsibility is nuts. This is the responsibility of the entire company. Another way to look at it is that if the company wants to be profitable, then all of the component parts of the company should also have profitability as the goal. Marketing has to be sure that it is investing its money wisely, not just “spending” it. Operations needs to be sure that it is streamlining it’s processes so that there is only limited waste. So here, I’m going to say that neither Marketing nor Operations/Management is the leader. They both bow down to the Financial Department!          

  

 

 

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2 Responses to "3 Steps of Business – Managers vs. Marketers"

Great post Kate – I particularly like the profitability section – i always wondered how companies can separate Profitability from the rest of the functions – as a marketer myself, i had to look at my P&L statement all the time – and logically, so does every department!
I want to point out though that w it comes to customer retention versus attention, i think both are certainly difficult tasks given the magnitude of options available – so the threat of substitutes and accessibility of those is bigger than ever. So when you said that retaining a customer is easier than getting a new one through the door .. i would argue that and say, getting to the top is easy, but staying there is the hard part – so retention is harder in my humble opinion.
Keep’m coming Kate – thanks for sharing!

Hmm… I think a new blog post will come of your comment, John! Retention vs Attention… I like it! Thank you for the awesome, thought provoking comment!

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Who Am I?

I am a Digital Native who is trying to puzzle out what exactly that means. I share my thoughts on social media, digital business models, and PR here on this blog.

I am currently getting my Masters in Digital Marketing from Hult International Business School, having gotten my B.S. in Marketing from Arizona State University. Everything is on track and I am making headway towards my dream: World Domination... or being a productive, helpful citizen and marketer. Whichever comes first.

Don't hesitate to get in touch. I Tweet daily at @KateDavids and also have a science fiction and fantasy blog (maskedgeek.wordpress.com) and Twitter (@Masked_Geek).

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