Most senior business managers and business proprietors see marketing in terms of contact with individuals and groups external to their organisation. Many only see it in terms of the promotion of their goods and services to customers. In the last blog entry, it was shown that marketing has a far wider impact on an organisation and that it affects all its functions. It is clear that a strategic marketing plan has significant implications for the internal processes and the people within an organisation.
The Oxford English Dictionary defines an organisation as an organised body of people with a particular purpose e.g. a business. Wikipedia defines an organisation as a formal group of people with shared goals. Note, shared purpose and shared goals. If members of an organisation are unsure of their purpose in that organisation or if they are unsure about the goals of an organisation, it is possible that the organisation will fail and it is probable that it will fail to meet its defined goals.
Napoleon Bonaparte is quoted as saying:
“A man does not have himself killed for a half-pence a day or for a petty distinction, you must speak to the soul in order to electrify him”
Napoleon was, of course speaking about sending his men into battle. He knew that if his goal was to be achieved, he needed men who ‘bought in’ to his vision and goals, not just men who turn up for money or medals. Businesses are also in a sort of battle, competition, and therefore you need to have staff who both understand and who support your competitive goals. You need to develop those people and to include them in the decision-making process.
Organisations are about people. A commercial organisation involves organising the energies of the people who comprise it, to deliver its benefits to those outside the organisation; the customer.
To successfully deliver a marketing strategy, you need to know how people inside and outside your organisation think and behave. This level of this understanding will have a major impact on how the short, medium and long-term.
An organisation needs to know what its core competencies are. These include its unique core competencies, its competitive core competencies, its future core competences and its latent core competencies. Many of these competencies will lie with its people.
Strategy that isn’t implemented is a waste of time and energy. Marketing strategy that does not include every member of an organisation WILL NOT BE IMPLEMENTED.
The focus of many managers on marketing communications, product specifications or productivity rates, has blinded them to the critical importance of developing a customer focus across all functions of their organisation.
One of my marketing lecturers during my post-graduate marketing studies tells of one such example. He worked for a firm making carpet tiles as marketing manager. He visited the shop floor and found the quality of many of the tiles was extremely poor. The production manager shrugged his shoulders and said that customers could always return the ill-fitting tiles. My lecturer blew his top. How could he promote and sell the product to customers if the product was so inconsistently produced. The production managers sole concern was to produce as many tiles as he could as quickly and as cheaply as he could. His productivity focus was hampering the organisation in meeting its corporate goals.
Remember, extended marketing mix includes aspects which are largely internal to an organisation such as people, process and place. You must spend both effort and time developing a customer-focus across your organisation. It is also important that your products, your processes and your promises match the efficiency of your marketing communications.
There is a whole sub-profession within marketing. That of the internal marketer. These individuals are wholly tasked with ensuring that management know the views and skills of an organisation and with communicating the organisations shared goals and values to its members. A huge part of their role is ensuring that members of an organisation both ‘sing from the same hymn sheet’ and understand why that hymn sheet exists. They are also a conduit for communication between an organisation’s leaders and its members.
When you think of marketing in the future, do not think of it as a process affecting only those external to your organisation, it has a major effect and importance to the internal activities of your business.