Marketing – making it happen

The fundamental requirement for a successful business is to understand the potential customer’s problem. Customer’s have problems which they seek to resolve to make their lives easier. The job of the marketer is to identify existing and possible problems of potential customers, anticipate the resolutions that potential customers seek and by providing product and services which resolve their problems and fulfils their needs, produce income.

In theory, if the potential customer has been identified and their problems fully understood, a product or service that resolves their problem or satisfies their need should result in an automatic sale. But things are never that simple. Unless a product or service is made specifically to each individual customer’s requirement, a mass produced product or service is going to require some compromise on behalf of either the customer or the producer.
Convincing a customer to accept some compromise and to commit themselves to purchase is the process of “Selling.”

Having a marketing strategy, a plan and a target for sales and income are all important but they are not enough to ensure that a business is successful. Ultimately the only way that a strategy is followed, a marketing plan adhered to and sales and income targets achieved is by “Making it happen.” Putting it simply, the ability of a manager to “make it happen”, is the deciding factor that divides successful from unsuccessful businesses. But what does “Making it happen”, in terms of producing income, actually require? The answer in part depends on the size of the business and its resources.

A lot of books and theory regarding marketing (that is, about producing profitable income by anticipating and satisfying customer demand) consider the large company model, where the organizational size allows for specialist departments such as sales, purchasing, finance, and manufacture. The family tree structure of separate departments helps explain how different business disciplines can be organized to work together. But whereas in large businesses, each department on the family tree may be manned by a large number of people, in small companies, those departments may be managed by less than a handful of people, and possibly by only one.

In the larger company, the executive responsible for getting and retaining business, who may be the chief marketing officer (CMO), will have overall responsibility for a sales organization. Selling organizations may consist of direct selling through a sales team as well as non personal selling through the internet, direct mail, and direct sale advertising, all of which require specialist management to be successful. In larger organizations, the CMO may therefore manage a team of sub-mangers responsible for different areas of the sales organization.

The effective management of a sales organization in larger companies, requires the CMO to be competent in the selection and training of salespeople, planning, direction and targeting, performance measurement, to have the ability to motivate personnel and be able to demonstrate effective leadership. The abilities of the sales organization are fundamental to business success, thus its effective management is of major importance. CMOs will be judged on their ability to produce the required level sales income, thus their management skills and leadership attributes will be fundamental to the success or failure to “Make it happen.”

In small and very small companies, the chief executive (CEO) may have to do much of the work themselves, having very few specialists to whom they may delegate responsibility. The person responsible for producing the income may be the senior salesman, or even the CEO themselves. To produce the necessary income in a small business requires the same skills as in the larger business, but on a different scale. In many ways the executive of a small business has to have more skills than their approximate counterpart in the large company, because to be successful, not only do they have to be jack of all trades, they also have to be competent at them, if not actually masters.

For the small business, selling is probably the most important activity, because it produces the necessary cash-flow, for the day to day running of a business which will not have the financial resources of its larger counterparts. It follows that if they want to be successful in producing income, those executives responsible for its production need to be competent in their selling ability. Small businesses have not got the time and resources to rely on trial and error to produce sales revenue. Therefore if those responsible for producing sales income in small businesses don’t have formal sales training, but are themselves directly involved in selling to customers, they should undertake formal training in selling as soon as possible. In small businesses, “Making it happen” will depend on the individual abilities of perhaps a very small number of people actively involved in selling.

While “Making it happen”, in large companies relies on the CMO’s management skills and leadership attributes to produce results, in small companies, “making it happen” often relies on perhaps one individual’s necessary motivation, self confidence, self reliance and above all, their selling ability to produce the necessary income.

© N.C.Watkis, Contract Marketing Service 01 Sep 10
Contract Marketing Service, (Marketing Performance Consultants)

September 7, 2010   Posted in: marketing management

Leave a Reply