In many small to medium software services organizations engaged largely in opportunistic selling, a weak Marketing function, located far away from the scene of action, sees itself producing case-studies and glossies, setting up web sites and corporate presentations, managing customer/prospect visits, and presiding over the periodic ritual of getting some spreadsheet numbers. Not as a strong point of purposeful integration between Sales and Delivery. When the Sales meets with the Delivery, it is usually in a conference room for a day or two to wrangle over those hypothetical spreadsheet numbers right under the nose of the C- suite. Once the meeting is over they go back to: the Sales chasing opportunities in areas Delivery is not into and the Delivery busy developing capabilities Sales doesn’t care for.
When the Marketing does stumble up on a few threads of strategy here and there, the failure is assured either due to a lack of buy-in or faulty planning and execution.
The following is an excerpt from a post in Kay Plantes’s blog written for a different context where Marketing is a strong force of integration across the functions of the organization. And in this context, it’s about the Marketing’s new challenges to look beyond products, services, strategies, etc.
Now for the excerpt:
“…Today’s customers, clients, and consumers are instrumented, interconnected, intelligent, engaged, informed and empowered. They want companies they buy from to know them, interact with them on their terms, and personalize marketing offers and customer support. They even want personalized products and services. IBM (my employer) calls this the Connected Consumer Era and it will lead into a digitization of the front office comparable to the back office digitization of the past two decades.
In today’s copycat economy where a Connected Consumer can more easily compare offerings from different vendors for both personal and business decisions, the basis of competition is no longer individual products and services and effective tactical marketing. Rather, the business models in which offerings, marketing efforts and customer experience processes are nested are determining winners and losers. HP and Dell lost company value relative to Apple not because of weaker tactical marketing efforts, but because Apple transformed its business models as technology changed, grabbing the lion’s share of changing industry profit pools.
Somewhere in the strategic thinking and planning cycles of an organization, CMO’s must step away from demand management considerations and look at the organization as a whole vis-á-vis its customer base and ask questions such as:
• Do we have differentiated and hard to copy business models that offer superior customer value promises and experiences?
• Are they leveraging hard-to-copy platforms that will sustain our differentiation?
• Is the concept of our business evolving to remain highly relevant to customers?
• Are we fully leveraging our capabilities to capture new market opportunities?
In other words, the best CMO’s will be those that make sure that the make-this-quarter’s-numbers urgent does not drive out what is strategically important for long-term customer and company value. And they will work collaboratively with other C-Suite leaders to investigate these questions. Why? The organization as a whole, not new marketing techniques alone, creates the brand that customers and prospects experience.
When such are the challenges faced in the new setting by organizations with strong Marketing function, what would you give as chances of survival for those organizations that have not achieved yet even basic levels of integration between Sales and Delivery?
Source: http://www.plantescompany.com/blog/business-model-innovation-best-practices/as-cmos-become-immersed-in-technology-beware-of-the-cio-myopic-thinking-trap/ and openclipart.com (mazeo)