Marketing, as a business activity or profession, has a bad reputation. Most people think that anyone can do marketing and there is no need for professional training. From my personal experience in large and small companies, there are dozens of people who think they are good marketers. But, alas, they are not. Like in any industry, there is a certain percentage of people whose work is effective and worthwhile emulating. The rest are poor examples or attempts to mock something like it (“marketing”) in haste.
If we think of the best practices, successful product launches would illustrate the idea behind the quality of good marketing. It goes without saying that a product should be of value to the customers too, but its benefits must be communicated and marketed aggressively to succeed. The best products will not sell themselves, but a strong marketing effort, a well-targeted approach and efficient after-sales service will do the magic. This is where marketing planning comes into play: well-integrated, properly-targeted, proficiently-resourced and well-executed.
So, what is good quality marketing?
The top four qualities include:
1. Good marketing starts with a development of a marketing plan as an integral part of the new project or product process.
2. Good marketing means planning early and properly, identifying all the potential risks and opportunities before the execution of a campaign or a start of product development. Design cannot be started before its requirements are established, the target market is identified and positioning strategy is finalized.
3. Good marketing is only possible if you define its objectives clearly and early before execution. What do you want to achieve with your efforts? How does success look like? How are you going to track it? Measure, measure and measure your marketing to bring profitable results.
4. Good marketing is only as good as the market intelligence you have access to. You need that crucial information to build your game plan. Skipping on it – is going to cost you.
According to the studies by Robert Cooper, as listed in his book “Winning at New Products”, one of the persistent themes when it comes to problems and pitfalls of products that fail – is “that many marketing activities are seriously deficient….Many key activities are simply left out altogether”, especially the commonly critical ones like market research studies, trial sells, detailed business and financial analysis. Lack of market information remains the number one cause of product failures! Another trend showcases that marketing spend is only justified at the end (launch stage), when the product is designed. But this is where you are wasting the dollars if your assumptions are subjective and not supported by good marketing. This is where pieces of bad reputation are assigned to marketing as a discipline.
Learn on the mistakes other people made, do your homework first! Do your marketing planning first and you will reap profits from every dollar you spend.