Probably the number one thing most companies do not understand is that marketing is not a department or an activity but is what every part of a business is about. We call it the Marketing Chain and it is what connects every part of the business to a single focus, creating a customer. Isn't that what we are all in business for? Don't we all need customers to stay in business? Peter Drucker, the father of management and most other things to do with business said that a business's main purpose was only two things, innovation and creating customers.
When a company focuses every aspect from R & D to manufacturing to customer service on the client then what takes place is a company that creates, operates, speaks and interacts with outsiders in one voice. This one act alone can so change a company that the results are nothing short of amazing. What begins to happen is that a type of energy pervades the company because customers become the focus and reward the company with sales and profits. They genuinely believe that the company cares about them by talking to them, listening to them and responding by giving them what they want or need. Let's face it what people want is to get their needs met by people they like and respect them.
Now don't get me wrong, even though i wrote that in five sentences I don't pretend to think it is easy. In fact it's hard work to focus a company that much and to keep it focused. Part of what we are talking about is a culture shift in the company and in the minds of the leadership. The focus must be spelled out in clear language that serves three purposes, the facts, the behaviors and the new attitudes. 1) I must clearly communicate what the focus is the all need to know and what it takes. 2) I must clearly tell the company what behaviors make up this new focus. In some companies this will be a foreign concept because they have been locked away from customers. In other cases people start a business to do their thing and they just want customers to support their hobby or they just look at customers as a necessary evil. 3) I must clearly tell the company what our new attitude needs to be. These will be the crux of good training and the beginning of a culture shift.
To sum it up everything is about marketing and marketing is about defining our target market, fulfilling one of their needs and making sure they now about it and then adjusting to the new relationship. If we do that then we will continue to grow as a company.
Oh, and the numbers... well that is how we quantify everything that we do. If we don't keep a firm grip on those then we are sure to loose. Remember, if you focus your company on marketing and the numbers you can't go wrong.