The Marketing IS in the Middle interviews got me thinking a bit. Positioning and product appear to be dominating the discussion as to which is the most important component of marketing. When I look at the question, I immediately go to brand. To me, brand actually combines both product and positioning. A company’s brand is their promise to the marketplace. That promise is based on delivering a quality product whose value is articulated through positioning.
Once a company develops a recognizable brand and becomes known as reliable for delivering on their promise, it is much easier to drive revenue from new product introductions–just based on brand reputation alone. The company’s product may essentially have the same capabilities and functionality as the competitors, but brand recognition and what the company has become known for in the marketplace, will enable the business to sell it more quickly and easily than companies who haven’t developed a strong, recognizable brand identity.
On another note, in looking at the responses to the interviews, it seems that “what marketing does” can vary significantly from company to company. However a company decides to deploy its marketing function, the overall mission should be driven by the basic principles from your Marketing 101 class: Attract prospects, generate Interest and Motivate customers to buy. (AIM) An integrated marketing strategy and plan, with consistent messaging across all marketing/communication mediums, is the best path to achieving those goals and developing a brand. It takes time, so lack of patience and changing the message frequently will not yield the long-term and lasting benefits (i.e. revenue and growth) of developing a strong brand identity.