TMC would like to thank Geoff Anderson for his steadfast, insightful, and helpful contributions to the Leaders' Blog since its inception in 2007. Geoff will move to Emeritus status, contributing posts from time to time, and we will introduce our new Leaders' Blog author in the next few weeks. For now, here is Geoff's most recent installment for the Technology Marketing Center's Leader's Blog.
When you hear the words "Strategic Marketing" what goes through your mind? Chances are, which group you report to will greatly color your perception of "Strategic Marketing"
Sales: To sales, Strategic Marketing is aligned with what you can do to help them sell more in the short term, focusing on what the organization has proven to be competent at. It speaks to their level of comfort with change, and how that affects their behavior (and compensation.)
They will think of what you can do to help them today. Find more leads, better filter the funnel, filter leads that aren't in our sweet spot.
Engineering: To the development team, Strategic Marketing is often a last ditch attempt to find a market for something cool they already developed. When sales don't fall from the sky like manna from Heaven, they will fall back on some past wisdom, and think "Eureka, we need Strategic Marketing".
They will bring in an expert if they can find one to try to map the technology to a long term competitive advantage.
Senior Management: This one should be obvious, and often in small, privately held companies it is. Sr. Management is well aware of what marketing is and isn't.
That said, the impedance mismatch between management and marketing often comes when management is looking for knobs to turn that will immediately dial up revenue and growth. Instead of focusing on what Strategic Marketing is, the identification of sustainable competitive advantages in the served markets, and the assigning of resources to exploit those advantages, they will get on the revenue train, focusing on the current and the next quarter.
If all these sound more like tactical marketing, then you have been paying attention.
The most difficult part of our job in Marketing is to identify, target, and exploit competitive advantages, and to stay one step ahead of the competition. To use the Whole Product to constantly be practicing true strategic marketing, as well as keeping all the other balls in the air.