By Michael Menzies 6/11/2019
In today’s presentation, Michael explored the relationship between marketing and the broader objectives of a business and how marketers can actually influence business well beyond communications and sales tactics. His insights were based around Porsche, a company that is well known, but at one point was close to bankruptcy.
Michael described how the marketing team conferred with the engineers and company officials of the business to find a brand new product niche in the form of the Porsche Boxster, which changed the fortune of Porsche forever, the insight that was given was that businesses, often look at marketing only as a function of communication for the promotion of the business but what really happened here was the marketing team were able to give the product team insights into the changing market place and, as such, were able to influence the products that were being developed to reach a valuable audience segment otherwise neglected by the business.
The Boxster provided a new entry level product to allow more people access to an otherwise expensive and relatively inaccessible product.
Now, the example of Porsche a large global business may seem obscure for the SMEs in the room but the point Michael raised was, although the scale of the business may be different, the conundrum faced was very much the same – with things not looking good for Porsche instead of contracting their spending they strategically doubled down, with both product development (innovation) and marketing spend.
Michael highlighted that so many SMEs even in good times fail to invest in either innovation or marketing and think of marketing as an expense rather than an investment.
So, if we look at what Michael had to say today. It’s clear that the opportunity is to work with marketers, not in a hierarchal relationship but instead, have them as a key functional partner within the business with a keen understanding of the product set and look to them to help shape not only the business communications but to, through their insights, influence the product, so that the business can drive sales and profit through market led innovation.