Two Core Business Functions: Innovation and Marketing
I have met many entrepreneurs recently who have told me how superior their product or technology is compared to their competitors. But your competitors have far more customers and market penetration.
As a result, in recent months I have found myself sharing part or all of the following quote from the great management thought leader, Peter Drucker:
“Because the purpose of business is to create and maintain a customer, the business enterprise has two and only two basic functions: marketing and innovation. Marketing and innovation produce results; everything else is cost. Marketing is the distinctive function and unique. business.”
This can be painful for some, but the best product or service doesn’t always win. In business, the best salesperson usually wins. So here are some general recommendations for any entrepreneur who thinks his infatuation with his product is blinding him from being the best seller among his competitors.
– Complete a market analysis regarding your competitors and your product, preferably with clear recommendations on the best market segments and the most valuable positioning in that/those markets
– Get someone on your team now that you have marketed and sold to the same customers. This addition to your team must also have the hands-on, roll-up-the-sleeves-mindedness on which your business venture was founded.
– Worry more about the best way to solve the needs of your customers than about your technology or product. Many entrepreneurs really struggle with this, thinking they know what’s best for the customer. The challenge is always getting the customer to believe that. So get their feedback throughout your product’s life cycle, and be willing to ditch features and design elements you’re holding on to because of your love of the product, not what’s best for the customer.
– Have fun. Marketing is one of the most exciting parts of business. When done correctly, it’s quantitatively based and often more measurable than many other things you do at your company.
This is just a ‘starter’ listing. Does anyone want to add more to the list?
These thoughts don’t just apply to products. The same concepts can help in marketing services and can help you market yourself if you are looking for a new job or need to position yourself for a promotion.