I have always taken a process view of corporate marketing. Unlike product marketing that focuses on a product, corporate marketing is made up of multiple disparate projects.
Picture the act on the Ed Sullivan show where the performer would attempt to get many plates spinning on the end of sticks. He would have to get them spinning and then revisit each to keep them spinning. I see that as the role of the corporate marketer.
Technology has altered the spinning of plates to an ever growing/changing assortment of activities. Not only do you have to keep up with this assortment of activities, you have to investigate and learn new ones.
If you do stay on top of all of the available technologies, you may be able to stay in front of your competition. Apple is a good example of this. They ‘seem’ to always be looking for the next big thing. They moved from computers to music listening devices. When the iPod took off, they stepped into the music selling business. They saw that their customers had an iPod and a cell phone and thought – why not combine them into an iPhone? What’s next? Since people are purchasing stuff with their cell phones, is iCash their next big thing?
If you don’t stay on top of the marketplace, you can end up like Blockbuster. They just closed all of their brick and mortar stores. It does make you wonder – Did they think that people would not want to give up going to a store to pick up a DVD? Did they think Netflix would fail? Did they think they had plenty of time to catch up?
I would like to think that Apple paid attention to their customer base [listened]. There is a big push to improve [manage] processes to achieve successful customer outcomes. Apple appears to be doing that.
Which path do you want to take? Assuming you want to be a front runner, what processes will you put in place to assure your success?