Why do you like doing business with certain companies and dislike doing business with others? Oh, I know… is it because some companies produce better marketing campaigns than others?
Okay, probably not. Through years of conducting market research, I can say, unequivocally, that the things we generally call “marketing” are not the prime drivers of customer opinions. In fact, the work product of marketing departments usually has much less to do with building strong brand beliefs and encouraging customers to buy than does the work being done by operational, service and product departments.
Customers reserve the right to evaluate your company in any way they choose, and to pay attention to whatever interactions are most relevant to them. As far as customers are concerned, “Everything is Marketing,” and this is my second fundamental law of marketing and sales.
“Integrated marketing” isn’t something marketers do. It’s something customers do. Customers take every interaction they have with your company and integrate it with every other interaction they have with you, to form a composite belief about you.
Brand Harmony is based on this simple concept, and it recognizes that we need to consider every customer interaction as a marketing interaction.
However, when I look at most marketing plans, or talk to most marketing departments about what they do, I am struck that their focus is on a relatively narrow portion of the entire customer experience — “marketing communications.”
A truly effective marketing department will expand its view beyond marketing communications to consider the entire customer experience. This department will collaborate with and provide advice to all departments within the company.
At the same time, all other departments in a company need to recognize that they are actually part of the company’s marketing effort. Nothing they do is hidden from the customer, and everything they do can be evaluated by the customer.
Don’t look at your marketing efforts as a function separate from the rest of your company. Your customers don’t.