Sunday, March 05, 2006

From Whence Cometh Marketing Vision?


I rather suspect we all believe we have the foresight to do great marketing. But clearly, some of us need to sharpen our tacks before we pin them to the bulletin board of success. I am talking about the kind of foresight that lifts our marketing programs out of the ordinary ... that touch prospects and customers in ways that are so relevant that our audiences know for certain we are talking with them.

Marketing calls for both vision and a vision. We need vision to see over the horizon. We need vision to reach the promised land. We also need a vision for where marketing will guide the business. Vision must be rooted in customer expectations. A vision, on the other hand, is a marketing plan that takes into account how we will capitalize on the opportunities that customers provide to us. It is the roadmap built on vision. It implies Thought Leadership.

Thought Leadership is like the old EF Hutton commercials: The boardroom is filled with executives and there is a loud cacophony of noise as they all chatter away until someone whispers what EF Hutton said. Instantly, quiet descends on the executives and the whole room listens in to the one person who got a tip from EF Hutton.

When we have both vision and a vision, we are just like that commercial. People want to hear from us because we have something important to say. People want to hear because what we say will be relevant to their needs.

Marketing will earn its seat in the board room when we have the vision to see what customers want and a vision for how to deliver the goods.

(image from JIWA Training Center)

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