The marketing people in packaged goods companies are appropriately titled brand managers or product managers. They are in charge of the “product”. Not just overseeing an ad agency. Or, designing coupons.
More marketing pros should be similarly arranging their priorities. Job one should be designing and developing a product that can actually compete in terms of performance. It seems more often than not, we encounter the people in marketing simply refuse to take on product issues. “It’s not in my area”, “the company is not going to go there” or “we’re not going to add any additional costs” are typical responses to modifying or upgrading the actual product or delivery in some manner. In the meantime, they spend hours pouring over the executions of their advertising, PR and marketing agencies.
In the words of one of our clients, “Let the experts be the expert.” Here’s a call for company marketers to put the first “P” – product – back as number one priority in their responsibilities. Spend the same creativity and review of the actual product that is put into its promotion. Invite your agencies in to collaborate. Not on how to promote better, but how to make your product more competitive – in its delivery. If they can’t talk intelligently about how to improve the product and delivery, then perhaps their creativity is not as strong as their awards claim. Spend more time walking the talk.
And there is an easy place to start. What are your zealots telling you?