Why Are You In Marketing?

Why Are You In Marketing?My second blog post ever included my attempt to answer the question “Why am I in Marketing?

That article has also served as a guide post for my career and a reference for anyone who wants to know what motivates me.

  • Why are you in marketing?
  • What is the role of marketing in the business? 

Have you answered these questions for yourself?

Why Am I In Marketing?

I started my career in sales. I was relatively successful and even had fun doing it. But I wasn’t satisfied. I wasn’t motivated by the money. Or the adrenalin. And I wasn’t driven by the euphoria of “the close.” I was able to help businesses solve certain problems with the solutions I was selling. But that wasn’t enough. I wanted more!

So I followed my frustrations into marketing. I thought I could help more people by going into marketing.

I looked at marketing as sales, at scale.

I believe that meeting a customer need is the only reason any business exists. (Peter Drucker reference.)

I spent my first 9 years in a B2B company serving some of the world’s top brands in the consumer space. So I believe the line between B2B and B2C is arbitrary. Marketing is about helping people.

Yes, I know. The B2B decision process is far longer, the decision-maker is typically more than one person and all of them feel much greater risk (jobs, reputation, etc) than when buying a pack of gum.

But these are still people. I know B2B Marketing is hard. And what we do is often different. But the core reason we exist is the same.

What Is The Role of Marketing In The Business

It’s pretty simple. The main goal of marketing is to:

  • Get Customers
  • Keep Customers

As I said in my earlier post, “sometimes we do this in a more creative way and sometimes we do this in a very scientific way. But that is all we do! And the only way to do it is through listening first.”

5 Steps To being Successful In Marketing

I’m not sure if I have it all figured out. And heck, I might even be crazy for saying this, but I think the best way to be successful in marketing is to simply help your customers. And by doing this, you help the business to get and keep more customers.

A couple of years ago I wrote these 5 tips to being successful in marketing:

  1. Stop creating marketing that stinks
  2. Start contributing to your customers conversations in some way. Start helping them.
  3. Never forget that happy employees are the only ones who create happy customers
  4. Be curious: use every tool you have to listen to customer wants, needs, trends
  5. Use data to drive decisions. Present those insights as often as you can.

The Search For Meaning In B2B Marketing

If you’re wondering where all this psycho babble came from, you can blame my friend Doug Kessler at Velocity Partners. Doug put together this amazing deck with his own views on these big questions.

It took a lot of courage. They took some risks. And of course I loved it. So I pointed Doug to my original post and he encouraged me to re-visit it here in an update. I think Doug does a much better job telling his story. What do you think?

Let me know what you think in the comments below. And please follow along on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook  and Google+ or  Subscribe to the B2B Marketing Insider Blog for regular updates.

Michael Brenner

Michael Brenner  is a Top CMO, Content Marketing and Digital Marketing Influencer, an international keynote speaker, author of "Mean People Suck" and "The Content Formula" and he is the CEO and Founder of Marketing Insider Group, a leading Content Marketing Agency . He has worked in leadership positions in sales and marketing for global brands like SAP and Nielsen, as well as for thriving startups. Today, Michael helps build successful content marketing programs for leading brands and startups alike. Subscribe here for regular updates.

4 thoughts on “Why Are You In Marketing?

  1. There is a reason why so much marketing is meaningless. Someone else has designed the product – all you’re supposed to do is find customers for it.

    If you get the opportunity to spin this on its head you’ll find marketing much more meaningful.

    Find a group of people you really like. Work out what they really want in the area where your expertise lies. That’s a real fun bit – working through ideas, possibilities and pushing them to conceptualise things which haven’t been invented yet.

    Then go out and create what they’ve described. You probably won’t have to start from scratch – simply take existing products or services and add in that “that’s what we really want” bit.

    The result is amazing. Really happy people. Supply which you thought was loads, unable to keep up with demand. The whole thing scaling like wildfire as people pass the word around.

    That is fulfilling marketing. You’ve created something people really want. You’ve built a product without direct competitors.

    There is just one simple change of mindset. People before product.

  2. Your 5 tips to being successful in marketing make a lot of sense Michael – something all B2B marketers need to revisit on a regular basis!

    I also loved Doug’s deck. Especially the slide on the importance of working for businesses that deliver real value to customers. Thanks for sharing!

    1. Thanks Paula, it’s always great to hear from you! While this was kind of my Jerry McGuire moment, Doug really put a tremendous amount of thought into it. And the “service” mentality was evident with his ideas as well. Help great companies. Work with great people. What else is there?

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