How Marketers can Add Value to the Organisation
Organisations consist of people who are varied. People come from varied cultures, mindsets, beliefs, philosophies, and background. This diversity creates varied dynamics of interactions. Therefore it is unlikely that there are two similar organisations on this planet. Therefore there is no standard formula or right answer or wrong answers. Therefore the best I can do is to provide the clay for you to create a pot that can hold the value you can add to organisations that suits your reality and your aspirations using your creativity and your knowledge.
Why do you need to add value to organisations? I had learnt somewhere in my journey of life that the more you give the more you get. This concept became true to me as I tested it. The more I gave to others the more I received. The more time and I focus I gave my studies the better results I received. The more value I gave my existing clients the more new clients I received. The more knowledge I gave , especially free of any fees, the more knowledge I gained.
The responsibilities of the marketer are varied. However I believe from my experience that one of the key responsibilities of the marketer is to contribute to the profitability of the organisation. While various professionals in the organisation makes various contributions, the contribution of the marketer, I believe, is to enhancing the brand value of the organisation. The more the marketer gives of his/her passion, knowledge, skills, attention and understanding the more they will receive. I have found that we would like to receive more tangible and materialistic things at the beginning and it becomes more and more non-tangible and non materialistic as times go on.
A brand is the promise we give our customers. Keeping the brand promise enhances the brand value and breaking the brand promise diminishes the brand value of the organisation. Who delivers the brand promise? All the people working in the organisation delivers the brand promise, not just those from the marketing function. Therefore all the people, including those in the marketing function in the organisation, are our brand and they make or break the brand.
The marketer has a key responsibility in helping the internal customers of the organisation deliver the brand promise. This requires helping them be passionate about the brand. This in itself is a major internal marketing effort. It requires understanding the mindset and passion of the internal customers, building rapport and communicating in a manner that ignites their passion for the brand.
This requires the marketer to develop marketing skills, business skills (strategic, operations, technological, drivers of profits), organisational skills (that includes culture, structure, processes and of other functions) and Influencing skills (listening, observing, reading, understanding, rapport building, speaking and credibility). While the marketing qualification and work experience will provide the marketing and business skills, I would like to emphasise on developing influencing skills as this is vital to gain the trust and confidence of internal customers to enlist them to deliver the brand promise passionately.
Practical steps to assess the current levels of credibility and tips to develop credibility can be viewed by examining the CREDIBILITY HABITS. Once the credibility habits are examined it will be useful to focus on the credibility habits that require improvement.
A process of ‘Action Inquiry’ is a useful approach to gain rapid development in any improvement area including the improvement in credibility habits identified above. The process of action inquiry I find effective includes four steps. The first step is to CONSTRUCT. This is about defining the area that requires dealing with an opportunity or challenge. E.g.: The need to always look at opportunities to give more than expected of me (based on credibility habit 8). The second step is ACTION PLANNING. This requires gaining knowledge on how to address issues defined through receiving guidance, reading etc. and deciding on a few steps to be taken. E.g.: Listen more at meetings, share more information with other functions and find opportunities to help other functions to achieve their goals. The third step is ACTION TAKING. This requires using methods that remind action taking at the appropriate moment and taking action with conviction, courage and focus. E.g.: Creating a reminder on the smart phone and requesting a friend to alert you of opportunities for taking action and taking the planned action and taking action when reminded. The fourth step is EVALUATE. I find doing some journal writing using a process of reflective methodology useful.
While there are many processes of reflective methodology, I found the following method useful to me. This is a process of spending some quality time making a journal entry with regard to significant events during the day. The first step is DESCRIPTION, writing a detailed description of significant event/s during the day. The second step is FEELING, writing what you were feeling, thinking during and after the event described in the earlier step. The third step is EVALUATION, writing what was good and what could have been better about the experience. The fourth step is ANALYSIS, writing about what sense was made of the situation. The fifth step is CONCLUSION, writing what else you could have done in the situation. The 6th step is action plan, writing what you would do if it arose again.
While the brain is like a black box, where we don’t know what is happening inside it, I find that the reflective process described above helps in achieving transformation and is a useful tool in improving credibility habits and other adaptive skills required in the purist of adding value to the organisation.