Sometimes clients are surprised by the degree to which I poke my beak around in matters that aren’t what they would consider in the remit of a marketer.
Some of the “non-marketing” questions I’ll ask might include:
- What does the business actually do? How would they define those under a small number of strategic competencies?
- Are they optimising for growth or profit extraction?
- What’s their recruitment strategy?
- How do they embed your organisational values into their day to day operations?
The replies from clients and prospects can vary from “Oh, what an interesting question” to “I called you to talk about SEO you donut. How you gonna get my links?”
And both responses are absolutely fair. In fact, talking about broader business issues when a prospect has called up specifically to discuss a certain channel is frankly just bad sales practice, but the trouble is, these questions are really bloody important.
You see every channel is just a consequence of the content feeding into it, which in turn is defined by the brand strategy, which cannot exist without those questions and a whole lot just like them being answered.
After the CEO, the head of marketing should be the most inquisitive and challenging pain in the ass a business has to endure. She should be poking about in every corner of every business function, particularly anything concerning the product or customer experience.
She may not have the authority to tell those functions what to do, but if there are gaps or inconsistencies then it’s up to her to shine a big, irritating light all over them.
After all, brand is nothing less than every moment of every interaction that every stakeholder has with your business. From finance to customer service and operations to legal – it’s all in our remit.
But sure, we can pick up links, too.
See you next time,