Lisa Shepherd tells us the 3 areas of a company’s activities that she sees as defining the marketing function.
For more of Lisa’s insights into marketing check out her blog on Profit magazine’s site. She has a lot of interesting articles there.
Lisa is CEO of The Mezzanine Group.
They provide marketing outsourcing and consulting to B2B companies and professional associations.
From their website:”The Mezzanine Group’s mission is to make our clients recognized leaders in what they do.”
Almost all my conversations here are with CEOs of B2B software companies, but Lisa is so knowledgeable about B2B marketing in general that I had to ask her to share her insights with us.
“So, what is marketing? It’s a classic question and I get asked it probably every week. What marketing will do for a company varies based on the company, but broad-based ‘What is Marketing?’, I think it’s three things.
One, it’s market definition, so marketing is, and this is strategy, it’s a company’s decisions around which market are they going to pursue. And that means ‘who’s their target market?’ Are they going after a high end segment? Are they going after a cost-conscious segment? So it’s those decisions. Are they going after a particular geography? So that’s part one of marketing.
Part two is…I’ll use the old analogy of the funnel. It’s not a great analogy anymore, but everyone gets it. Marketing is all of the stuff that happens to get things into the funnel. So it’s above the funnel, if you will, or at the top of the funnel. All those lead generation activities, going to trade shows, doing pay per click, sending out direct mail, whatever the tactics are, it’s all that activity that gets leads into the sales process.
And then the third part of marketing is all of the activities that go almost alongside the funnel, that support the business development process. It’s things like brand. Having a strong brand really makes your sales process, can make it, a lot more efficient, if you will, because you’re not going to face the same kind of commodity hell or the same kind of battle, over responding to an RFP.
To me, marketing is those three things.
- Defining the marketing you’re going to play in
- Getting leads into your funnel, or into your sales process
- And all of the support of the sales process in order to convert leads into revenues”