Imagine, three executives sitting in front of you during a job interview.
Your job interview.
They are all looking at you in disbelieve.
Now, imagine the next question they ask is something you don’t have the answer to.
Great, now you know how I felt in one of my first interviews.
I came straight out of university, was ready to conquer the world and then stopped in my tracks with a question that I neither expected nor knew the answer to.
“How come you studied accounting, which is quantitative, and you studied marketing, which is qualitative?”
Followed by “They don’t mix – the sides of the brain don’t mix. Why would you study those two things?”
I certainly hadn’t prepared for this one.
What I remember is the sweat and panic.
But I don’t remember my answer.
You know how after a conversation when you had time to reflect, you often think of better or smarter things to say?
Well, that was what I did the other day.
About a conversation that happened 25 years ago.
I started by reflecting on what marketing actually is.
And I think marketing is made up of five or six disciplines.
Great marketers combine all of these.
The first is applied psychology. Everything about marketing involves psychology, the psychology of seduction and persuasion. Getting into the customer’s head and understanding their behaviour.
Another is understanding the key metrics of the business and understanding how to deliver value to the customer at a cost that is cheaper for you to produce. Understanding profit, understanding the customer lifetime value in essence, having some basic knowledge of finance fundamentals.
Next up is the study of creativity, which is connecting with customers in an emotional and engaging way.
And then there is a need to understand operations. Understanding the impact of scale. Understanding the effect more customers have on the business and how you serve those customers in a cost-effective way, across the channels that they want to be served in.
Don’t forget that good marketers also excel in design and engineering. They design and engineer a customer journey; they design and engineer a product in a way that delights a customer.
And finally, there’s a big strategy element in marketing. How and where you play, how and where you win in the market.
I think a lot of people miss that.
It’s a real frustration of mine that people sometimes focus on the creativity side only.
They forget all of the other elements that make up great marketing.
Most businesses have capability gaps in one or more of these areas. I can help you pull them all together to make your marketing more meaningful for your business.
PS: Luckily the answer I gave back then must have been ok. I got the job, as an accountant!