Marketing Capabilities Notes no. 4 – What makes a marketing organization modern?
Which marketing organization is more modern?
A. Coffee Cabin, a 100-square-foot coffee drive-thru. It sits on a main road in a growing metropolitan area. Thousands of commuters see their sign daily, order coffee using their app or in person, and each of them has a great consistent coffee experience from start to finish.
B. Morning Eats, an all-day breakfast food truck. Parked in a busy city’s office district, every office worker within a hundred-foot radius can smell the pancakes. They use fresh, local ingredients and feature specials selected by their fans.
C. SunnyShades, a direct-to-consumer brand selling ultra-UV-protective sunglasses. They use Shopify e-commerce, all the latest social media tools, and a cloud CRM to serve retail customers.
Truthfully, Coffee Cabin, Morning Eats, and SunnyShades could all be modern marketing organizations because all three deliver value to their customers using tools of modern marketing. Effective use of modern thinking, technologies, data, and skills is what marketing organizations modern. And effectiveness comes from having the right capabilities in place, no matter how new, old, simple, or complex they may seem.
Technology and data alone don’t make a marketing organization modern. A company with e-commerce and a cloud data warehouse – plus a monthly email newsletter and a TikTok feed – may feel like a modern marketing organization, but anyone with enough money could buy those things off the shelf and serve zero customers. Failing with new tools doesn’t make a business modern.
Focus on what can grow your business. Build the marketing capabilities that you need using your most effective possible combination of people, processes, technology, and data. Marketing fads come and go. Let them – your job is to drive the business, not to keep up with the Joneses.
P.S. Are your marketing efforts coming up short? Often, we already have the tools we need to succeed, we just need to use them more effectively.
In high school, my music teacher taught us, “don’t be a guitar owner.” It is very easy to own a guitar and much harder to play it, but that's what's necessary to move an audience. The best rock musicians in history got where they were by making the most of what they had:
• “But the main reason why I squeeze so many, you know, call them tricks, call them whatever, techniques out of a guitar was out of necessity because I couldn't afford the pedals, you know? Couldn't afford a wah-wah pedal, couldn't afford a fuzz box, and all the toys that everybody else had. So, I did everything I could to get sounds out of the guitar with my fingers. Kind of necessity leads to innovation.” - Eddie Van Halen, https://youtu.be/yb26D8bBZB8?t=1799
• “There stood a log cabin made of earth and wood / Where lived a country boy named Johnny B. Goode / Who never ever learned to read or write so well / But he could play a guitar just like a ringing a bell.” - Chuck Berry, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6ROwVrF0Ceg
• “It’s in the way that you use it.” - Eric Clapton, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l0XQwazkx10