April 21, 2009

Dorkiness Defined

Filed under: Marketing Philosophy — Robert John Ed @ 4:59 pm

Why on Earth would I write so often about the same topic?  Why is it such a driving force for me in terms of business?  The answer is a two parter:

1.  I’m a dork.

2.  My perception is that most people, in business or out, don’t think about marketing in ways that are conducive to winning the game in the long term.  And it is a very long  term game we are talking about; longer than any of our lives, longer than any consumer spending cycle.  The vast majority of people think of advertising when you tell them you are a marketer.  “That must be so fun, I’d love to make advertisements.”  It would be fun, but that’s not typically a marketing persons job.  That usually goes to advertising agencies.   Those few marketers who do oversee the creation of advertising are relatively few and it’s likely one small component of their responsibility.

In a world where most products can be commoditized extremely quickly, marketing is the only thing that really separates you from your competition.  Marketing is your competitive advantage, or your competitive liability, depending on your situation.  There are certainly companies that do have a inimitable (shout out to my Strategy Prof, Aks Zaheer) abilities, but they are difficult to find.  More likely, your brand and consumer experiences are propagating revenues.

People don’t often discuss this in business school.  At least I’ve not yet been privy to it.  The idea that thousands of business students aren’t being explicitly explained these things; rather expected to implicitly derive where value is added and potentially duplicate, is disconcerting to me.  It warrants mention beyond any school frame of reference.  Maybe I’m too dense to see that people naturally “get it,” maybe I’m overly concerned with mastery of where I deem true competitive advantage is consctructed and maintained, but maybe not.  Either way, I’ll keep on, despite others’ apparent bafflement for reasoning.  The idea is to reflect and teach oneself, while hopefully providing fodder for those distinguished cannons within earshot.


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