Why we need to be externally focused

Sales and Marketing Director
The Sales Formula
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In an online article at www.marketingweek.co.uk entitled ‘Young marketers need to focus on basics to succeed’ there was an interesting quote from Claire Harrison-Church, former Sainsbury’s director of brand communication.

“It’s important that marketers are externally focused. So many people in the business get swamped about running the business in which they are involved that they can miss that the consumer has moved on and is busy doing something else”

Focusing on truly understanding your customer is something that I continually talk about in my blog but it amazes me that not only do business owners need to be reminded of this but also marketers. Every marketing initiative needs to start with the question – what will it deliver to the customer or prospect?

There are many new marketing ideas out there, lots of attention being given to social networking and other inbound activities but this can back fire if you choose a medium that your customer does not use. The same applies to traditional marketing – have your customers changed the way they like to communicate and if so have you adapted accordingly? Is the day to day running of the business dictating how you plan and implement your marketing efforts? Have you become so entrenched in the positioning of your product and services that you no longer see how customers and prospects react to the messaging? And most importantly, is someone else doing a better job at attracting business than you are?

Stepping outside your company and putting yourself in your customer’s shoes is something that needs to be done on a continual basis – customers always have choices but they react best to companies that show they understand them, their needs and the way they like to transact – If you keep this in mind then you will discover how marketing can really deliver results.


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