Andy Mindlin of RealWorld Marketing spoke to my 1st Thursday CEO Peer Group® about the strategic importance of marketing for middle market firms. The members were very engaged with Andy as took them on a tour de force performance of the important role of marketing for their firms. It is my experience, having interviewed and worked with hundreds of middle market firms, that marketing is a misunderstood and under invested activity for too many firms.
Andy’s experience working with high performing companies from around the world has given him the opportunity to observe them in action. He brought his wealth of experience into the boardroom for the benefit of the members of peer group.
Here are a few points I captured during Andy’s 90-minute talk.
A thorough understanding of your prospects situation is the best competitive advantage a firm can have. When Andy said this I saw the entire peer group pick up their pens and write those words down in their notes. This simple thought is so powerful. How many companies truly seek to understand their prospects situation? How many use tools and have a culture that encourages learning about their prospects? Andy shared story after story of how the high performing companies he works with focus on understanding the marketplace at all levels.
In marketing the best we can hope for is to influence a prospects mind. Andy was very clear in explaining the role of marketing and differentiating it from other functions like sales. He shared that a prospects buying process often is very different from a middle market company’s selling process. The real goal is understand the prospects buying process so as to be ready to help influence them to keep moving through it with your firm.
The role of marketing is bring the outside world into the company. Andy shared that the definition of marketing is “to learn what prospects will buy, then creating and delivering that product…when, where and how they want it”. This is the basis for the outside-in model.
Andy shared that successful companies: identify marketing activities that work, clarify “what’s important” and “what isn’t”, and provide a comprehensive framework for managing marketing.
Andy and his team have developed “The 6 Essential Elements of Marketing™ and I would strongly encourage you to learn more visiting RealWord Marketing.