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Market Driven Companies


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Companies that are genuinely market driven are compulsive about customer satisfaction, and demonstrate long-term, approaches that concentrate on managing the customer experience, customer retention, and customer lifetime value. Engaging customers in dialogues enables a clear understanding of their wants and needs, and presumes if customers are delighted, not only will additional revenues come, but growth will escalate and increased profits will ensue.

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Market Driven Companies

  1. 1. A Change Would Do You GoodWay too many companies maintain an antiquated mentality and are still driven by sales,instead of changing their focus to one that is driven by marketing. It’s baffling to mewhy sales driven companies remain as such, and maintain their short-term approach,when they could be systematically transitioning their organization’s culture into one thatembraces the concept of being market driven.Why should a company be “market driven?” Market driven companies surpass theirrivals by developing superior levels of ability across the areas of research, pricing,product development, distribution channels, promotion, and market management.How do you know if your company is driven by marketing or sales?Hint: If the title of the most popular song in the corporate hymnal is “Churn ‘em andburn ‘em,” it’s a safe bet that your company is driven by sales.Another sure sign that a company is sales driven is their sales team can’t stop talkingabout their latest product or service offerings long enough to listen and learn aboutcustomer’s needs. Sales personnel are constantly in touch with existing and prospectivecustomers, and these dialogues could be excellent sources of determining customerneeds.Companies that are driven by sales focus primarily on acquiring customers, grabbingmarket share, achieving immediate revenues, and controlling costs. They concentrateheavily on increasing short-term ROI which isn’t necessarily bad, since consumersalways have needs that must be satisfied, and those needs create opportunities forpeddlers. However, over the long haul, organizations that are driven by sales grapplewith differentiating themselves from their competitors in any other way except withpricing, which turns into their key marketing tactic. While companies that operate theirbusinesses as such may reduce short-term risk, this method does nothing in the way ofdeveloping products lines that carry on. And that makes long-term success an uphillbattle.In contrast, companies that are genuinely market driven demonstrate an outlook that’smore long-term, and their approach concentrates on concepts like total customersatisfaction, managing the customer experience, customer retention, and customerlifetime value. Engaging customers at a level that enables a clear understanding of theirneeds presumes that if customers are delighted, not only will the revenues come, butprofits will escalate and growth will ensue.Market-driven companies are externally focused and gaze outside the company for theinput required to develop solid strategies and make tactical decisions. Being marketdriven means developing a thorough understanding of market dynamics and consumer
  2. 2. needs. This external focus makes opportunities more readily identifiable so the companycan capitalize on them.By staying connected to their customers and cultivating those important relationships,market driven companies are typically better equipped than their sales driven rivals atanticipating market changes. Maintaining close links to customers – and therefore to themarket, the insight gained by companies that are market driven provides competitiveadvantages that greatly improve their ability to offer real value to customers.Developing an organization that’s marketing driven isn’t brain surgery, but it requires agreat deal of commitment across the entire organization in order to be successful.Organizations that want to evolve must consciously make this a priority and dedicateenough attention so that it becomes the strategic objective of their company. Butcompany executives frequently miscalculate what is actually required to put such adramatic change of business strategy into action. Companies get tripped up whileattempting to implement market driven strategies because their organizations are poorlysuited for such an undertaking.And sweeping change isn’t going to happen overnight. It’s completely unrealistic toexpect an internally focused organization to suddenly have close ties to the market. Itwould be like taking the string section from an orchestra and expecting them to suddenlyplay the brass horn instruments just because they are skillful musicians. It simply isn’tgoing to happen without reconditioning. Rethinking the whole organization anddeveloping new competencies takes time. Executives talk about their companiesbecoming marketing driven, but having the wherewithal to effectively make such acomprehensive transformation throughout the organization is an altogether differentstory.Successfully implementing and carrying out this strategy pivots on whether this mindsetbecomes a central part of a company’s composition through and through — including thelong-term allocation of sufficient capital and human resources, including an exceptionalChief Marketing Officer.The senior-most marketers must be thought-leaders, since more so than any othermember of the executive team, the strategies they set quite literally mold the company’sidentity, drive business performance, and champion the customer’s needs. Managers thatoperate at this level, shoulder great responsibility and need considerable latitude, as theirobligation to deliver is paramount.With this realization, it’s apparent that along with CEOs, marketing chiefs exertconsiderable influence in determining the direction of their corporation as one of the mostvital decision makers in the organization.These challenges require the qualities of outstanding leaders and the support of CEOswho willingly embrace their marketing chiefs as strategic allies, and recognize that thewide-ranging issues which focus directly on customer satisfaction are the components
  3. 3. most vital to ensuring the company’s success. Chief executives who don’t openlychampion the endeavors of their senior marketer’s customer-centric efforts, do so at theirorganization’s peril.Copyright © Stephen Monaco 2009. All rights reserved.