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Marketing is Moving from Second Class to First

Astore_Marketing_PlanAnyone that has worked in marketing within at least the last 20 years knows what I am talking about…Usually sales and product/engineering rule the roost. Marketing as a function has been treated as the “necessary evil,” and since it is seen as a cost center, often, it is perceived as a second class function.

These previous priorities made sense when 1:1 relationships were the key to closing deals. Of course sales were the heroes, these people brought in the cash that paid your budget and your staff.

And who would ever argue against the fact that your product must be top-notch and constantly evolving. No one.

This unique business environment requires focus on all the functions to prevail in the highly competitive marketplace of today. But I would throw out that marketing has increased in value with the uber noisy communication environment. According to Yankelvich Research, we see anywhere from 3,000-20,000 messages a day.

Have I made my case yet? Not yet…try this…we see at least 247 images a day. Neurologically our brains can’t process all these message attacks and, in fact, there is plenty of research that suggests these constant messages, aka distractions, are fundamentally changing our cellular brain makeup to no good end.

Enough philosophizing and back to brass tacks—too many messages, means you must figure out a way to segment, target and break through the clutter. What function does that best? Marketing, hence, its rise to the top.

Once you have the attention of the prospect, sales can handle the close mostly with its eyes shut. But finding, engaging and delivering a viable lead is increasingly harder. So cheers to the new status for marketing…but note: not all marketeers are the same. My advice—look for those that are adaptive…this environment isn’t going to settle any time soon and the willingness to bend is far more important than your educational or professional pedigree.

About the author

Melissa Kennedy

I am an innovative, practical problem-solver with an MBA. Pioneered one of the first social media strategic plans for a Fortune 100 company, including monthly online TV program viewed by 120,000 customers. Created a scalable channel marketing service model and established a new customer communication channel through partner web syndication. Developed marketing plan for start-up technology firm. Launched first comprehensive marketing campaign for major science and technology university's $1 Billion fund-raising effort. Award-winning performance for 15 years across functions, industries and organizations.

My passion for results goes beyond professional pursuits. I am a global facilitator and co-organizer of Startup Weekends and serve as an advocate and volunteer for many local charities including Food Bank of Central/Eastern NC, North Carolina International Affairs Council and Connected Women of North Carolina. Plus, I have served as the President for the Triangle Interactive Marketing Association,

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