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Thursday, May 04, 2006

Marketing marginalizing marketing

Are marketers cannabalizing marketing? Finding and keeping customers is marketing's purpose. But a new study by the CMO Council shows that marketers are disconnected from customers.

More than half of the marketers surveyed rely on sales for customer conversations. Nearly 75% lack a customer advisory board.

Then how do marketers connect with customers? They don't, really. Approximately one third of the survey respondents rely on CRM systems as their primary customer information source -- and 40 percent said their CRM systems were weak or very weak. Mmmm....

“Marketers face the danger of rapidly marginalizing their own operations. They rely on sales to engage the customer and they rely on customer support to satisfy the customer," according to Christopher Kenton, senior vice president of the CMO Council .

It seems to me that marketing still has too much of a manufacuring mentality -- producing ads, Web sites, press releases and other stuff. Maybe it's time to make customer conversations as important a marketing responsibility as creating marketing materials.

As my friend Diane Hessan, CEO of Communispace, says, "Marketers need to learn how to shut up and listen."

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