Foundational Marketing for Small And Medium Businesses

Authentic message backed by consistent delivery is the new branding

Marketing is about every customer touch. Interactions with any part of the organization can result in a withering online review. Expectation-setting no longer travels from companies in one direction to prospects. Marketing is the only function that must be aware of all the functions across a company that touch customers.

For over 20 years, I managed that big picture in large and medium software and systems companies, in product marketing management. In alliances and business development, I secured agreements with other tech firms, including competitors, to deliver the whole product required to meet customers' needs. This required thinking in terms of the entire ecosystem serving a market.

I get up the learning curve fast. For example, I marketed products in four very different enterprise software technology categories. In each case, I was productive early on.

See my results during a recent three-year engagement.

I do whatever it takes to get the job done. Here's a list of achievements in that same engagement that were well beyond the charter the client and I agreed on at the start.

The problem

People dislike feeling sold or marketed to, versus knowing you are genuine and pushing for their highest value. You have to pass their test now.

Customers depend on online trust networks. If your company checks out with them, then you're a candidate. Firms assume complete transparency or pay the price. Today's lightening-fast feedback loop mandates a message congruent with actual customer experience.

Yet Gallop reports 70% of employees are emotionally disconnected from work. Many firms still sell using a message that doesn't match the actual customer experience. Identifying a genuine and authentic message that unites employees with customers and alliance partners is critical.

Deloitte surveys continue to show brand loyalty declining. Yet other surveys of companies engaged in "new branding" show great results for companies focused on authentic messaging congruent with their internal culture. Being genuine externally best follows internal alignment, buy-in, passion, purpose, inclusion.