How to understand the business sense of marketing and get rid of marketers

    Marketers are the talk of the Russian IT sector. Fussy stupid girls, always on the nerves and with complaints, never fulfill their obligations, constantly try to cheat a client and just ask for a budget for everyone. Yes?

    Maybe yes, but something is wrong here. Let's try to think slowly from a business perspective.

    The meaning of a marketer's life

    Marketers exist.

    And that means there is a reason. And since they exist in business reality, this reason is of a business nature.

    Wait. Take your time to include pathos monologues about working with the market, communication channels, work with a sorry-Lord-brand and other dregs. By this we are all fed up. And this is not a business language.

    Maybe you think that a business language is a language of profit? Well ... almost, yes. In any case, the idea "Marketers increase profits because ..." is popular among the masses. We are here - the mass is narrow, we have eaten such chatter too, we won’t even try.

    So. We ran into the wall. If not about channels and not about profit, then about what? How to explain what marketers do and why?

    Let's bring together some facts.
    1. Marketers exist.
    2. Marketers get paid.
    3. No one but the marketers understands why they are needed.
    4. Conventional wording (for example, “about profit”, and others) is unconvincing.

    There is a conflict of reality with our idea of ​​it. Usually this means that you need to change the idea (although sometimes the temptation to strangle a couple of particularly annoying marketers is very great, yes).

    Let's try to change. With a limitation: in their selfish interests.

    Let's start with this key: the wording is unconvincing - for whom? Obviously, they are accurate enough for a business to pay for marketing activities. Spit, stutter, but generally pay.

    That is, marketing as a whole is useful from the point of view of the average businessman in a vacuum. And this is possible only in one case - if the activity of a marketer helps an entrepreneur solve his main problem.

    Well, someone already happily blurted out about the fact that “the main task of a businessman is to make money”, right? Ah, if only it were that simple.

    Without delving deep into theory, we will take it for granted that money for an entrepreneur is an indicator, environment, incentive, lubrication, boundary condition, reporting form, pleasant bonus, puzomerka, but anything, but certainly not the main task. In any case, for an entrepreneur who creates something, and not just exploits resources ...

    Stop. Here is the key word. Hello to Adam Smith, Karl Marx and other cute bunnies - they said everything for a long time, only we never learned to listen.

    An entrepreneur exploits resources. Any resources. Here are some that reach out - and exploits. The most popular resources — labor, capital, information, land — are well known to everyone.

    But the thing is that the set of resources that an entrepreneur can exploit is unchanged only for short periods of time. And these gaps are getting shorter and shorter. Today there was an administrative resource - no tomorrow. Today there were cheap loans - tomorrow goodbye. Today it was possible to hire a crowd of Hindu outsourcers - tomorrow they ended. Today is one, tomorrow is another.

    That is, if earlier the businessman’s task was just exploitation (you can squeeze out all the juices for yourself), now the business is actively shifting towards the search for resources.
    After all, only from a resource (one’s, someone else’s, nobody’s, stolen, accidentally found) can an entrepreneur build cars for making money.

    What to squeeze money from? Where to find a new Klondike that none of the competitors have touched yet? What actions to take to lure more gold?

    The struggle for valuable employees, mimicking a foreign brand, cloning foreign businesses, searching for startup ideas, crowdfunding and crowdsourcing are all obvious attempts to reach more and more oil wells.

    Hey, have you forgotten what we're talking about marketing and marketers? Now everything will be clarified, be patient.

    Exploitation of man by man

    Let us return to the facts and interpret them a little. On the one hand, we see people receiving money for some reason. And on the other - people who are ready to dig the earth with their bare hands in search of new resources for the construction of business machines.

    Is it possible to somehow get to know each other better? After all, it is easy to assume that if an entrepreneur invests in something with an incomprehensible result (and he is incomprehensible, do not lie to yourself), then he hopes to hit the jackpot. Which jackpot was already discussed above.

    Back to the marketer's picture of the world. If you overcome natural squeamishness and look at their daily work, then interesting details are found out.

    This work looks, if very simplified (and not about everyone), something like this.

    First, the marketer makes endless lists. Customers, journalists, contractors, conferences, publications, competitors, keywords, presentations and so on. Very different, but lists.

    And then he begins to exploit these lists. Comes up (often from the ceiling) with some kind of content and uploads it to the newsletter. Or he collects articles already published in the press and takes out the brain to everyone who can contribute to their posting on the site. Or something else as powerful pushes.

    In short, he is juggling with his list inventory. Such is the daily work. With budget plans, with reports, with a large number of discussions, approvals, clarifications - but the mechanics are simple: compiled a list - you are benefiting from it.

    And basically, marketers are trained in this juggling (they will say something else, often crazy-hysterical, but you just don't believe it). Well, normal skill, every bite in a row, let's apply it on the farm.

    Let's say - just a minute, let's say - that the marketer came to the entrepreneur and told him: dude, I can squeeze the benefit out of a resource that is hanging around you. It’s just lying right under your feet. And no one even pays attention to him. And I know about this gold. I know how and from which to get it. I know how to use it for your benefit. I can harness even now for a salary and, if necessary, some budgets.

    Suppose that the entrepreneur is this small-medium. That is, it is very focused on the search for resources (large ones have already been snapped up, we have to dodge). Forever in time trouble. Dies under a stream of tasks requiring a decision. Really dislikes when something useful lies idle. And not that too educated, advanced in matters of management.

    Attention, the question is: does the entrepreneur cling to the marketer's offer? Most likely yes. And there are reasons for this.
    1. The notorious belief in a new free resource. Well, you understand already.
    2. A relatively cheap (salary plus very small forced costs) investment, which is immediately ready to bring benefits.
    3. No need to pay too much attention to the issue (of which there is a shortage) - the marketer takes on everything to be done as it should, without coordinating each one.

    That is, a complete analogy with such, for example, history. A peasant comes to the lord and says: you have a river flowing idle here, let’s even build a mill - I’m both busy and good for you.

    The lord may, of course, fall under the tail as well, but on the whole he is inclined to agree. Especially if you want to eat, and all affairs - give the go-ahead.

    So is our entrepreneur. The question that worries him at this moment is only one: what kind of river, why I don’t know?

    Then the part begins, which is specific not only for the IT market, but also very typical for modern commerce in general.

    The fact is that in the course of the development of the company it accumulates what is commonly called expertise. The knowledge of specialists, experience in conducting projects, an archive of old materials, useful acquaintances in the market and in the media, but still the same customer base. However, it accumulates in a very medieval format: most of it is oral traditions and the walking sages in insanity, the rest is trivially scraped here and there in small pieces and is dusted in Dropbox's basements.

    Frankly, Vidocq is usually not commercial. Anyone who wanted to write a couple of articles about their miracle office or, say, implement a wiki as a knowledge base encountered a problem. The efforts required are truly heroic, and the sense is almost zero, after a month, anyway, it goes into the sand.

    So, to benefit from the examination is a separate work. Hell. It is impossible to do it “for surrender”, and between things it’s impossible - attention eats only this way. Random raids are also of little use - the field must be cultivated systematically.

    And here is just a miracle specialist who claims that he can do exactly that: dig into the expertise spread across the space and use it as a hidden resource for the benefit of the company. Yes, yes, this is just our marketing hero, you understood everything correctly.

    True, the hero Taldychit something about the channels, about budgets and other slurred little things tactical plan. He does not see strategy at all, he does not perceive the gold mines as something important and real. Well, that’s good: strategy is the business of the businessman after all.

    And so the marketer appears in the company. The person who is being used blindly. That is, they do not say why it is needed. But exploit - be healthy.

    Entrepreneurs, of course, will never formulate such a design in your life. Firstly, because they themselves act more intuitively than consciously. Secondly, who is renting out fish places. Thirdly, it is very profitable for marketers (blacks on the plantation) to be kept in the dark.

    But. They will not formulate - only those who come across and use it. And people like you and me, who come from the question “Why do we need marketers?”, Would only be happy with a ready answer. Which can be directly taken and used on the farm.

    Well, here is the answer, please. Briefly again: a marketer is a person who exploits the expertise of a company.
    How exactly does he do it? Well, here begins a separate long conversation about targets, tools and all that. However, we will not conduct it now. Why? Yes, because this is already the responsibility of the marketer himself. As he can and does, in short. You can go into details, but you must first decide why.

    However, we list the obvious. So what does a marketer do.
    1. Collects, organizes and updates expertise and knowledge of all kinds. In other words, it materializes that ephemeral resource, which actually increases the value of the company and strengthens its market opportunities even by itself, simply being separated from the holders of secret knowledge and recorded in files and papers.
    2. Takes responsibility for the business operation of accumulated wealth. That is, organizes, plans, does a lot of things with his hands, reports on the processes and demonstrates the results.

    All. Such is the internal corporate gold miner. Which, incidentally, is not something that the rest of the company cares about, but it’s a very indirect matter: like a businessman, he is interested in the result, but only in terms of building up corporate expertise.

    Robots will replace idiots

    Now, attention, the question is: do you know a lot of marketers who at least understand the statement of the problem in this formulation? Of course, they meet, but more and more in directorial and general director positions. But you need something - on linear!

    Now the exploitation of expertise in small and medium-sized businesses is a headache for everyone, little by little, but mostly the general or development director. Not that they are happy with this unexpected load, but there is no one to delegate it to.

    You can give it to an external contractor, but still it is difficult and expensive. The scale of the business does not allow.

    In short, they do it themselves. Hence the problems. We list the main ones.
    1. Unsystematic marketing activities. The article - and the year of silence. A dozen blog entries - and a month off.
    2. The low density of these activities. And one could make reports at conferences once a quarter, but organizing a speech is a whole thing, and there is no strength for it.
    3. The experience dissolving in a fog. Which of us did not suffer from cases that for some reason are always so difficult to write when the project is already closed and a new customer is pounding on the door.
    4. One-time content. Gigantic efforts to hold a conference - and no one got confused by video recording. And the audience (potentially huge) instantly narrowed to a small number of those present.
    5. Unsystematic sales. Key contacts and transaction details are again in the head of the main thing, there is no time and effort to take it out, somehow it lives like that slowly, but the whole business depends on the memory of a single person.
    6. Low quality communications with the market. More precisely, the quality tied to a specific person. Not scalable, not reproducible, not standardized-standardized.

    Well it is, the most obvious and most severe troubles. There are more. Many. And we already realized that a living marketer who can save in such a situation is a rare bird.

    So, have we really come to such a coveted conclusion - “Kill the marketer”? No, this is not a solution to the problem, the dead are even less useful (but there is no harm, however).

    Let's act differently. So, as has always been the custom in the IT environment. Namely: if there are no people, we will replace them with machines. We automate the activities of a marketer on a small business scale.

    Crowds of startups and normal businesses in this direction are already joking: they are doing all sorts of social monitoring systems, auto-posts, sending press releases, spamming tools, but you know this whole zoo.

    But such products cover only the problems of the instrumental level: how to replace the already existing performing activity with a miracle robot. A simple matter, but on a small business scale it is almost pointless: a person with competencies will still have to control robots. And competencies are just not enough.

    Maybe then replace the manager himself with a robot?

    That is, for some kind of miracle system to solve both tasks of a marketer: accumulate expertise and exploit it. Or at least very seriously helped people do both.

    Bravely, but possible.

    Especially if - temporarily - hammer on accumulation and focus only on operation.

    Remember, somewhere in the text above we realized that marketers, albeit unconsciously, got their hands in operation? Or maybe they then have some kind of tool that can be made to work without a person?

    Yes, there is such a tool. You will laugh, but it is called a media plan. The most primitive thing: a tablet that says what, where and with what frequency to write, communicate and broadcast live. And what metrics to measure at the output.

    Typically, a media plan is compiled individually for each company. And after all the discussions, approvals, someone unhappy (the first letter "M") begins to act with manic boringness according to this plan. Monotonous work, 95% dependent on discipline and print speed.

    But why make it individually? Why all the power of marketing science to lean on a small desk of 10-15 people? The desk will die from the grandeur of this media plan. Do not.

    Let small business media plans be typical? Well, with minor adjustments depending on the nuances of the life of the company.

    Then the shaitan machine (she is an auto marketer) does the following.

    Diagnoses a business: asks questions to the owner and adjusts the media plan depending on the answers and industry.

    Discipline kicks, interrogates the responsible person - receives data for publication. At that moment and the format that is fixed in the plan.

    Publish what you need. Where necessary. Then when needed. Of course, not herself - most likely, she gives orders to external systems.

    Monitor key activity indicators.

    Shows beautiful reports on the effectiveness of all this fuss.

    Can? They say you can. Necessary? And FIG knows, maybe it’s necessary.

    This article is for discussing the hypothesis. Now strong-minded people can speak out at least about whether they understand the construct, whether it is close to their needs and aspirations, and whether they are willing to pay for it.

    Only registered users can participate in the survey. Please come in.

    Is there anyone here to read such materials?

    • 23.5% I am a businessman and understood everything 21
    • 12.3% I am a businessman and didn’t understand a damn thing 11
    • 33.7% I am not a businessman, but I understood something 30
    • 19.1% I am not a businessman, and you are idiots 17
    • 11.2% I have not read, but condemn 10

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