The role of marketing is to “develop and maintain a customer”. I like to define it as CREATING BRAND LOYALTY, the title of the first book I co-authored with my business partner of 25-years, Mike Maloney.
The word “CREATE” means to bring a customer into existence, which is all about acquiring customers. “BRAND” refers to developing a special relationship and bond with customers based upon the relevant and meaningfully differentiated experience we deliver that is consistent with their values, and better satisfies their needs than competition. “LOYALTY” refers to ensuring unswerving devotion to the brand. In other words, it fulfills our desire to maintain those customers we’ve acquired.
When I was a young brand manager, long before many of you were born, I considered and treated everyone on my team as co-brand managers. It didn’t matter their functional area. They were in my mind co-brand managers with an expertise in a specific functional discipline. Each was encouraged, and expected, to contribute to the development of the brand in his or her own way. Each, regardless of function, should and could be counted upon to generate ideas consistent with my definition of marketing, “create brand loyalty”.
As I’ve quoted Peter Drucker many times, he states, “Because the purpose of an enterprise is to create customers it has two functions marketing and innovation …”. Creating brand loyalty is job #1. If we do our job, and do it right, profit will follow. Therefore, everyone from your marketing research, finance, manufacturing, regulatory, product development, clinical development, sales counterparts, customer servicing, etc., should be encouraged to think and act marketing. What might they do and should do to help create brand loyalty?
There’s a story about the late US President John F. Kennedy visiting NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) to check on his promise to land and return a man from the moon before the end of the decade. He spotted a janitor and went over to introduce himself to the man. He asked the janitor what it was that he was doing. The janitor responded that he was “helping to put a man on the moon”. The janitor saw the larger purpose of the enterprise.
It’s our duty to get everyone on our team to see the purpose of the enterprise, to create brand loyalty, and contribute to achieving it. If we could put a man on the moon, certainly we can make marketing everyone’s job.