Number 2: Understand the Real Capabilities of your Firm. The Marketer needs to understand what his firm is capable and willing to produce for the customer. It probably seems obvious, but I’ll say it anyways; it could be a disaster if the marketing message promises one thing and the infrastructure is not willing to produce or deliver. Credibility in the market deteriorates quickly when this situation exists. It is incumbent upon the senior marketer to ensure that the marketing message is aligned with the real capabilities of the firm and the only way it can be assured is through complete understanding of the firm’s capabilities. There’s nothing a salesman hates more than a marketing message that offers something he can’t deliver. It’s damaging all around. When I say ‘real capabilities’, I’m not talking about hearsay. You need to go beyond what the sales person says, or what the VP Operations states, or even what the CEO says. The marketer needs to get into the trenches and see what’s shipping, see what’s being manufactured on the floor, and, most importantly, how it’s being received, used and perceived by the customers. Armed with this knowledge, the Marketer is in a position not only to align the message, but also to advise senior management.
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