Marketing is the Product

Much is being written about the transformation of marketing.  The IBM CMO study of 1700 CMOs shows that marketers believe the function is in the middle of a dramatic change and the majority also believes that they are not fully prepared to manage through that change.

Many of our businesses-to-business clients continue to treat marketing as a promotion vehicle that sets into motion after the product or service is defined.  But the role and opportunity of marketing is dramatically changing as the public is able to engage with products much earlier in the cycle – with more opportunities to express opinions to others in the marketplace.   Marketers are taking advantage of this by integrating social and mobile to implement variable positioning, pricing and product models that integrate customer behavior and response early in the definition cycle.

We see this also taking place in b-to-b services, where consulting firms, legal services, etc. are integrating the customer into the cycle very early on through proof of concepts that turn into large consulting engagements.  Marketing is integrated into the early phase of bringing the service to market and pulling the customer through the proof of concept phase and then using these insights to create the go-to-market strategy.

Forward thinking companies are treating marketing as a critical front office function, not purely a promotion center.    Such a shift will bring new thinking into the product and service development and shape products that are market-ready much faster.  The challenge is now ours as marketers – to get ahead and make the case in our organizations to change the way they think about marketing.  How will you begin?

Related Stories

Customer Advisory Boards: Get Your Internal Team Right

Posted on 04.28.2015 by in Customer Advisory Boards, Featured

Companies launching a Customer Advisory Board or Council put lots of thought and attention to their recruiting of clients – who to invite, what criteria to use, how to get the mix just right.   But typically we see less attention  

Continue Reading »

Building an OmniChannel Strategy?  Your Customers Can Help

Posted on 11.11.2014 by in Engagement Strategy

OmniChannel1-245x190OmniChannel – a term that retailers have been using for several years – has come into vogue with B2B marketers in 2014 and may well replace Big Data as the buzzword  

Continue Reading »

Sustaining Client Advisory Board Membership: Keep Your Foot on the Gas

Posted on 03.26.2014 by in Customer Advisory Boards

gaspedalIf there is one thing we have learned about Client Advisory Board membership it is that you are never done.  While the initial blast of recruiting is the most critical and  

Continue Reading »

Your Customer Advisory Board – If Not Now, When?

Posted on 10.25.2013 by in Customer Advisory Boards

For those of you who have been thinking about launching a Customer Advisory Board but have not yet taken action, some recent IBM research about the C-suite and business performance suggests that you may be missing the boat.

IBM’s recently released  

Continue Reading »


Customer Advisory Boards

An advisory board is a powerful engine of engagement, insight, and business transformation. Make the most of yours.

A Board Success Factor: Business and Industry Expertise » Advisory Boards: How to Extend the Value »

Learn More »

Engagement Strategy

Like any good relationship, customer engagement is a long-term, reciprocal effort. When done well, meaningful engagement leads to better business results, faster.

Engage Your Customers to Help You Stop Pitching » Getting to a Customer Engagement Mindset »

Learn More »

Understanding the C-Suite

Want to improve your standing with your C-suite customers? Deliver what executives want: ideas, inspiration, innovation, influence.

C-Suite Insight: Digital Disruption » Looking to Engage Executives? First, Understand What They Want »

Learn More »