Remind me – What does marketing actually do?

Remind me - What does marketing actually do? Purple Salix

I love it when you stumble across something you created a few years ago and, upon re-reading, decide that it still holds up.

A few years ago I was part of a small workshop at IBM that was challenged with the question of “What is our strategic vision for demand generation?”. Grand terminology that can be translated to “What the **** do you do?”. The sentence we came up with was a little dry, but I think it captures pretty well what marketing’s role is around demand generation (clearly marketing has other responsibilities beyond DG, but this was the focus here).

This is what we came up with:

“Our purpose is to:

Engage in remarkable conversations…
With the right customer communities…
Through the most relevant method(s)…
Which builds relationships…
And creates value for both parties…”

Let me clarify just a little:

Marketing is about conversations rather than a monologue; those conversations need to be sufficiently interesting (remarkable) such that they make people think, engage, share; we know that the decision making units have grown and so it’s essential to engage more broadly in the various communities of influence; What is the most relevant method? Actually it’s not for you to say – the relevant method is the vehicle chosen by the client/prospect. Demand generation is not just about today’s transaction – it’s about a dialogue that builds a deepening relationship and that delivers value to both parties – you are looking for immediate and longer term revenue, and the client is looking to solve a business issue.
I keep coming back to this piece of work as a useful checklist to evaluate whether a set of Demand Generation activities is doing what it needs to do. 
Many thanks to Sarah Chatterton, Tony Whitelaw, Martyn Christian, and several others who made key contributions to this output.
Does this work for you? How would you improve upon it?

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