More than 60 years ago, Peter Drucker dramatically influenced the foundations of the modern American corporation. His words are as true today as they were then – maybe even more in the digital age when we’re all more easily and directly involved with marketing our businesses.
One of his most significant and profound observations was that innovation and marketing are the two most important functions of business – all others are costs.
Business owners and entrepreneurs probably agree in principle, but few put this precept into practice. Surveys of businesses across the board reveal that the top priorities are usually finance, sales, production, management, legal and people.
Why is Drucker Right and Almost Everyone Else Wrong?
If a meeting is scheduled with the most important department heads in your business, who would have a seat at the table? Legal and sales would be there, the CFO certainly, perhaps the CIO and HR. Would the head of marketing or R&D get an invite?
Do you even have legitimate marketing & R&D experts, or are those tasks relegated to the secretary’s son because “he knows how to create a brochure or build a website.”
You’d be surprised at how many people think that marketing is janitorial – something you don’t think about until there is a backed up toilet and then you just assign it to someone to “get it out of the way” so you can move on to important things.
Think about it for a moment. Legal, IT and HR are support staff and costs. Sales sell the products created by R&D to the customer base generated by marketing. These are the two functions that move the needle.
When Marketing and Innovation Combine, It’s an Explosive Combination
Apple excels at two things: marketing and innovation. When customers are willing to sleep on the sidewalk, the sales department become order-takers.
Steve Jobs was brilliant at both marketing and innovation. He created a burning lust for his products that competitors could only dream of having.
Innovators figure out better ways to deliver benefits and marketing attracts customers.
When a great invention is combined with a great marketer, customers line up to buy something that they suddenly can’t live without.
There Has Never, Ever Been a More Favorable Time in Businesses
The internet has leveled the playing field in ways that have never existed before. When marketing and innovation become core values of your business – in actions as well as the mission statement – you’ll be unstoppable.
You can leverage your marketing and get your message in front of those people and businesses with the most need for your product or service – even if they don’t realize yet how badly they need it. This can even be done without spending a dime on old-school advertising.
It’s a new day. Reorganize your priorities with an old idea and watch what happens.