The rift between mar comms and product must be narrowed
November 15, 2010
Having worked on several big brands I’ve noticed there is a growing gap between the mar comms (marketing communications) and product divisions in marketing departments. To get it right brands must show that they can and do deliver what customers ask for, if not more. The problem is that this involves the two divisions integrating – mar comms who know their customers and product who develop the product.
The other day I received a request from my cousin asking for a specific Matchbox police car for his son. That sounded easy enough until I found that they are no longer being made. Anyway, a trip to eBay and a couple of auctions later, off the little car went to his son. After a week or so I received a heart-warming, back-slapping thank you that has been played over and over again.
I am most definitely his favourite auntie now and apparently he’s telling everyone about me. This got me thinking about how important it is that the division who is responsible for communicating with customers (mar comms) begin to tell what they know to those who create the end product, and how important it is for the latter to listen.
Delivering what customers want
To me the key is integration that goes beyond the media mix, into the whole marketing mix. Knowing exactly what my nephew wanted put me way ahead of the other doting relatives. But having that piece of priceless preference information would have been rendered worthless unless I delivered on it. And this is true for any of the brands we work on.
United we stand, divided we fall
Customers see a brand’s communications and what it delivers as one, and always have. But the problem now is that they have a way of telling others about it. So unless big brands and their sprawling marketing departments start working as one again, they will not only miss an opportunity to impress, they will miss totally.