Marketing has been transformed from an element designed to manipulate customers into a process that builds relationship while serving customers’ needs. Regis McKenna, author of Relationship Marketing, notes that marketing relationships are oriented toward creating, rather than controlling, the market. This process is developed through education, increment improvement, and ongoing processes, rather than on simple market-share tactics, raw sales, and one-time events.
Like a good marriage, being transparent can leave an individual or organization vulnerable. However, it leans toward trust and a much deeper relationship. If we assume that relationship selling is good, then relationship marketing may be even better.
Yet, many organizations fail to understand the concepts of marketing and how to fully utilize it. Marketing is not about creating a product and hoping someone will buy it. Yes, some businesses operate in this fashion. However, their success is not long-term because it lacks the rigor demanded by a hypercompetitive environment. Philip Kotler and Kevin Keller, authors of Marketing Management, advocate the critical need for understanding marketing across the organization, not just the marketing professionals.
Furthermore, companies that desire future must implement their marketing in a holistic fashion, at all levels. Consequently, m arketing is a critical element in getting customers to buy. Personal selling relates to the Marketing Mix (4 Ps of Marketing) from the promotion aspect. In fact, Mark Johnston and Greg Marshall, authors of Relationship Selling, share that an organization uses integrated marketing communications to ensure that the message is consistent throughout the organization.
Paul Peter and James Donnelly, authors of Marketing Management, further maintain that organizations should seek to communicate to customers for several strategy goals, which are: (a) create awareness, (b) build positive images, (c) identify prospects, and (d) build channel relationships. Therefore, departments like human resources, marketing, operations, and sales must work together effectively to product a clear marketing message.
From the biggest to the smallest in an organization, everyone needs to be singing the same song. Mark Johnston and Greg Marshall, authors of Relationship Selling, maintain that departments within an organization carry the same message through the value chain. In fact, variance internally about the company’s message isn’t a good thing for customers.
Organizations that have a great IMC have salespeople that provide a consistent message to clients, thereby strengthening the relationship. Peter and Donnelly note that integrated marketing communication’s goal is to coordinate and integrate all elements of promotion-advertising, sales promotion, personal selling, and publicity-to present a consistent message. Therefore, being on message for everyone is critical!