Understanding the concepts and language of financial reporting
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Discuss more marketing organization structures, particularly with respect to internal versus external marketing.
I have been impressed over the years seeing how Applied Materials handled it. Having people do the tactical, internal marketing and external product line and customer communication process. At SVG there was a much smaller number of marketing people. A couple worked inside the company on the day-to-day tactical configuration issues, specification, getting apps notes, etc. The rest of the people worked externally as product line managers, or in some cases, as key account interface for sales.
For small organizations marketing is pretty much at the home office where the action is and there is nobody in the field. As you get larger, companies like Applied, Lam, TEL, etc. need feet on the street on a regular basis. Those satellite people don’t just have a dotted line to the home office, but a real connection. In other words, I see marketing truly as an internal function, even though field marketing is out on the street. Marketing is management and control of the product and figuring out what is next in getting the company to do it. You don’t do very well at that wandering around uncontrolled and undirected in the field. The field people are the eyes and ears, not the brains and hands making something happen.
I have seen a number of situations where there was product marketing and field marketing and it operated where the tactical was really in the field. Typically, the external force—field marketing—creates a lot of the sales support materials and helps present it. The other main role as was stated previously is the eyes and ears. Because they are with the customer all of the time, they bring a great deal of valuable information back to product marketing.
If you are a smaller company and do not have field marketing, you still have the need to understand the customers and know what they want. There is only one answer to accomplishing that –get out into the field—lots of airline travel.
Just another point about the travel. Some alternatives are the use of Users Groups where you are active in attendance. Also make yourself available for the trade conferences and technical conferences such as STIE Micro Lithography. You have all of your customers there and you can organize your time to make various meetings. You still have to be in your customer’s facility, but those conferences will partly take the place of traveling to the customer and it is often stronger as you hear customers bouncing off each other.