Where Does Success Come From?

Dr. Brian Monger

Marketing and Success

Success comes from a combination of luck and good management.  Good luck alone cannot be relied on. Successful organisations manage (scarce) resources to achieve the best results (return on our investments of money, skills, time etc.).

To manage more effectively you should know and understand what you are doing and why.  That understanding is going to be based on good ideas – theory.  Good ideas are what good theory is all about. Theories are important.  The trouble with just using experience as a guide is that the final exam often comes first and then the lesson.

Achieving the Best Possible Results for an Organisation

In all my writing, consulting and running training I focus on how organisations produce better business development results using a marketing approach.  That is achieving better results from competitive advantage and superior performance based on marketing-focused thinking.

It is a simple fact that very few organisations are very successful.  Many (some suggest around 80%) fail within one or two years.  Of those that remain many do little better than limp along.  Why?

Largely it is because of a lack of correct focus.

Financial (budget-oriented planning) or forecast-based planning methods are not enough for an organisation to survive and prosper.

Good operations are not enough either

Good intentions, being smart and working hard may be only part of the success formula

Organisations must engage in strategic thinking and planning.  To be capable of sustained success, organisations must focus on building and maintaining a competitive advantage in the marketplace.

Strategic thinking is about good entrepreneurship, marketing and management.  Business development needs to reflect sound vision and judgments about the long-term direction of the organisation.  It needs to be focused on how to achieve the best returns on investments for the organisation.

The Key Components of Any Organisation’s Business

All organisations consist of five business elements and activities essential for its existence, survival and development:

1.  A Market:  The people or organisations, who you need to acquire your offering in order for you to achieve your goals and objectives. Without a market you have no basis for exchange.

2.  A Value proposition/Product:  (goods and services, anything of value to offer). What you believe your various markets will want and will make the required Payment for.

3. Income – To continue your operations and to achieve your goals and objectives

4.  Operations:  How you produce and/or offer your product for exchange.

5.  Management and Organisation:  How you manage your resources and activities in relation to producing your Product.  This includes management of the above operations as well as financial management.

Take away any one of the components and the organisation ceases to function effectively and efficiently.  Maximum results are achieved when all five components are present and developed in a balanced way.

Many might see People an additional factor.  But as people are integral to all the above, so they are not a separate element.  People are central to business success – as the market and as what makes the business work.

All organisational results focus on successful marketing activities.

Be the enterprise a For Profit(FP) or Not-for Profit (NFP When reviewing the previous list of business components, it should be clear that without a market (no one to exchange with) there is no need for Finance, Management or Operations, so no need for an organisation.

Many organisations proudly claim “Our number one asset is our people” (employees, supporters), but without a source of income (customers), they will go broke and won’t have employees for very long.  There are only two sources of income for any business – income from the exchange and income from investing any profits made from the exchange.

Therefore the number one asset of any organisation is its market (customers, clients, sponsors, funders) and the number one activity which makes it successful is marketing.

What Does the Term ‘Marketing’ Mean?

The term ‘marketing’  is often used widely without too much attention to its true meaning.

The term ‘marketing’ is used in different ways by different people.  Commonly, there are three ways in which people use the term:

The term Marketing is used…

1.         As a description for some part of the company’s organisation or a person’s job title, such as the ‘marketing department’ or ‘marketing director’.

2.         To describe certain functions within an organisation.  Such activities as advertising, market research, merchandising, sales or product management, can be conveniently described by the collective term ‘marketing’ to distinguish them from other activities coming under the heading of production, finance and other sub-divisions of an organisation company.

3.         To indicate a particular approach to business, or a management attitude, in relation to customers and their needs.  This ‘business philosophy’ has become known as the ‘marketing concept’.

MAANZ International (www.marketing.org) says:

The marketing concept is a business philosophy. It makes the customer, and the satisfaction of their needs, the focal point of all business activities.

Marketing is a philosophy and a process involving all the activities designed to generate and facilitate any exchange intended to satisfy human needs and wants

Marketing is essentially about effectively managing the resources of an organisation so that they meet the (changing) needs of the target market (customer) on whom the organisation depends, in a way that best satisfies the objectives of that organisation.

Marketing might be further defined as follows:

Marketing consists of individual and organisational activities that facilitate and expedite satisfying value exchange relationships through the creation, delivery, promotion, and pricing of value propositions.

In this definition, an exchange is the provision or transfer of goods, services, and ideas in return for something of value.  Any product may be involved in a marketing exchange.  We assume only that individuals and organisation

Marketing is central to all business success

(Unless you are still looking for luck – and just hoping)

Marketing really is the most practical, useful business skill for all types of organisations.  It  is about the achievement of goals through meeting (and probably exceeding) a customer’s needs better than any competition can.

Markets/Customers?

A market is about customers or potential customers you need to exchange with.  Not only those who buy Products (both goods and services) but in the case of NFP’s they include those who need the assistance of the organisation.  Customers also include supporters and internal markets (employees)

The business of business is primarily marketing

All the evidence shows us that a focus on what customers value leads to superior organisational performance.

When an organisation offers its market (customers) superior value to that offered by its competitors, then they will have more satisfied customers, more repeat business and therefore organisational success (greater sales revenue, and achievement of objectives).

A focus on where the income comes from has a positive influence on keeping customers and getting repeat sales.  There is a positive relationship between a primary focus on customers and a range of financial performance measures, including business profitability, operating profits, profit-sales ratio, cash flow, return on investment, return on assets and long-run financial performance.  In addition, a focus on marketing and customer value will lead to improved relationships between the range of organisations the business is involved in.

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