The Importance of Understanding Business in Marketing

– The author has experience in marketing, data, and business strategy, but acknowledges that there are others who know more.
– They have worked with big brands like Apple, Amazon, Google, and Samsung in the smart home space.
– The author emphasizes the importance of understanding business as a whole, including positioning, messaging, and distribution, and highlights the gap in this understanding among many marketing leaders.Develop a deep understanding of business strategy and distribution in order to effectively position and sell your company to potential partners and clients.I know a little about marketing, data, and business strategy. There are absolutely people who know far more than me. I’ve been in rooms with lots of them. I have a good enough understanding of most things in business to recognize when things have potential and when things don’t. I’ve personally done a lot of things in the space and was super lucky to be partnered up with crazy big brands while doing it. Apple, Amazon, Google, Samsung, and a whole host of others, all while building in the smart home space. I wasn’t the smartest person in the room by a long shot, but sometimes having a fresh perspective allows you to do things that sit outside the normal box. I’m really good at reading between the lines, finding gaps, and predicting trends. We were able to do things that our partners weren’t. We positioned ourselves to be a conduit for their messaging. It didn’t cost us anything, but it provided the opportunity for a reciprocal relationship, allowing us to leverage their larger footprint more strategically. I read a lot of posts from marketing people on LinkedIn, and I keep coming back to the lack of understanding of business as a whole in the grand ecosystem of a space. We have operators who are really good at the basics, and for a lot of stores, that’s okay, but the basics are now table stakes. We all have Google, and you can search for things to sound smart. The real difference is those who actually understand business. There’s a difference. Asking about unit economics doesn’t mean they understand business. It’s a step in the right direction, but no one was talking about it in earnest a few years ago on the agency side, and I continue to see brands that don’t understand lever pulling around client acquisition. Understanding business is a combination of positioning, messaging, but most importantly, distribution. Distribution of messaging, of awareness, of product, of your attention. And most don’t even understand how to do this. Just look at paid budgets on social media and the amount of traffic they drive. We didn’t have paid social and still managed to grow without a budget to spend. It is possible; you just need to rethink opportunities. It’s a different skillset needed to make that happen, one that most modern, younger marketers don’t have. If you’re an executive in marketing, you’re actually in sales. You’re selling your company to other companies that you would like to help you. You’re selling yourself to retail outlets, to whoever can benefit your growth, but the smart marketers are selling their business as a dual vehicle for helping those companies.I spent most of my time on calls with other companies daily, weekly, etc. it was a sales job of outbound often. This is a massive gap that exists across a ton of marketing leaders. You don’t find these things in spreadsheets or analyzing data. You find these by actually understanding business. All ecommerce B2B SaaS companies are leaning into partnerships. B2C should too.

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