The Essence of Marketing — the Customer First, Last, and Always

Posted by 8 March, 2008
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Nothing is worthwhile unless it touches the customer.

–Edgar Woolard. CEO. DuPont’

As companies have downsized and tried to deliver services with fewer employees, customer satisfaction has fallen dramatically.

— American Sociery for Quality Control, reporting on the American Satisfaction Index

There was a tie when companies had never heard the name of marketing. Either they sold products or they didn’t sell them, depending on the success of the salespeople or retailers who were charged with making the sale. But even though the fundamental idea of marketing — to focus on how to better satisfy consumer– has been with us in a formal way only since 1950s, the message itself is timeless. You do not need a formal Marketing Department to “do” marketing, since it is most fundamentally a way of looking at your business. It is looking at your business from your customer’s point of view–not always a flattering perspective.

In fact, many businesses today still do not do formal marketing. The roadside vegitable stand has no marketing department, and doesn’t need one. Nor do many larger local businesses, and most entreprenuerial success only add marketing departments after they have made their first million. But whether or not there is a formal marketing department, every organization must do marketing to survive–and must do it exceptionally well to thrive.

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