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Think Like the Customer

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We spoke with Mitch Gooze, President & Founder of the Customer Manufacturing Group, Inc., at the Global Forecasting & Marketing Conference about a framework for how to think about the role of marketing in your company.

The first step goes beyond creating a strategic plan, Gooze says, you need to create strategic execution plan. This ensures everyone at the company knows how their jobs ties to the overall business strategy. Your marketing department needs to know how they affect the bottom line. Managers can better allocate time and prioritize projects once they've determine the critical success factors that align with the strategic plan.

Gooze then discussed the different roles of marketing. In most companies, not all of the marketing roles are under the marketing department. The key is to have these three roles working together on a marketing strategy that supports revenue goals : product management (future products/services), product marketing (current products/services), and marketing/communications (website, trade shows, brochures, PR).

Finally, he says marketing is an alignment function. It's marketing's job is to align the capabilities of your company with the current and future needs of your customers. While you can outsource other roles in your company, you can't outsource determining what your customers need; it's your competitive edge. Gooze advises, “Think like the customer; don't hope the customer thinks like you.”


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