Economist Milton Friedman said the main purpose of a business is to maximize profits for its owners (for a publicly-traded company, it’s for the stockholders).
Jim Cathcart says, the purpose of business is to “make life better for someone.” He means create a product that solves a need, and where profit is the result.
Peter Drucker is more widely quoted as saying "Because the purpose of business is to create a customer, the business enterprise has two—and only two—basic functions: marketing and innovation. Marketing and innovation produce results; all the rest are costs. Marketing is the distinguishing, unique function of the business."
|Get a copy of Peter Drucker’s maxim on the Purpose of Business: go here.|
With today’s wide choice of communications channels, it isn’t difficult to take someone’s definition, such as Drucker’s, and poop all over it with your own opinions, designed to meet your own needs (yes Friedman and Cathcart come to mind, sorry Jim).
Personally, I think Drucker’s definition stands the test of time. A business must have customers and must market its products (I take that to mean sales and marketing) and innovate. Businesses without innovation die. We see that with formerly rock-solid companies that fail to innovate fast enough to compete. Ford is one such company, desperately trying to innovate and catch up to rivals who saw the digital demands of customers in the marketplace 3 to 5 years ago.With today’s wide choice of communications channels, it isn’t difficult to take someone’s definition, such as Drucker’s, and poop all over it with your own opinions, designed to meet your own needs (yes Friedman and Cathcart come to mind, sorry Jim).
Taking Drucker’s thoughts, ask yourself: “Is our company a marketing company with innovative products, or just a company with products whose marketing is considered overhead? Does our company make a half-baked effort in sales while ignoring the fact that marketing means both sales and marketing together?”
“Is our company a marketing company with innovative products, or just a company with products with marketing that’s considered overhead?”
I guarantee you, Salesforce’s Marc Benioff has fine-tuned the marketing of his flagship CRM product with killer innovation. Have you ever tried to market and sell against Salesforce? If their salesperson is in the mix, they never give up. They may not win, but they never give up, which is how they have grown. They do not take no for an answer. Tell them no and they cheerfully continue selling and contacting you.
My point isn’t about Salesforce, but the opposite. There are too many companies that think a great product is all it takes, then they begrudgingly address the other half of the equation, namely marketing, by only selling, and not marketing.
“If you work for a company that doesn’t believe in marketing, resign.”
If the company resents every dollar it spends on marketing, resign. If it doesn’t support salespeople with the latest digital tools, CRM and marketing automation programs, and provide Sales with qualified leads, resign. Do not waste your creativity and talents on a backward enterprise that’s bound to fail. Resign. And when you interview with the new company ask them one question, “Do you believe marketing is necessary or is it overhead?”