21 APRIL 2018
The leader’s role in marketing: Creating commitment
by Steve Yastrow: Author, speaker, consultant and founder of Yastrow & Company, a Chicago-based consulting firm.
As a leader in your company, are you the person who pulls out a toolbox to fix the office copier or adjust a piece of equipment on your plant floor?
When an order needs to be shipped to a customer, are you the one who packs the box?
Let’s hope not. Your job requires you to focus on bigger issues.
So, should you spend time worrying about search engine optimization, the copy on your company’s website, or other details of your company’s marketing? No!
As a leader, you need to depend on other people to do these things. But that does not mean that you have no responsibility for your company’s marketing.
In fact, no matter what your job role – president, COO, or a senior leader of operations, HR, finance, marketing or sales – you have two very important roles in your company’s marketing:
- Creating committed customers
- Creating a committed team
Committed customers are customers who value their relationship with your company so much that they will do business with you instead of the competition, even when it’s more convenient to use a competitor. They will stick with you for the long term. They accept your pricing, because they think it’s a great value for them. They believe that they are better off because they work with your company.
A committed team is a team in which all employees passionately believe that what your company does is important and matters to your customers. Because of that, they are fiercely focused, day-to-day and minute-by-minute, on creating committed customers. Whether they are customer-facing or behind the scenes, a committed employee enthusiastically works to contribute to compelling, commitment-building customer experiences.
As a leader, ask yourself: What can I do to contribute to creating a more committed team and more committed customers?
No matter what your current job or situation, I’m sure that you can identify ways to influence increased customer and employee commitment. You can do this directly, within your particular sphere of influence, and you can also influence commitment through collaboration with the other leaders in your company.
Your company’s success is your success
Ultimately, your success as leader is intrinsically linked to your company’s success. When you make a positive impact on your company’s success, it can lead to a positive impact for you, and for your family.
How do you create impact?
My years of work as an advisor to hundreds of companies has me convinced of this: Committed customers are the biggest drivers of a company’s success.
I remember meeting with a company whose senior leaders claimed that their biggest immediate need was to cut overhead. They were losing money, and their overhead expenses were out of line with their revenue, which had dropped in the preceding years. But why was revenue so low? Because their customers weren’t committed to them. This company was suffering significant downward pressure on margins, because customers were only choosing them when they offered the lowest available price. Their customers showed no loyalty, and, no matter how well this company performed, customers treated them like a disposable, unimportant vendor.
Imagine if this company had committed customers.
And, what is the biggest driver of committed customers?
A committed team.