Why is Marketing Hard?

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Marketing > Best Practices > Why is Marketing Hard?

Why is Marketing Hard?
Marten van der Zee, Student (University), Netherlands, Premium Member
Why is marketing for many firms such a challenge? Here are a few reasons I found:
1. Continuous change of marketing: marketing asks from businesses to change their products all the time, because customers demand changes all the time. New technologies become available. Rivals also renew their products.
2. Long versus short term focus: On one hand, the satisfaction of current users will be the success of the future. And in times of economic depression managers find it hard to keep their focus on the customers and on the long term. They are more interested in short term financial results. It's not easy for businesses to find a good balance between the short and long term.
3. Size / growth of organisations. For example, imagine a bookstore with an owner who does everything alone, including the contact with customers. His business is growing well and he hires a couple of employees to deal with supplier relations, financial accounting and other things. Not all of these functions have contact with customers and employees may have different goals besides those of the firm. What can easily happen is that employees forget what the business is really all about: selling books!
Surely there are more reasons... Please add...

Marketing is Often Late to the Game
Andy Perkins
Another reason marketing is hard for organizations - especially smaller ones - is that
4. Few businesses build marketing into the original thinking and design of the organization. Often an owner begins with needing to advertise or communicate and gets help from his/her agency. Perhaps the owner's assistant takes over preparing a newsletter and managing ad buys. And so on.
By analogy, few organizations start out with a finance department.. First comes a bookkeeper, next an accountant, maybe next a controller, finally a true finance professional as the business grows.
Marketing follows a similar path in many companies and never really gets 'installed' professionally until it's way too late. In such situations, sales is often the power center on the revenue side and marketing becomes a sales support function...

Marketing Tools not Well Used and Marketing Requires Different Skills
Barb Reimer, Management Consultant, Canada, Member
5. Owners may still limit themselves to the tried and true paper advertising process - the internet opens up a whole new world to reach many customers that should, no, must be explored now.
6. Also, the skills required to market are different than the skills that some entrepreneurs have - they may be very technical, task oriented people, and marketing is very gregarious, and relationship centered. It is tough for some people to make that change.

Marketing vs Advertising
JC Kennedy, Coach, United States, Member
I believe the distinction of marketing and advertising must be made and understood in businesses. Often times the terms are used interchangeably whereas they really are two distinctive disciplines. Marketing is easily understood as defining who your customer is, where they are located, & why they do what they do (what motivates them); it is simply the demographic and psycho graphic information. Advertising is getting the right message via the best medium out to those that have been identified as the business's market(s) in the marketing efforts.

Why Marketing is so Difficult? Theoretical Definition and Real Difficulty
Valeria dAndrea, Student (University), Italy, Member
I'm a student and I'm close to graduate. I haven't had any experience in firms. An AMA definition in 1985 argues that marketing is a complex process which tries to satisfy customers and firm's objectives. Even if it's old I can say that it's very close to reality. Markets' and consumers' desires change every time and marketers have to look for the best solution. There is a lot of competition and so many differentiated products. On the other side 7. people are looking for something emotional, not only for satisfy their needs.
Marketing is not only looking for equilibrium within the 4Ps, but it is also the capability to implement it !

Marketing isn't Merely Sales
Earl Schubert, CEO, United States, Member
8. Too many business owners do not understand the differences between marketing and sales; therefore, true marketing is dismissed as "something the sales force is already doing."... A major flaw in business planning and operations.

Why Marketing is So Difficult ..
J S Broca, Teacher, India, Member
There are a variety of reasons: 9. Lack of vision, 10. marketing myopia, 11. inadequate marketing research, lack of study of consumer behavior, not gauging customers' price preferences, 12. not keeping up with the latest marketing trends, not keeping pace with technology, not having the so called sixth sense or 'horse sense' besides the God given 5 senses, lack of quality management, not being able to accept and manage change, 13. not following Mahatma Gandhi's basic dictum:"a customer is the most important visitor on our premises. He is not dependent on us. We are dependent on him. He is the purpose of it. He is not an outsider in our business. He is a part of it. We are not doing him a favor by serving him. He is doing us a favor by giving us an opportunity to serve him."
This is, in short, what I have learned from my experience of 7 years in an industry and 29 long years in banking.

Why Marketing is Always Challenged
Biryomumaisho Benia, Financial Consultant, Uganda, Member
Marketing strategy becomes good when the user (implementer) employs it well and the reverse is often the reality. Challenges in marketing are sometimes blamed from the formulation point of view rather than 14. implementation side. This is a good article. Keep up.

Marketing is Challenging Although Difficult
Tea Tan
Marketing is no doubt difficult but it is very challenging when you have the passion in this trade. To market your product or services in order to attract attention of the consumer, a marketer needs to have a 15. creative and innovative mind.
16. "Reliability" is the key word to success. Why can some hand phone model be marketed so successfully? Reliability! When a consumer starts to rely on that item with the particular make, features or model as part of their daily life compulsory item. Then the marketer has succeeded in achieving competitive advantage against their competitors.

Mohamed Makarati, Student (MBA), Georgia, Member
Marketing is hard for medium and small firms because they 17. need a lot of money to pay for it, but it is still very important to all firms.

The Market is Hard and Many Marketing Methods
Ashtari, Manager, Iran, Member
Marketing is hard because there are no stable variables in the market and there exists 18. no single marketing method to solve all cases!

Services Marketing Challenge
Mircea Mitrutiu, Business Consultant, Romania, Member
For a service business, the challenge for marketing is to integrate a people vision, the management of professional reputation, internal and external communication, personal and company branding with a good process, practice or methodology and the traditional elements of product, price, placement and promotion/publicity.
A lot of managers don't understand that 19. success in professional services business depends heavily on the reputation and integrity of their employees who serve and interact with clients.

Whay Marketing is Hard (... or Appears to Be)
Leigh Cowan, Management Consultant, Australia, Member
Most people don't understand what marketing is,,, fewer know how to harness it. Isn't is ludicrous that you need a qualified lawyer to run legal, a qualified accountant to run finance, but 20. no one looks to university marketing qualifications as mandatory for a marketing job?
The CEO of the world’s largest company once said to me… “I didn’t even know marketing was a science… I thought it was all fluff.”
Until CEO’s are selected on marketing skills instead of political ones, we are doomed;-)

Marketing Depends Partly on Storytelling
Marlis Krichewsky, HR Consultant, France, Member
Beyond the satisfaction of consumer needs, marketing depends largely on 21. storytelling. You have to integrate your merchandise into people's stories or else you have to sell your products along with meaningful stories. That's what publicity tries to do... Storytelling starts with deep listening to people's existential questions. It often really results in a sort of mental manipulation...

Don't Ever Work Hard...!
rakesh, India, Member
Marketing is often perceived as a tough job... But in reality 22. marketing is a smart job. Smart people do it or people who do marketing become smart!
Marketing is an artistic work. But like every art it depends on the artist.

Kim Konaghyub, Professor, Korea (South), Member
Marketing is difficult because you need to 23. compete with smart opponents. Great marketing can still fail because of greater marketing. Poor marketing can succeed because of poorer marketing.

Marketing Difficulties: Delivery
p.s.ganesh, India, Member
Another marketing challenge:
24. ability of delivery / production / supply chain - successful marketing can be done only when there is strong production and delivery support.

Marketing is Just Like a Game
ng wan eng, Manager, Malaysia, Member
Ya, we market something, just before we are about to make a little bit of profit, the customers change their mind..

Why is Marketing Hard?
Sohaib Alvi, Consultant, Pakistan, Member
25. Jealousy: everyone in the company hates marketing’s guts so you always have to run a PR effort within the company.
26. Visibility: the smallest communication message gone awry (Ed: wrong) is seen by the CEO, the factory worker and the sales guy who has to face the music in the street. So marketing people have to get it right each and every time.
27. Required to shoot from the hip: almost all the time in small and medium sized companies there is no budget for research so marketing people have to shoot from the hip; when they get it wrong, they are the first to get shot back around the same region.
28. Ego issues: it’s all about ideas and opinions that are built over individual experiences so getting past an idea or returning everyone’s 2 cents worth soon hurts a few egos.
29. Because it's considered the easiest thing to do: there's always CEO who thinks his kids have a point so maybe the ad does require a little tweaking.

Individual Preferences
Arif ur Rehman, Professor, Pakistan, Member
All marketing, believe it or not, is niche marketing in today's volatile, hostile economic scenario with 30. individual customer preferences.

Marketing is a Philosophical Orientation
Dr. SM Dhume, Professor, India, Member
Marketing is not about collection of few techniques and street smart gimmick. It is about a 31. fundamental philosophy determining how one looks at customers, employers, the offering, the society and finally ones own self.
For those who have a narrow perspective it is bound to be difficult.

Change Management or Change Marketing?
aurelian cojocaru
Once you have drawn, as a product manager, the strategy for a product and the tools you need to implement, you will have to face the sales team, that always has a "eagle beaver" inside that will say "no way we can do this". But the work of 32. convincing the sales force is the same as for the customers (sales force=internal customers).

Marketing is Hard: Environmental Factors
isaiah, Accountant, Kenya, Member
33. The Organic Environment in which marketing is done. This dynamic environment may be influenced by:
- change of policy i.e. where the government outlaws / restricts active promotions esp. of alcoholic drinks..
- economic - where there is slowdown there is less demand
- social / cultural - some products can be restricted by religion / tradition i.e. pork for muslims
- technological - this may be expensive to keep up with esp. due to rapid changes (i.e. with entry of internet in the arena
- legal technicalities
All these together may add up to complicate the market. Ref: PESTLE model.

Marketing Duality
Uditha Liyanage, Senior Lecturer, Sri Lanka, Member
34. Not understanding the duality of marketing as a business philosophy and as a business function leads to confusion.

Interfacing with Non-Marketing Functions / Departments
Masiye Mazaza
Marketing in it's own right is not hard. However, the difficulties of carrying out the marketing activities arise because of the 35. interfacing with other sections of the organization since marketing is meant to be an organisation-wide effort. Now, dealing with people who don't have a marketing background or who just think they understand marketing, makes it difficult to achieve the marketing objectives.
One particularly difficult section to deal with is the finance dept who which wants numerical justifications on the benefits to be realized from a marketing spend. Worse still, marketing spend is not considered as investment in the face of finance guys.

Why Marketing is Hard
Sanyambe Obert, Student (MBA), Namibia, Member
Marketing is everything about the enterprise. When we create demand the idea is to deliver a package well designed to suite the target market. As such everyone within the organisation should be able to support the delivery all the way. However, the 36. extent to which other members of the enterprise are involved into the whole process is the other area to spark interest.

Management Self Interest
Steve Raybould, Teacher, United Kingdom, Member
In my experience, marketing is difficult because the marketers, ad agencies etc must view any particular situation from the point of view of the customer. 37. Management seemingly can only see any situation from the point of view of their own interests. When marketing tells them something management don't want to hear, they block it - a case of shoot the messenger.

Marketing is Difficult?
Mohan Bhojwani, Member
Somewhere in the mass of marketing literature and self styled marketing gurus who make a simple concept complex to derive benefit by writing nonsensical theories, 38. we have lost or forgotten the meaning of marketing.
Marketing is nothing but delivering the product in a way that will satisfy the customer with the quality and price.

Just in Time- Marketing Strategy
Joseph Soko, Manager, Zambia, Member
In my opinion, one of the most difficult aspect in the marketing equation is that of 39. stockpiling of goods. This leads to goods expiring without being used and in some cases companies lose out because of pilfering among its employees. It is therefore important that the marketer's should emphasize on the concept of just in time. There is stock piling. Goods are ordered according to usage and importance.

Companies Have Made Marketing Difficult
Tony Gyau, Management Consultant, Netherlands, Member
Marketing has become difficult these days simply because 40. most companies do not deliver what they promise. This has made consumers sceptical of other companies' products and services. If companies start being honest and not promising what they can't deliver and sales personnel being realistic as well, the consumer would happily accept marketing offerings and companies would be making huge impacts on each move.

Respect, Authenticity, Insights and Emotional Connection
Sylvain Desfosses, Analyst, Canada, Member
When you respect consumers, they respect you. Companies act like 20 years ago. They 41. don't treat customers like a human, they are fake and think only about features but forget feelings and emotional connection.
People are more educated, have access to more options. The worse method to understand consumers are focus groups and traditional research. Think about metaphors and anthropology. We use a qualitative/quantitative approach and we find many insights.

Marketing not for Introverts
sudhakaran, Professor, India, Member
42. Marketing is an art and not a science. At the best it can be treated as a craft. Craft always stress the importance of experience. But giving too much importance to experience is also dangerous because experienced people tend to apply the knowledge they gained "then and there" to the problems "here and now". This makes marketing hard for experienced people too.

Marketing Fundamentals
Arif ur Rehman, Professor, Pakistan, Member
I have always held the view as expressed by Mr. Mohan Bhojwani as a fundamental for any marketing effort. The rest is just 'fiddling around' with customers' pockets and wallets.

Marketing is Hard Because..
Judy Ward, Director, United Kingdom, Member
Especially in industries/companies that have been established for many years, 43. marketing is sometimes a relatively new ethos, and often misunderstood, even by senior management. 44. Marketing resource can be difficult to justify without clear ROI metrics in place, especially in an economic downturn.

Why Marketing is Difficult
Manish Pandey, Student (MBA), India, Member
Marketing strategies are changing everyday. Today one strategy might work out but the very next day the same concept might be outdated. So 45. marketing personnel must be flexible and have the ability to frequently adapt their marketing strategies. For others it becomes a hectic job.

No Defined Value Proposition
Kip Piper, Member
Marketing is left to the imagination of the marketer. She 46. has to conjure up a value proposition because the product benefits are ill-defined.

Marketing Versus Selling
isaiah, Accountant, Kenya, Member
Marketing does not necessarily involve product or service movement but the creation of positive perception or possible sale closure. It is 47. lack of drawing the line between selling and marketing that becomes problematic as selling never handles post sale experience that is vital customer feedback.

Why Marketing is Hard
Roger Kennis, Manager, Netherlands, Member
Marketing could be very difficult, when 48. internal barriers are experienced, as:
* Cultural: - lack of belief in planning and/or marketing and/or need to change
- organizational barriers – the tribal mentality
- hostile corporate cultures
* Behavioural:
- lack of top management support; lack of cross functional involvement
- isolating the marketing function from operations
- lack of systematic approach (to marketing planning)
- failure to prioritize objectives
* Cognitive:
- lack of knowledge and skill
- confusion, firstly between marketing tactics and strategy and secondly between strategy and strategic goals
- confusion between marketing function and marketing concept
* Systems & procedures:
- lack of data and/or inappropriate systems
- lack of in-depth analysis.

MARKETING - the Acronym!
Arif ur Rehman, Professor, Pakistan, Member
MARKETING entails Meticulous planning based on Authencity, is Rationalized, wherein the Kingpin (customer) is served with Empathy, bringing about a Transformational relationship reflecting Integrity, with a sense of Newness coming in a Gift pack of loving care.

Why Marketing is Hard
Uditha Liyanage, Senior Lecturer, Sri Lanka, Member
Marketing effectiveness depends on suitable metrics. This is often absent. A key challenge for marketers is to 49. develop such suitable metrics.

Why is Marketing Difficult?
Albin Xavier, Manager, India, Member
50. Measuring the impact in a way acceptable to multiple stakeholders in the absence of a standard or framework is the biggest challenge.


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