Opinion

Don’t those clickbait articles just make you want to puke these days? They do me. Sometimes, in our haste to get things done, or to simply get the message out, we forget some basics. I think this is the case here. Now, I completely agree there could be competing agendas here as article headlines are sometimes used like this to simply get someone to click on a link that generates a fractional amount of revenue for someone somewhere. A sort of instant payback for bringing a horse to water and then saying, hey getting the horse to drink was your job. In other cases, I read article headlines like this that are attached to products or brands. In this instance, I get really worried for the modern-day marketer.

Let’s not forget that one of the key objectives of an organization’s marketing efforts is to develop satisfying relationships with customers that benefit both the customer and the organization. These efforts lead marketing to serve an important role within most organizations and within society.

At the organizational level, marketing is a vital business function that is necessary in nearly all industries whether the organization operates as a for-profit or as a not-for-profit. For the for-profit organization, marketing is responsible for most tasks that bring revenue and, hopefully, profits to an organization. For the not-for-profit organization, marketing is responsible for attracting customers needed to support the not-for-profit’s mission, such as raising donations or supporting a cause. For both types of organizations, it’s unlikely they can survive without a strong marketing effort.

Marketing is also the organizational business area that interacts most frequently with the public; consequently, what the public knows about an organization is determined by their interactions with marketers. For example, customers may believe a company is dynamic and creative based on its advertising message.

At a broader level, marketing offers significant benefits to society. These benefits include:

  • Developing products that satisfy needs, including products that enhance society’s quality of life
  • Creating a competitive environment that helps lower product prices
  • Developing product distribution systems that offer access to products for many customers and many geographic regions
  • Building demand for products that require organizations to expand their labor force
  • Offering techniques that have the ability to convey messages that change societal behavior in a positive way (e.g., anti-smoking advertising)

So, why not push the envelope here? Should the challenge to marketing not be: How do we find ways to further strengthen the relationship with our customer?  How do we find ways for the customer to discover what our brand is all about and why that relationship should be relevant to them? That is really the critical element to any marketing department.

Those who are doing it well will undoubtedly drive revenue and increase profitability. Marketing has the ability to pull on both of these levers at the same time if they do it right. When I think of companies that are doing well these days, I realize they understand how to develop that relationship with the customer and how to tie that relationship to the promise that their brand delivers. They don’t need small clickbait tricks to get that done.

For the CEO out there: Push your marketing team. Push them at least as hard as you push your sales team to drive business forward and don’t settle for small tricks. Instead, play the longer game and your business will grow faster and more profitably.