Wallace McClure writes “What is the problem with Marketing People?” Where he makes the point that marketing people care more about selling product than learning about their customer’s business.
I’m not sure this is especially a marketing affliction. In my experience they care more about “the message” that we, the vendor, wants to communicate. There is an old adage that “when you talk you are teaching whereas when you listen you are selling”. If so then their focus is probably correct. Leave the selling to the sales team.
I do agree though that if you don’t take the time to understand your client’s business model you can end up damaging your relationship with them (and looking a bit stupid too).
The thing to consider is the difference between commercial and business focus. The first is about sales, turnover and profit whereas the later is concerned with relationships, strategy and growth. Both are required but they need balance.
Having had recent experience with customers wanting bespoke solutions for pocket change I’m not sure it’s always the best policy to try to get your product in by any means possible. One thought has just occurred to me – if you are a small company, is it better to lead with a product and provide professional services support or start with consultancy backed up by off the shelf product? Also, does it matter if you get the consultancy fee and don’t recommend your product because it’s not right for the situation?
We used to have a very successful business model with the consultancy first option but have moved to a more product oriented focus. I’m not sure how it’s doing just yet. I’ll let you know.