The troops are the sales team. They engage the client directly using a set of tools they have been given. A brochure, a product, some information, negotiating skills…
The enemy? They are the competition. We need to get to the customer before they do!
The customer? They are the prize. The land we fight over. The battlefield.
Obviously, the business owner, or CEO, is the General.
So where does marketing fit in? Marketing is the intelligence agency sitting in the background.
It is the job of the marketer to keep an eye on the competition, to understand the lay of the land (namely the customer) and whisper into the troops’ ears to make sure they attack effectively.
What happens if you fight a battle without good intelligence? You either lose, if the enemy is strong, or in the case of a weak enemy, you may win but at a great cost to you. In the world of business, this cost comes in the form of reduced prices, lower profits and impossible timelines.
The only time you can afford not to do marketing is if you operate in an uncompetitive industry. But eventually all industries heat up, and you will get caught unprepared.
The challenge with marketing, as with gathering intelligence, is that it takes time and cannot be turned on-and-off at will. Once you have started, you should keep at it!
My advice to business owners? Make sure you use both sales, and marketing, to grow your business. Don’t fall into the trap of only relying on sales because you don’t understand marketing. It may cost you dearly if the battle heats up!