- Corporate Communication
Those of us who keep an eye on the strategic direction of our profession agree on what is necessary to succeed. The themes articulated in the Page Society's The Authentic Enterprise white paper also are apparent in Dick Martin's findings in his new book, Secrets of the Marketing Masters: What the Best Marketers Do - And Why It Works (Amacom, 2009). Dick's first public appearance to discuss the new book was before an audience of communicators, graduate students, and faculty at a recent CCI - Corporate Communication International event at Baruch College/CUNY.
Dick was the executive vice president of public relations, employee communications, and brand management at AT&T. You may recall his first effort, Tough Calls: AT&T and the Hard Lessons Learned from the Telecom Wars (Amacom, 2004), a must read for corporate communicators and executives, as well as graduate students aspiring to the ranks.
For his third book after “retiring," Martin interviewed the best and the brightest in the business around the world. Their responsibilities were broad -- marketing, corporate communication, and public relations. And the philosophy they shared gets at the core of authenticity.
“If marketers were to think more deeply about their higher purpose, it would influence what they do, from product conception to promotion,"
says Martin in introducing Jim Stengel's viewpoint. A twenty-five-year P&G veteran, Stengel explains it this way:
“Every great brand started for a reason. Purpose-based marketing is about getting back in touch with that idea. When that happens, you see a different level of performance, a more personal commitment to doing things better."
“The masters of marketing don't have a transactional view of the world," says Martin. “They realize that the secret weapon of twentieth-century marketing – intrusiveness – has lost in throw weight in a world of digital video recorders, on-demand entertainment, and portable media. …The new metaphor is not 'engagement' as in a battle, but as in a relationship."
The new marketing story is about building trust and finding where customer and company needs intersect.
Beth Comstock, speaking about GE's “Ecomagination," explains further,
“You can't tell one story to some people and another to others. You have to have one core message that you can translate to different constituencies. And your story has to match your capabilities – you have to give people a reason to believe." From a GE perspective Comstock underscores, “Ecomagination had to be about making money or it wouldn't have been taken seriously – inside or outside the company."
We do want you to read Dick's book to discover their secrets, but to flesh out just a tantalizing few – these marketers are part of an “organizational ecosystem." They know their role in their company's business model and – knowing that they build trust with the C-suite – they treat them as internal customers and bring to the dialogue the voice of their external customers.
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