I was recently listening to a podcast by a marketing researcher that I respect and the differences in approach and emphasis hit me.
In big companies, much of marketing research, analysis and just plain hours are spent on:
- understanding who the customer is, their needs and opinions (since most employees do not have much direct interaction with real customers)
- convincing management to focus on what the customer wants and then…
- getting everyone coordinated toward a common goal (product launch, marketing campaign, etc.)
In small businesses, most of the employees (and certainly the CEO and sales team) know exactly who the customer is and what they want. Decisions are made quickly and executed without hesitation because everyone wears many hats and directly sees the results. So marketing that is relevant for small business should focus on how to quickly make smart decisions and have enough measurement in place to accommodate course corrections when needed.
Unfortunately many of the popular books out there seem written for the first group with an emphasis on lengthy analysis and “customer focus”.Do you agree?