Being a music freak, I have been playing air guitar for over forty-five years. It is likely one of the activities I have performed most consistently in my life. While the longevity hasn’t led to an increased expertise, it does provide a comfortable constant for me.
My son, Christian plays the guitar. I have told him often that “If I could do that I would never leave the house.” Playing guitar ranks amongst perhaps the two or three activities that I would lock myself in the house to do. At this point, I am putting my effort into listening to those who can play. I am happy to be a bystander.
In your career, you have to find your air guitar activity. Is it developing a strategy, writing a business case or closing a deal? Others want to help others in business and gravitate to human resources and its related disciplines. Some want to develop products and services; others want to support those products and services. Still others don’t want to have anything to do with any of that and just want to understand and be responsible for the technology that makes it all work.
Marketing for me is like playing the lead as Jimi Hendrix, Slash or Neil Young. When I have my Marketing hat on and am in my zone, I feel like I can shred with any of these guys. The ideas flow as I walk around a house filled with music thinking about my next marketing or lead generation activity. Sometimes a glass of wine helps the ideas to flow from my fingertips as I wail away.
People often refer to me as a Sales guy. I am usually offended by that because I believe there is no greater activity than Marketing. Remember famed management guru Peter Drucker said the difference between Marketing and Sales is that “sales focuses on the needs of the seller and marketing on the needs of the buyer.” Insert a little Roy Buchanan covering Hendrixs’ “Hey Joe” here and you can make the leap to another Drucker quote I have lived by for years.
“Because the purpose of business is to create and keep a customer, the business enterprise has two–and only two–basic functions: marketing and innovation. Marketing and innovation produce results; all the rest are costs. Marketing is the distinguishing, unique function of business.”
Look at Apple, Amazon, or any successful company and you will find at the heart of the company a marketing focus. You will also find that these enterprises have made marketing people out of their employees and customers alike. So often costs associated with marketing are questioned by the financial types and it is this budget that is the first to be cut when business slows.
Here is what I believe about marketing budgets.
Marketing budgets should be amongst the highest in your company and when things slow down they should be increased. CF
“Cinnamon Girl” by Neil is blaring out here on my deck as I write this which has me thinking about how correct contemporary marketing sage Mark Stevens is in his book Your Marketing Sucks, now in its 10th edition. If you take nothing from this article, read this book if you are interested in helping your business grow.
Whatever you do in your company and your career find the air guitar sweet spot. If you feel good about what you are doing it makes whatever you’re working on that much easier. Whether it is a project, deal or service issue if you can’t make it feel like you are standing on stage with every fan in the stadium fixated on you as you work the fretboard on your guitar then find something else to do.
By Christian J. Farber As Chief Marketing Officer, Christian Farber is responsible for overseeing our entire client experience from first contact through sale and ongoing client support. Mr. Farber unifies market insights and product strategy, with the goal of delivering financial technology solutions that anticipate and meet evolving market needs.