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The Cardinal Sin of Business

If you’ve practiced marketing in a corporate setting, this scenario might be depressingly familiar: A product development person comes to you announcing a brand-new product and asks for a brochure, press release, sell sheet or website, and you’re at a loss. You’re missing critical information on the target audience, the competition, the value proposition and the key differentiators. In this case, marketing has become the period at the end of a very long — and perhaps ill-defined — sentence.

Thousands of companies, large and small, commit the cardinal sin of business: viewing the marketing function solely as tactical, executional and a business afterthought. These companies, and their brands, tend to struggle mightily in the marketplace.

However, successful companies (think Apple, Nike, Google) believe that marketing is a front-end, mission-critical business function that is responsible for profitably connecting people with products and services. Defining the marketing strategy (who, what, where, when, how and, most importantly, why) for a company or brand is an extremely important and often overlooked first step in a brand’s success. In order for marketing to be integral to success, the CMO must have a seat at the CEO’s table. Make marketing an integral front-end business function and all future brand sins could be forgiven.