March 8, 2021

Is Marketing a Tax for a Poor Product?

Post by: Jeff Crow

A couple of years ago at a CMO conference, one of the speakers shared the perspective that, “marketing is the tax that companies pay for having a poor product.” I rarely take notes in situations like that, but I wrote that quote down to ensure that I remembered it.

There are certainly instances where this mantra is true. Highly commoditized markets typically feature a segment where companies seek to differentiate themselves based on winning with “top of mind” awareness. In my experience, this approach can drive significant consideration and trial but rarely results in ongoing business or long-term loyalty.

Almost four months ago, I joined Core BTS as Chief Marketing Officer. As a mid-market IT consulting firm, Core BTS competes in an extremely crowded and competitive market. As I’ve gotten up to speed on the business, I’ve had the opportunity to meet and interact with a wide swath of the team and get a firsthand view of our approach to highly complex technical work. It’s clear that there’s a palpable passion for technology inherent in our culture. It’s equally apparent that there are tools and approaches that drive a proprietary approach to digital transformation. For a litany of reasons, we haven’t broadcast any of this and most of the market isn’t aware of our brand or our deep expertise.

This is an instance where marketing is the antithesis of a tax for having a poor product. On the contrary, at Core BTS, marketing is the conduit to share a story with the market about people and processes that are unique and best in class. It’s a unique situation where the product has been strong for a long time but the organization hasn’t taken credit for the work that we do. This blog and the launch of our new identity are the first steps in a revolution to change that approach by building the foundation of a brand that deserves to be shared.

As our story gets into the market, I’m confident that, with all due respect to the speaker at the CMO conference, this particular market effort will be embraced as a catalyst not a tax.

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