Marketing as a Tool — in Conversation with Julie Roehm

Julie Roehm

Peter Drucker, a contributor to the foundation of the modern business corporation, once said “Because its purpose is to create a customer, the business enterprise has two — and only these two — basic functions: marketing and innovation.”

The world today is awash with innovative products, quirky ideas, solutions, and business models. Each new offering can only be brought to the forefront if they are commercialized and marketed. Innovation alone doesn’t do the trick — they go hand in hand.

Julie Roehm, a serial marketer who has worked in various industries and is in the ‘know’ of how marketing can be applied as an important tool for any organization in any industry, talks to us about creating a competitive advantage.

Julie, marketing as a tool provides companies with a platform to showcase their edge over competitors. How have you effectively used marketing for this purpose for the companies you worked for?

“When speaking of marketing tools, I have a long list I could delve into. First and foremost is insight and analytics. I am very data-driven, my background is steeped in analytics. Hence, it’s not surprising that I use insights and analytics to guide every decision. This is of course influenced by a constant loop of customer feedback. It’s a process that is never complete — it’s a continuous loop of insights to innovation to execution to insights again. Using this process, we devise other tools. At Party City for example, developing specific digital tools that allow our customers to create a celebration virtually is also part of the marketing process. Making it easy for people to put their ideas into action, that’s where marketing comes to life. It’s less about the advertisement, it’s more about innovation that is designed to make a customer’s life easier.

“An important aspect that I learned serving on boards and being part of the C-suite is that this journey is a customer-led initiative, but it’s not just a marketing led execution. The only way to be successful is if the entire organization works collaboratively to achieve a particular goal. The merchant, the product development team, the operations team, logistics, IT, and every other stakeholder — we as marketers can provide them with insights, digital opportunities, but we all need to underwrite the strategy and take action in concert with one another. The enterprise is a dynamic, intertwined operation and the only way to succeed is to share in the plan and execute in tandem.

“In an organization, every initiative is an enterprise-wide initiative, and the underpinnings are enterprise wide as well. The manifestation may be different in every department, but the foundation and intersection is multidimensional and interdepartmental. I believe that innovation and insights might stem from marketing efforts, but they need to be carried out by all teams together to achieve the desired results.”

Thanks for the insights, Julie.

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Inspiration And Insights

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