• Marketing is more than selling; it shapes a story around your product, offering solutions to customers’ problems by integrating it into every stage of development.
  • Customer acquisition relies on the marketing department, acting as the vital link to attract and convert new audiences into loyal customers.

As the famous saying goes, business is not for the faint of heart. However, if the business catches its peak, the profit is unmeasurable. Whether it’s a corporate giant executing multimillion-dollar deals or a tiny startup establishing its presence with modest investments, every business, regardless of size, derives its vitality from its core operational system. At the center of this system lies marketing, which is the heart of the business.

Marketing evolution over the past century mirrors the changing demands of consumers and the rise of innovative technologies.

From mass production to customer-centricity

During the industrial revolution (the 1860s-1920s), mass production ushered in an era of affordability, creating a space for mass marketing. Companies like Ford embraced this strategy, flooding the market with the iconic ‘Model T’, transforming cars from luxury items to everyday necessities.

Ford’s Model T 

Fords Model T

However, by the mid-20th century, consumer desires shifted. Levitt’s seminal work, “Marketing Myopia,” challenged companies to move beyond product availability and truly understand what customers craved.

The 1940s witnessed a pivotal shift: businesses adopted a marketing orientation, prioritizing evolving customer needs and segmenting their markets to offer bespoke solutions. This wasn’t just about price or promotions anymore; it was about creating value and building relationships.

Innovation, trust, and the digital boom

The 1970s saw a rise in innovation as companies competed for differentiation. Building consumer trust and social responsibility became key differentiators at that time.

Fast forward to the 1990s, the internet exploded, bringing consumers online and paving the way for digital advertising. The first banner ad debuted on HotWired (now Wired.com), marking a new era of targeted marketing and data-driven success.

Today, we’re on the brink of profound change. Social media, mobile tech, and AI are altering customer behavior and marketing strategies. It’s now about tailored experiences, emphasizing authenticity, transparency, and personalization. Yet, the true value of marketing efforts eludes us.

Is It True that Marketing is the Heart of the Business?

As we all know, the marketing department is the lifeline of customer acquisition, which grabs new audiences and converts them into loyal patrons.

Think of the fragmented business landscape, filled with potential customers but divided by distance, misunderstanding, data silos, and barriers to insight. There, the marketing department plays a crucial role in becoming the bridge and connecting the company with its audience.Some marketing departments have crafted bold headlines, propelling brands to new heights. Let’s explore these daring campaigns that pushed boundaries, sparked conversations, and drove game-changing results, propelling organizations to unlimited success.

  1. Exceptional market research of Starbucks

Through market research, the marketing department surveys business landscapes to devise strategies for reaching potential customers.

Starbucks exemplifies the power of market research in driving success, notably with its introduction of oat milk and almond milk lattes.

According to Mintel, U.S. dairy-free milk alternative sales grew by 61% from 2012 to 2017, with almond, coconut, and soy milk leading in popularity.

Starbucks capitalized on this trend by offering coconut milk in 2015, almond milk in 2016, and oat milk in European stores in 2018.

Additionally, the high demand for dairy-free alternatives on the My Starbucks Idea platform led to successful tests and the nationwide rollout of coconut milk in 2014.

The above comprehensive approach of Starbucks goes beyond data analysis, diving deep into the hearts and minds of their customers by:

  • Observing cultural shifts
  • Keeping an eye on social media
  • Collecting customer input
  • Conducting in-store product trials

The thoroughness of the market research ensured that the output would extend beyond conventional boundaries, making it what is the heart of the business.

  1. Remarkable advertising efforts by Volkswagen

Another vital element of the marketing department is advertising. As per Statista, businesses globally allocate more than USD 600 billion annually to advertising, with digital advertising projected to surpass USD 876 billion by 2024.

Advertising boosts economic expansion by enhancing competitiveness and providing consumers with information on products and services, widening their choices. For businesses, advertising serves as a rocket launcher, transforming brands. Volkswagen is a prime example.

Volkswagen’s “Think Small” campaign, developed in 1960 by Doyle Dane & Bernbach, is widely regarded as a top-notch example of advertising. It aimed to shift perceptions about small German cars in a market dominated by large American vehicles. The campaign didn’t pretend to be something it’s not; instead, it embraced Volkswagen’s small size, connecting well with what consumers like.

The “Think Small” campaign contributed to Volkswagen’s popularity among American car buyers, establishing the Beetle as an iconic car of the era. It showcased the vital position that marketing can hold at the heart of the business.

  1. Glossier’s most unforgettable branding

In crowded markets, standing out is crucial, and robust branding is key to becoming a memorable and trusted choice, fostering advocacy, and securing the future.

Launched in 2014 with just four products by Emily Weiss, Glossier has expanded while prioritizing high-quality, user-friendly products. Glossier reinforces its ‘skincare first, makeup second’ philosophy by featuring real people in its advertising and promotion.

  • Easy to use, easy to love: Glossier wants its makeup to be simple and clear, just like its packaging. No fancy fonts or confusing instructions – just what you need to know.
  • Calm and friendly vibes: Those soft pinks and lavenders? They’re not just trendy; they make Glossier feel inviting and approachable, like your makeup BFF.
  • Remember me?: Every Glossier product has the same packaging style, so you always know it’s them. Think of your fave outfit – instantly recognizable and makes you feel good!
  • Honest beauty: Clean packaging reflects Glossier’s values: no hidden stuff, just straightforward beauty essentials. What you see is what you get!
  • Discover yourself: Instead of telling you what’s amazing, Glossier lets you explore its products by keeping the packaging simple. It’s like they’re saying, “Go on, have fun, and find your perfect look!”

With 1.5 million Instagram followers, Glossier is celebrated as a top beauty brand by Allure, Teen Vogue, Glamour, Nylon, Women’s Wear Daily, and Cosmopolitan.

It has also received accolades, such as WWD Beauty Inc.’s 2015 Digital Innovator of the Year and recognition from Fast Company as one of the most innovative companies of 2017.

  1. Product marketing like WidgetCorp’s marketing dept.

Marketing goes beyond mere selling; it crafts a story around your product. By embedding marketing into every stage of product development, it provides a solution to your customers’ problems, acting as a bridge that connects desire to fulfillment for your clients.

Without marketing initiatives, your exceptional products face the possibility of going unnoticed, much like a tree falling in a deserted forest.

To illustrate, consider WidgetCorp, a small tech startup. Despite creating exceptional software, their launch fell short due to a focus solely on the product, neglecting customer needs and effective communication.

After disappointing sales, WidgetCorp realized the value of marketing. By understanding customers, repositioning their product, and launching a new campaign, they transformed their software’s reception. Sales skyrocketed, turning WidgetCorp from a struggling startup to an industry leader and showcasing the undeniable power of marketing in product development.

  1. Patagonia stands out with its excellent digital PR

Forget self-promotion’s hollow echo. Today’s savvy audience demands proof, and that’s where digital press release thrives. By using innovative marketing strategies, you can turn journalists, influencers, and experts into your supporters rather than just relying on promotional press releases.

Consider Patagonia, a worldwide brand worth USD 600 million, established on authenticity. Let’s explore what they put at the heart of their business.

Patagonia doesn’t just sell eco-friendly jackets; they use organic cotton recycled materials, and they even launched a “Don’t buy this jacket” PR campaign urging mindful consumption.

Risky? Maybe. But it fosters a loyal community that values both quality and the planet. Patagonia isn’t just selling products; they’re influencing behavior, encouraging “The Common Threads Initiative” to buy less, repair more, and reuse the rest.

When done well, Digital PR doesn’t just increase sales; it also creates trust and long-lasting connections.

Going ahead, we must consider the current approaches that revolve around modern marketing.

Wrap Up

So, who is considered to be the heart of the business then? It’s nothing but marketing that connects with people, tells stories, guides innovation, shapes your identity, and drives growth. Without it, a business is just an empty shell, unable to connect, resonate, or thrive.

So, remember, when you invest in marketing, you’re investing in the heart of your business.

Enhance your understanding with a diverse collection of informative whitepapers on sales marketing accessible through our resource center.