Without doubt the way that business communications and marketing methods are assessed needs to change. Digital marketing has seen to this providing what appears to be a comprehensive funneling system, but other marketing channels are less well served but are still important. No one would suggest to an air conditioning manufacturer to spend all his money on pay per click advertising and neglect the provision of technical literature.
As happens in this case, Peter Drucker provides a solution, but not in the way he may have intended it, when he states:
“Business has only two functions — marketing and innovation.”
Actually marketing and innovation are so closely intertwined that I tend to see marketing as a form of innovation as it moves an individual onto a new form of buying behaviour. You can see this in action from the diagram below which is often used in looking at outcome driven innovation using the Jobs to be Done framework:
The Jobs to be done framework is highly effective at predicting innovation success and has been used to refocus marketing communications, so that the company does not advertise the attributes of the drill bit or the benefits of the hole but what the successful outcome will mean for the person or people involved.
Another issue is that a lot of research on communication does not look at the whole picture so marketing that goes on in the background to create the perception of quality or at least a form of trust is often ignored because it is not immediately recollected.
By working backwards from the buying event it is possible to understand the process more effectively. Often if they heard good reports about a company they may, with a little support, be able to recall who it was or what website they looked for.
More importantly by understanding what outcome they wanted when the purchased your product you can understand if the message is correct as well as where and when individuals started looking (in some cases passively) for a solution to their need.