Visibility for Professionals

Questons

In our society, which makes many determinations about a person’s character from his or her actions, high visibility is important to position oneself to success.

Philip Kotler and Kevin Keller, authors of Marketing Management, argue the importance of branding for individuals as well as for products to help them stand out among the crowd: “For branding strategies to be successful and brand value to be created, consumers must be convinced there are meaningful differences among branding in the product or service category.”[1]  Therefore, professionals need to distinguish themselves from their competitors.

Sadly, most workers are invisible to their management.  Some employees believe that if they work hard and are loyal to their organizations, they will be promoted and rewarded accordingly.  However, these individuals often see less qualified and less talented people get promoted ahead of them.

Renowned Pastor Richard S. Brown Jr. underlines this misunderstanding of this current culture:  “Everyone wants to be outstanding but no one wants to stand out.”  Today’s organizations promote individuals who know how to shine.  From a marketing perspective, these individuals understand how to use visibility to promote their personal brand.

 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o3fMQ1SWDU4

In the book, High Visibility: The Making and Marketing of Professionals into Celebrities,  Irvin Rein, Philip Kotler, and Martin Stoller examined the  role that celebrities play in society and the fact the everyone is involved in either producing or consuming celebrities.[2]  Yet, when you discuss this reality openly to others, most managers and executives would argue that it is the individual technical performance or merit of their work that gets them ahead.

However, most folks will not take advice from a ‘no named’ or unfamiliar expert, given the choices between an unrecognized and a celebrity expert.  Therefore, high visibility can open doors to opportunity.

Rein, Kotler, and Stoller note:  “Today for the visibility-conscious professional, fame is the ultimate accomplishment.  Well-knownness has evolved into celebrity, and in today’s society, that means power and money – not just to its possessor, but also to businesses, institutions, political parties, causes, entrepreneurs, and charities.” [3]

For the savvy professional, gaining visibility goes to understanding what’s important to his or her organization or targeted institution.  This task requires doing the necessary research to determine the organization’s priorities and goals.  Furthermore, this matter requires understanding the personal characteristics of the key decision makers and looking for opportunities for high visibility.  The rewards of high visibility can be great.

Rein, Kotler, and Stoller further explain: “Our society is generally quite willing to pay this ‘celebrity premium,’ to reward those who take the risks to become the highly visible people we so love to revere or revile.” Of course, high visibility normally requires a great amount of sacrifice on an individual’s part.  Often, it can mean taking a job that no one wants because odds of success are slim.

As in many stories highlighted in the magazine tabloids about celebrities, relationships can also be a casualty of high visibility.  As society searches for more heroes and fulfilled fantasies, celebrities and fame will forever be a part of our society.  Consequently, high visibility will afford opportunists with more fortune than the Average Joe.  Therefore, working professionals need to understand how high visibility can be used in order to provide them with advantages that are more competitive.   

Please discuss the visibility for professionals based on your own work experience.

© 2013 by Daryl D. Green

 


[1] Marketing Management by Philip Kotler and Kevin Keller

[2] High Visibility: The Making and Marketing of Professionals into Celebrities by Irvin Rein, Philip Kotler, and Martin Stoller

[3] High Visibility: The Making and Marketing of Professionals into Celebrities by Irvin Rein, Philip Kotler, and Martin Stoller

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Marketing for Professionals

MM-boy-custom

Several years ago, I was riding the Metro subway in Washington, DC and got off at the end of the line.  The location was in a depressed area, and few businesses were there for commuters.  As I waited for my ride, I saw these two boys carrying a huge box of M&Ms in hopes of selling to weary commuters.

I found it amusing that these young men were hustling in such a manner. Yet, this spoke to the spirit of entrepreneurs.  The boys found an unmet need in the market.  Yes, with no stores located in the immediate area, these young men sold a lot of M&Ms to hungry commuters.

With increasing competition abroad, today’s professionals cannot afford to be ignorant in understanding business practices such as marketing.  The problem is that marketing is not second nature for all business professionals.

Sadly, most business owners do not have the time to take a long, drawn-out college course, while others want a simple process for understanding the basic concepts until they can take more formalized courses.  In fact, when you do not have a lot of money to spend on advertising your product, you have to be smarter and more creative in order to stay ahead of the competition. 

Marketing is the cornerstone of understanding today’s economic changes. Philip Kotler and Kevin Keller, authors of Marketing Management, argue the important of understanding marketing concepts for today’s professionals: “The first decade of the 21st century challenged firms to prosper financially and even survive in the face of an unforgiving economic environment.  Marketing is playing a key role in addressing those challenges…Thus financial success often depends on marketing abilities.”

Consequently, marketing gives individuals the ability to understand how to locate these opportunities and what to do with them when you find them.  According to the American Marketing Association, marketing can be defined as an organizational function and a set of processes for creating, capturing, communicating, and delivering value to customers. However, the simplest definition is that marketing is about understanding and satisfying customer wants or needs.

In fact, there are times when customers do not know what they want or desire. Marketing then becomes that linchpin in the process of finding a solution for the consumer.  Traditionally, marketing has been defined in terms of four variables described as the marketing mix, or the 4 Ps: product/service, price, placement, and promotion.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NQzYclR8ufM

In fact, the marketing mix is the controllable set of activities that entrepreneurs use to attract or respond to the needs of their target market.  In essence, entrepreneurs attempt to create value for their customers.  Value relates to the customer viewpoint, not that of the business.  Value relates to the benefits the customer perceives they are getting in exchange for their purchase of the product or service.

Business experts Donald Lehmann and Russell Winer point out that inaccurate information or incorrect analysis often leads to poor decisions about marketing a business product.  This flaw can hurt a business attempting to make a profit.  In fact, understanding competition is a point most executives miss.  Some of the questions executives should ponder include: 

  •       Who are my competitors?
  •       What are the competing product features?
  •       What is their positioning strategy?
  •       What markets do they currently own and their future?
  •       How do you distinguish your products from those of your competition?
  •      How do consumers make this distinction in products?

In today’s global markets, organizations cannot operate with a ‘trial and error’ mentality.  In fact, what worked yesterday is no guarantee that it will be successful in the future.  Business professionals who are less knowledgeable about marketing and marketing forces are a liability to organizations that aim for sustainable success.

Successful entrepreneurs understand how to tap into their target market instead of random selling.  Why should the expectations be any lower for today’s professionals?  Therefore, savvy professionals seek to understand and implement effective marketing strategies. 

Please discuss the value of understanding marketing concepts for professionals based on your own work experience.

© 2013 by Daryl D. Green