Why are marketing people paid well?

What’s your understanding of Marketing? I suspect you have a notion of it and it’s driving that impression.

Consider what these things have in common:

  • iPhone
  • Tesla
  • Guardians of the Galaxy
  • Blink
  • Walmart
  • Michael Jackson

All massively successful products a result of Marketing.

Economist Peter Drucker, on of the most influential business consultants of the 20th century, noted that only two things create value in business: innovation and marketing, everything else is a cost, and marketing is the distinguishing of the two.

Marketing is the work of the market. It sounds like your experience has been with Sales, promotions people, or just poor marketer, but no brand succeeds without knowing the market, competitors, demands, costs, and opportunities <- that’s Marketing.

Look at Drucker’s point in another way…

A thing that is only innovative, could be anything, a new food, music, or technology, for example, is only an invention – a patent or IP. No market, no business. The market is what makes a company.

A thing that has a market need not be innovative. An accounting firm, laundry detergent maker, a cover band, or a republishing of a book… nothing innovative about those things but they have customers – they have a market.

Marketing distinguish a business from not. A business that isn’t innovative is at risk of losing their market, but it can thrive.

Everything else that a business does – accounting, Sales, supply chain, shipping, promotion, etc. – everything else is a cost of doing business.

Marketers may suck, some, but there is a very good reason they in general get paid so well. Marketing is the paramount priority of any business that hopes to be substantial.