Working in Marketing and Communications means that you are serving two masters (actually there are a few more than two, but we’ll ignore them for now, even if that’s not so easy to do).
One master is your client/Brand. The other master is the consumer, your end-user. And you are walking the tightrope between them.
Yes, your salary gets paid, directly or indirectly, by your Brand/client, but unless you understand and adequately meet the needs of the ultimate client – the person who actually uses and pays for the product or service you represent – there won’t be any money to pay anyone.
A responsible Communications pro/Marketer understands that there are two opposing yet complementary sides to the coin. And they actively search for ways to keep both sides satisfied. When interests are common, this is easy, when they are not, it is a challenging balancing act.
While acting as the Brand/client ambassador, you represent the Brand, your client to the internal organization, external suppliers, the public, the media, the consumers themselves and are responsible for the messages, communications, image and identity. But as the main spokesperson for the Brand/client within the organization, you are accountable for representing the wants and needs of the customer, and for delivering against the promise of the brand or service. Everything you do must be for the good of the ultimate consumer. Everything you do must also support the goals and objectives of your company/Brand.
So if there is a problem or a mistake, you are responsible for creating the action plan and brokering the solution that fixes the issue and ensures transparency with the consumer so they don’t feel you’re trying to put one over on them. The how you do it serves the interests of your company/Brand to maintain your status and performance in the marketplace.
Not an easy task, but one that provides a great sense of accomplishment when you get it right.
Keep faith with the ultimate user, make sure you have their best interests at heart. The more you know about, and can identify with them, the easier it is to understand how to communicate with them. Represent your consumer franchise well and make sure you educate all of the stakeholders at your company so they are very knowledgeable about the end customer. It helps to ensure the agendas dovetail (and makes your job easier).
It’s in your best interest.