"We Don't Need Marketing" - yeah right!

If your business is on a run why should you continue to invest in your marketing?


Improving your marketing performance starts with a score

Debbie Richardson, the author of our 9Boxes™ Strategic Marketing Framework published the original of this post back in May 2016. In 2022, we hear fewer business leaders saying we don't need marketing, they know every business needs it. What we are frequently hearing now though is:

  • Concern that “marketing is not delivering profitable growth", and that

  • SME businesses are still unclear as to how to get best value from their marketing investment.

What is still relevant from Debbie’s original post are the strategic drivers that all businesses need to start their marketing conversations with.


To think marketing is just about generating sales leads is short-sighted. As a business leader you should understand why your business needs marketing.


There are five reasons:

  1. Strengthen your market position

  2. Capture market share

  3. Build strategic revenue

  4. Deliver tactical revenue

  5. Increase business valuation

The question you need to ask yourself is WHAT IS YOUR BUSINESS TRYING TO ACHIEVE?


Here’s a quick explanation of each of the above:

  1. Strengthen your market position – build your reputation; unless your business is a corporate brand, we always need to build reputation. It could be that at some point you want to explore new markets – just one example of why you always need to be reputation building.

  2. Capture market share – taking market share from your competitors; even in a ‘normal’ year businesses like to see growth. A strong marketing focus will help your customers chose you over your competitors. So why should they pick you?

  3. Build strategic revenue – long-term revenue; your business should always be thinking about what revenue plans you have beyond today’s. Look at planning products and territories into the future – those that will have a revenue impact two or three years ahead.

  4. Deliver tactical revenue – short-term revenue; if you are making the statement ‘we don’t need marketing’ this is the least likely reason you need to do marketing. Saying that, marketing can always slow down your pipeline and help you deliver customer service strategies that help with ‘too much work’.

  5. Increase business valuation – not an overhead but an investment; if your business is looking for sale, investment or funding, the person with the dollars will always be looking for a well-oiled marketing machine that runs through the business.

You might be very busy at present BUT our experience is that bubbles can burst and your marketing needs to kick in, and it doesn’t do that overnight.


The question you should be asking yourself is WHICH OF THE FIVE IS YOUR BUSINESS ADDRESSING? Strategically, the answer should be all five.





More than 5,000 business leaders have used the 9Boxes™ benchmark to assess their marketing performance.

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