Drucker On Marketing

22 February 2008

Amen to That: A Little Gospel According to Peter Drucker

by Freddy Tran Nager, Founder of Atomic Tango + Differentiation Junkie; cover image modified from Drucker On Marketing by William Cohen…

While reading an article by marketing legend Jack Trout, I came across this quote from the “father of business consulting,” Peter Drucker…

“Because the purpose of business is to create a customer, the business enterprise has two, and only these two, basic functions: marketing and innovation. Marketing and innovation produce results; all the rest are costs. Marketing is the distinguishing, unique function of the business.”

Upon reading this, I shouted “amen” and “hallelujah” at the same time, probably causing irrevocable vocal chord damage. But it was worth it.

In his article “CMOs, You Must Differentiate or Risk Losing It All,” Trout points out how most businesses ignore Drucker’s edict to their detriment. He also criticizes those so-called CMOs who spend their time focusing on everything but their most important task: differentiation.

“While CMOs are worrying about customers or segmentation or ROI or search-engine optimization, their brands are sinking into a sea of commoditization. Drucker told them what to do, and they ignored him.”

So here’s a shout out to companies like Apple, Starbucks, Nike, Google, Virgin, and Harley-Davidson who have made differentiation their driving force. To those who think differentiation doesn’t matter, I say nada. They will never make a difference — literally — so why strain my vocal chords?

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Freddy is the Founder & Creative Strategist of Atomic Tango. He also teaches graduate-level marketing communication courses at the University of Southern California (go Trojans!), shoots pool somewhat adequately, and herds cats. Freddy received his BA from Harvard and his MBA from USC.

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