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  • Writer's picturestuartbrunger

The Aim of Marketing is to make Selling Superfluous

Updated: Feb 4, 2023

Not a new idea!

A long, long time ago-in probably the first business book I ever read - Peter Drucker, management guru wrote in Management: Tasks, Responsibilities, Practices


“There will always, one can assume, be need for some selling. But the aim of marketing is to make selling superfluous. The aim of marketing is to know and understand the customer so well that the product or service fits him and sells itself. Ideally, marketing should result in a customer who is ready to buy. All that should be needed then is to make the product or service available”

As a Sales Exec at the time, this was shocking stuff.

Drucker assumes product management is the responsibility of the marketing department. Drucker went on to explain that there would always be a need for selling, because by the time the marketing department had researched customer needs, products had been designed and manufactured, customers needs will have moved on. In effect, the art of selling was to persuade the customer to accept something that was a perfect fit for yesterday’s needs – or “just shift what’s in the warehouse today”

I still find it an interesting concept - poor product/market fit means high cost of sales and a variety of other costly behaviours including selling to the wrong customers. Fail to keep you product aligned to the market and you will face increasing cost of sales.

Moreover, as the market changes, and you fail to reflect these changes in your proposition, sales will continue to drop off, no matter how hard your sales team works. In fact - the harder they work - the less you get.

Get the product market fit right – and you are onto a winner. Need help with this - contact us.

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