Now as most know, while CMOs execute marketing, the folks who actually fund it are line managers and today, way too often, the line manager doesn’t understand marketing -- even if the CMO does -- and thus doesn’t fund it adequately. Even the best CMO can’t function if they aren’t given a budget, but having someone who understands marketing deeply, and who controls the purse strings, is clearly working for HP Inc., at least this last quarter.
In addition, one of the things Jobs personally brought to the table at Apple was the fact he got marketing and the end-result was that he drove products that he knew he could sell. The more typical engineering-driven firm tosses products over to marketing in the hope they can be sold, which leads to a tremendous amount of waste. Coughlin’s marketing background should lead to more hot products and clearly many of its PCs, like the Spectre and Omen, show as well as Apple’s counterparts as a result.
HP succeeds because it ‘gets’ marketing
I think HP Inc.’s past performance is a showcase for what can happen if you have deep marketing skills in both the CMO’s office and line management. Granted you also need to know enough about how the product is built to get things done. But this combination, I think, showcases why HP Inc., a firm that appeared designed to fail, is actually doing impressively well.
On the horizon are its 3D printers which are unique in the market and, apparently, firms like Rolls Royce are putting into production already. We can talk PCs till we are blue in the fact, but printers are a far bigger problem and the success of their unique 3D printers would go a long way to making that problem history as well. It won’t be until next year that we’ll know if the promise of 3D printers can make the difference. We’ll see, for now it is just nice to see a firm that gets marketing.
I’ll leave you with one more thought: Back when I was at IBM, I penned a report talking about the mistakes that nearly caused the firm to fail. One of the biggest was not defending the mainframe, which many then said was dead but remains one of IBM’s most profitable products nearly 40 years later. HP Inc. is defending and I think the outcome is already vastly different.
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