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For right or wrong having an identifiable brand has traditionally been the standard measure of the success for corporate marketing programs. It was this measure of marketing success that inspired P.T. Barnum, that great American showman to say “There’s no such thing as bad publicity.” And for his special circumstances and for those individuals today who seek attention at all costs (actors, signers, Facebook farmers, etc.), this may be true. For corporations, this statement is widely inaccurate.

Others will say that sales is the ultimate measure, but I point out that many organizations can succeed despite poor or even no marketing. Similarly, a good product can overcome bad sales and bad marketing if it is the only solution available. That is why I believe that the true measure of overall marketing success is customer satisfaction.

To understand why, first consider that customer satisfaction is an ideal barometer for marketing success because it both influences and is influenced by every thing we do across the organization. It holds everyone (sales, support, product development, accounting, etc.) accountable for meeting customer expectations and managing the corporate image.

This in turn means that, as marketing professionals, our mission as stewards of the corporate brand is to be the advocate for our customers. This includes current customers and potential customers in yet to be identified markets.

Do this well and revenue will grow as a result of your ability to site your customer satisfaction levels and reference additional successes. And as marketing professionals, this list of references is the goldmine for implementing truly influential marketing programs that generate quality leads and drive sales conversion.