The Three-Legged Stool and the Role of Marketing in Your Business

By Patrick Nycz

When I talk about the role of marketing in your business, one of my go-to, big-picture metaphors is all about a three-legged stool. It usually goes like this:


One leg represents marketing.

The marketing leg represents the process of creating brand awareness and marketing to be found. It positions the company or brand by differentiating from the competition, displaying unique features and benefits, and developing an effective call-to-action to set up sales or bring in leads. In a best case scenario, good marketing will reach the qualified and most coveted target audience to create a brand preference. Turn marketing on to drive the target market to sales. If marketing works too hard, sales may not have capacity to convert.

One leg represents sales.

The sales leg represents the process that delivers on the brand promise marketing makes. It validates that the target market is indeed a potential customer and that they value the brand and company for the right reasons. Sales also confirms that the company or brand can deliver what the target market is looking for at a fair price. Converting the target market not just for the short run, but in a best case scenario, into a recurring, long-term customer. Turn sales on to drive the target market to sales conversion. If sales works too hard, operations may not have capacity to convert.

One leg represents operations.

The operations leg represents the process of getting the product or service to the new customer which, in turn, delivers on the promise sales made to the new customer. Obviously, capacity has a lot to do with not only the ability to keep up with orders, but also to deliver the quality and customer service that directly tie back into the brand promise made by sales and marketing.

falling-businessmanIn the “stool” metaphor, all three legs—marketing, sales and operations—work in concert to act as a platform to grow your business. They have to. Completing the metaphor, if even one of the legs is not working, the stool collapses and…

..the company could fall on its ass…

…potentially lose business and market share.

When you talk with idc, we will be asking you and your team a lot of questions about your business, including your sales process the capacity of your operation. The better dialed into how your company operates, the better we will be able to develop a marketing strategy that works with your sales and operations to grow your business.


About the Author: Patrick Nycz is the President and owner of idc, an integrated strategic marketing firm. He is currently working with idc clients to develop a marketing plan that works in concert with sales and operations. He spends his days, among other things, as a business owner, marketing strategist, account exec, cheerleader, salesman and excitable creative. Get connected to Patrick at LinkedIn, follow him on Twitter @PatrickNycz or email him at Also “like” idc on Facebook!
This entry was published on November 25, 2013 at 9:32 am. It’s filed under blog, brand, brand affinity, brand positioning, integrated marketing, marketing, marketing communications program, Patrick Nycz, positioning, sales, strategy and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

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