Marketers who think from the bottom up and not the top down?

As a new blogger, I am admittingly slow to enter this wonderful market of shared ideas and the consolidation of conventional(and unconventional) wisdom through blogging websites. This first posting of mine is a question and topic that has been on my mind for quite some time.

I live, eat and breath marketing. My mind is constantly turning and reviewing marketing techniques and critiqueing every bit of advertising and marketing presented before me as I go through my day. I am the employee who never "sleeps" in the sense that even after hours, I find myself contemplating the world of effective marketing.

My most recent and perhaps most poinant obessions is asking myself the question of, "Where does a corporation's marketing and core business strategy derives and formulates from?" Undoubtedly the immediate response would be, "It depends." But does it? Sure day to day operations differ depending on the industry that the participant is in; textile/manufactering, service, retail etc.. And if pressed further, every company would claim that the "customer reigns supreme" and that the focus of the organization is to meet the needs and reach out thier targeted customers. After all, meeting a customers' needs is where revenue originates.

But in my experience, few companies actually form strategy based on the customer.
Strategy formulation for most companies orginates in the boardroom...the daily or weekly meetings reviewing performance and reviews. But I purpose that the most effective marketing starts at the other end: with the customer. Hence the phrase "reverse marketing".

The phrase is almost an oxymoron in itself. The tru idea of marketing is to mesh company strategy in a manner that effectively meets and attains customer demand. Yet, with the way the business world operates today, I belive that formulating strategy starting with the customer- then moving up and through the comany till you get to management-is opposite the prevailing practice. Therefore, I call true marketing "reverse marketing" in the modern sense and understanding.
The most effective marketing strategy would start with the customer- understanding thier needs and wants and most of all, reasoning for having any particular corporation in mind for any given service. As complicated as this process may be, it is a topic for a later discussion. Suffice it to say that once those questions can be generally answered, then the next step would be to move to the first line of contact that the customer has with the company. Whether it is a website, a salesperson or a telephone, each contact point needs to be specifically considered.
But wait, this step is not so easy. This is where most businesses fail- this very first step into the company. For evaluation of the "phase one" contact needs to be assesed from the customer perspective, not managment or business perspective.....