Let’s face it, to the average business person, marketing equals promotion.
Marketing is what you say and how you say it when you want to explain how awesome your product is and why people should buy it.
Marketing is an ad. Marketing is a brochure. Marketing is a press release. And more recently, Marketing is a Facebook page or a Twitter account.
Marketing, to many business people, is simply selling at a larger scale.
The reality, is that marketing sits at the intersection of the business and the customer – the great arbiter of the self interests of the business and the needs of the buyer. As the global economy settles into a new normal of consistent doubt, Marketing has an identity problem, a brand perception gap, maybe even a crisis of confidence.
“Business has only two functions – marketing and innovation.” ~ Milan Kundera
When I transitioned out of a successful sales career almost 15 years ago, most of my peers thought I was crazy. The head of our division hung up on me (it wasn’t the first time).
Increasingly, after more and more conversations with real customers, I had bought in to the idea that marketing represented the future. I sold what was “in the sales bag.”
But I wanted to help shape the future. Naive? Probably. Delusional? Certainly. Possible? Definitely!
“The aim of marketing is to know and understand the customer so well the product or service fits him and sells itself.” ~ Peter F. Drucker
Marketing is not about who can talk faster, or close better. It is about deep psychological understanding of customer needs. Steve Jobs had this gift better than almost any example. Henry Ford. Thomas Edison. Every innovation in the history of the world combined an uncanny understanding of human needs and the innovative vision to deliver it.
“Marketing is too important to be left to the marketing department.” ~ David Packard
If business is composed of marketing and innovation, and marketing is about deep customer insights, then marketing is the job of every employee.
“Social media” has only made this point painfully clear: every employee is an extension of the brand. The brand serves to meet the needs of the customer and the business serves to innovate.
Wir Sitzen Alle Im Marketing!
I’m not sure Google translator gave me the right translation but whether you are in finance, or sales, marketing or the owner of a small business, we are all in marketing.
What is Marketing? I did a search on this term to look for some inspiration and found this recent article from Reliving MBA Days that does a great job reviewing the basics of marketing.
Photo by: Jacob Botter