What is Marketing? It’s a question I’ve heard countless times – and that’s just from those brave enough to ask (many others just quietly wonder). What on earth is marketing? Well, I’d like to start by explaining what it is not:
- Marketing is not advertising
- Marketing is not sending out blanket emails or letterbox drops
- Marketing is not buying lists
- Marketing is not cold calling or telesales
I know what you’re thinking. Really? Surely these are all very common tactics used by marketers every day? And yes, they are used to varying degrees by marketers with varying degrees of success. When used correctly as part of an overall plan, these can be very effective. But when they’re used as one-shot tactics with no clear plan and strategy, they often don’t work, cost a lot of money and give marketing a bad name.
So what is Marketing?
According to the Marketing Association of Australia and New Zealand, ‘Marketing is the management process responsible for identifying, anticipating and satisfying customer’s requirements profitably.’ As a business leader, this may be what you strive to do every day, but you don’t consider yourself a marketer. The truth is that good, smart marketing is a fundamental part of every successful business plan. It should work seamlessly to enable the business to achieve its objectives profitably.
Some businesses don’t spend a cent on advertising. They don’t buy lists, and they don’t cold call. But they have very successful marketing plans, strategies and activities. Their plan might centre on fostering deeper relationships with existing customers, or giving their salespeople the right tools for success with potential customers. They may focus on loyalty and referral programs, or deliver high value communications, experience or education.
Smart marketing comes in many different forms, and doesn’t have to equate to big budgets and fancy campaigns. It requires discipline, consistency, and the courage to adapt if things aren’t working. As a business, big or small, you need to understand your customers and their needs. Once you do that, you can use smart, effective marketing strategies to help you deliver to their needs in a profitable way.
What are some of your marketing success stories?