Many business owners consider marketing to be a necessary evil, you know you need to do it, but you’re not exactly sure why or what you need to do. Marketing is an indefinable grey area covering the various activities you might do between producing a product, offering a service and selling it.
Although online marketing has helped to improve this, it’s often hard to directly attribute revenue to marketing, it’s always been one of the least-respected business disciplines — poorly measured activities that are deemed “not necessary” and are the first to be cut when times get tough.
I like to think of marketing as all the steps that lead up to the sales conversation — whether it’s market research, branding, pricing and distribution, packaging and promotion, market segmentation or advertising. All of these disciplines help to bridge the gap between the product/service and the customers who either buy them or ought to.
Simply stated, marketing is everything you do to place your product or service in the hands of potential customers.
You might think of marketing this way: If business is all about people and money and the art of persuading one to part from the other, then marketing is all about finding the right people to persuade.
No matter how terrific or unique you company is, people (consumers) don’t just “buy” a product/service. It is not happenstance that they want to buy YOUR product or service. They “buy” the concept of what that product/service will do for them, or help them do for themselves. For example people who are overweight don’t join a franchise diet centre to eat pre-packaged micro-meals. They “buy” the concept of a new, thin, happy and successful self.
People have their own unique perceptions of the world based on their belief system. The most innovative ideas, the greatest products, or a superior service succeed only when you market within the context of people’s perceptions. Once you understand and accept this premise, you are ready to start marketing your brand to your audience.
I leave you with the immortal words of Aretha Franklin, “All I’m askin’ (oo)
is for a little respect…”
Do you feel you have a good understanding of what role your marketing plays in your company? Do you feel your marketing should increase your sales or that your marketing should you’re your audience to the sales conversation? I look forward to hearing from you in the comments below.