There are plenty of common misconceptions about marketing, so before we get into what it really is – here are some examples of what it isn’t.
The first misconception is that “marketing is evil”…
#1 Marketing is Evil
A lot of people think that marketing has no inherent value, and that it’s only purpose is to separate people from their money. That is not the case. Of course, not everyone will agree with every part of every campaign, but just because you don’t like part of something, doesn’t mean that all of it is evil or even wrong. If you hate Brussels Sprouts it doesn’t follow you think that every vegetable is a crime against nature, right. Now, because you’re reading this, we can assume that you don’t fall prey to this particular myth. Most people who think marketing is evil only do so because they’ve been fooled by myth #2…
#2 Marketing is Advertising
We all understand why folks get tired of commercials selling deodorant and soft drinks during their television shows and flashy banner ads for anything and everything at the top of every website they visit. The truth of the matter is that some advertisements are annoying – but advertising is NOT all that marketing is. It’s only a small part of a well developed, effective plan. The idea of which will probably make you think of myth #3.
#3 Marketing is Expensive
A common misconception is that only big companies with giant marketing budgets can afford to advertise effectively. The little guys may as well not even bother.
Not true! You can design and develop a solid and effective campaign for almost any budget. Stick with us – we’ll show you how.
So now that we’ve gotten some of the elephants out of the room, let’s move on to what marketing is. There are lots of different definitions, and almost every business person has their own. We actually have different definitions ourselves.
Danny says: “Marketing is the process of aligning your offering with the customer’s needs and communicating that to them.”
Peter says: “Marketing is the process of creating and maintaining a customer relationship.”
We’re both right.
Danny’s definition is very communication oriented, and no wonder: he’s a communications strategist! What this definition means in more detail is that marketing is about giving your customers what they want, and then telling them that you’re giving them what they want. If someone wants something, and they know you have it, they’ll probably buy it from you.
Peter’s definition: “Marketing is the process of creating and maintaining customer relationships” takes in the whole, large scope of marketing. Any contact you have with a customer is a potential marketing opportunity and because of that, having a solid customer relationship based on trust is incredibly important.
Marketing is so much more than just advertising and promotion. Marketing is customer service, and distribution. Marketing is communication. Anytime you get information about a product or service, that’s marketing – even if you heard about it from your mother-in-law! When your computer breaks down and you call the company about the warranty – that’s marketing. When you go to the grocery store and see the shelves filled with different products – that’s marketing too.
How can this be?
A good marketer makes an effort to know and understand their customers, so that they can provide something that’s useful and valuable for them. Aligning what you sell with the needs of the customer, and developing an honest, genuine relationship with that customer is what marketing is really all about. That’s why communication is so important. So is building trust.
So what are all of the elements involved in marketing?
The most important ones are the 4 Ps, which are explained in great detail in the Firepole Marketing audio coaching program, and on our blog.
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Danny Iny (@DannyIny), a.k.a. the “Freddy Krueger of Blogging”, teaches marketing that works at Firepole Marketing. Together with Guy Kawasaki, Brian Clark and Mitch Joel, he wrote the book on building engaged audiences from scratch (available on Amazon, or as a free download).