What Marketing Actually Is
Understanding Business Marketing
Many business owners think they know what marketing is but in reality their definition can be way off the mark. So let’s first of all take a look at what marketing is not.
Marketing is not branding or sales. Nor is it advertising your product or service, or followup with the customer. These can be described as part of marketing but they are not in themselves marketing
Areas of Marketing
Let’s imagine you organise and run a business conference in your town.
If you put up posters all around town saying ‘Business Conference Coming to Town Next Tuesday’, that’s Advertising.
Hiring a van with a megaphone on the roof and drive it through your town’s high street, that’s Promotion.
If your local paper has a reporter who writes about your business conference coming to town, that’s Publicity
And if you get a local celebrity to talk about it for free, that’s Public Relations
When business owners, executives, company directors and CEOs see all of the above and decide to invest in going to your business conference, that’s Sales
Then if you get in touch with attendees after the event asking them to review it, that’s follow-up
Doing all the above and then planning the whole event, that’s Marketing
What is Marketing?
Put simply, marketing is the whole thing.
Marketing is the strategy part of the big picture, You need strategy to put in place the overall plan
You need a plan to get people interested in your business conference after they have read, seen and heard about it enough that they want to buy tickets to go to it.
Marketing Strategy Vs Tactics
Many business people and even marketing experts get confused over the difference between strategy and tactics. Think of it this way; Strategy is the big picture. It is all about what you want to achieve. It’s the end goal. Tactics on the other hand is about how you are going to achieve this end goal. Think of the advertising, promotion, publicity, PR endorsements, sales and follow-up mentioned above. They are the tactics. These elements are the tools you will use to achieve the end result. The strategy is how you use these elements.
Every big thing that we do in life needs a strategy or planning, and tactics. No matter if you are building a house from scratch or starting a business from scratch, you would be foolhardy just to rush in without a clear end goal and strategy. When you have this in place you can then work out the ‘how to. bit.
You need both strategy and tactics to make anything worthwhile work for you. Strategy or planning without tactics or action, will get you whole lot of good ideas without achieving anything. Tactics without planning will lead to disaster as you will be going from one thing to another trying to get to the end goal but without achieving anything.
Getting it Wrong – Getting it Right
Many business owners get things wrong because they jump in with a whole load of tactics in the hope of attracting a customer and forget to make a proper marketing plan. Getting customers using this method will be more through luck than skill.
Marketing done properly is the perfect solution to getting customers to buy from you. Your marketing plan doesn’t need to be, in fact shouldn’t be pages and pages long. It should take in to consideration the elements of the tactics you need to utilise in order to know where you want the business or project to go and make sure it gets there.