The Role of Modern Marketing in a Business
“There are only two things in a business that make money – innovation and marketing, everything else is cost.”-- Peter Drucker
According to Drucker, marketing is an essential component for the success of any venture. This may come as a shock to you, but when it’s all said and done, what really matters for any enterprise is not the products or services you offer, what you do or how you do it.What matters is that you communicate what you have or do in a way that others will take interest in it, buy it, support or join it and most importantly be excited enough to tell their friends about it.How you communicate is key -- that’s what marketing is all about.
James Heaton, of The Tronvig Group, draws this conclusion. “In some quarters, marketing was once thought of as a dirty word, associated with used car salesmen and sleazy tactics. The hard reality is you are being remiss in your duties to your enterprise if you do not market it”.If you are indeed working to promote and grow your business, you need to be actively doing everything possible to make it become a reality. Marketing can make the difference between your mission being known, understood and accepted or not. It can become the main reason for success or failure. From this perspective, NOT to market is a crime.
Marketing is much more than buying ads, sending out press releases or e-mailing newsletters that primarily make announcements for upcoming events. These are necessary but do little to build your brand. A well devised and properly instituted marketing program must recognize the desires of the marketplace. It must always be consumer centric. It also advances your vision and mission and strengthens your brand as it appeals to your various target audiences. If your mission is good, then you have no excuse not to tell the world about it and market yourself.
Getting Started on the Road to Marketing Success
The initial planning and discovery stage for the development of a Strategic Marketing Plan includes meetings with the management and staff to help determine the companies current situation from an insider’s perspective. The staff should then complete a SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats) analysis. You should review things like how advertising and social media positively affects the traditional sales funnel and then conduct additional outside research and competitive studies to help clarify and distill what is unique about your company. You should look at what is important about your brand, the demographics of your marketplace, the unique story you have to tell and current competitive industry marketing trends.
We believe it’s important to always know how you are viewed and understood by your consumers in everything you do, therefore it’s critical to learn all you can about your current and future audience. An improved system that tracks and segments visitor data is necessary for success. Once this information is gathered, understood and segmented we then have to clarify who we are talking to, determine what their needs and desires are and begin to adjust their perceptions. An important by-product of this exercise is that when you focus on being consumer centric you may identify operational or procedural things that need to change to be more effective. We have to identify and make clear the place where your brand and the consumer’s needs intersect. Then, merge these findings so we have the basis to improve by evaluating subsequent programs, strategies and the creative implementation.
Five Important Questions
Let’s go back to management thinker Peter Drucker for a moment. He wrote an important little book some years ago that is still relevant today which lays out an organizational self-evaluation consisting of 5 questions:
1. What is your mission?
2. Who is your customer?
3. What does the customer value?
4. What is your plan?
5. What are your results?
References from The Content Marketing Instituite