What is Marketing may seem like a super broad unnecessary article. You might be right, but I hope I’ve touched on some practical advice here.
What is Marketing Broadly?
Experts in the field may riot against me, but marketing is simply the act of getting more customers or revenue. This can as direct or indirect as you want it. It can include door-to-door sales. It also includes good corporate culture. Anything that could potentially get you more customers is marketing.
What Does It Mean To You?
Broad definitions are useless unless you’re studying for a test. And, if you use my definition above on a test, you better write a serious essay defending it. I’d love to see that essay. The takeaway: unless I’m your professor, that definition isn’t academically correct.
What matters is what marketing means to you. Therefore, take a few seconds to think about what marketing is in your mind. Got it? Great! You probably had the image of social media, print or online advertisements, sales strategies, networking, and more. I’d love to hear about the “and more” so feel free to leave a comment or email me.
It matters that the definition of marketing fits into your definition because you’re the one who is going to have to embrace your marketing strategy. For example, if you don’t think print advertising is marketing, it’s probably not a good strategy for you. Stick to what you believe in.
This is not an exhaustive list. Because marketing is so broad and constantly advancing, there’s no end to the real list. To help with your ideation, I’ve created the following list.
- Print, Television, Radio, or Online Advertisements.
- Social Media.
- Content (creating useful content to draw people in).
- Public Relations.
- Direct Sales, Door-To-Door, Direct Email, or Cold Calling.
- Cause (linking to a cause).
- Referrals (similar to networking).
- Window Displays.
Turning This Into Practice
I’ve found that no one strategy consistently works better than any other. What does matter is that you maximize the effectiveness of the strategies you’re using. In your industry or location, a strategy may work better, but they all still exist because they all work. Taking your situation into account is more important than choosing the most appealing strategy.
For example, everyone tells you to get a Facebook page now. Why? Are your potential customers on Facebook? If not, why would your business need a Facebook page? Typically, Facebook is a poor platform to reach businesses. If your customers are businesses, Facebook might be a waste of your time.
There aren’t that many universal rules when it comes to marketing. However, I’ve compiled a short list of those applicable to all businesses.
- Your goal needs to be to get more profit. If you can’t see a logical trail between the strategy and profit, it’s a bad strategy.
- Strategies must be measurable. If you can’t measure your plan’s performance, it is a bad marketing plan. This doesn’t mean never do something unmeasurable. It means that your formal plans must be measurable. For example, your volunteer days may not directly yield customers, but they do increase your company image.
- Have a master plan. If you have more than one plan, they shouldn’t compete or have a lot of redundancy.
- Be genuine.
- Follow laws. It’s not just false advertising, but also trademarks and defamation laws.
- Be positive. People tend to associate negative feelings with negative ads. Surprise!
What is marketing? Marketing is what you find, for your company, that brings in more customers. Therefore, a large part of what you do is marketing, even the stuff you don’t think of. For example, doing a great job is marketing. Past customers can be your greatest source of new customers.
The hard part of being a business owner is you can never turn it off. Everything we do can be marketing. Be sure to follow rule 4. Always be genuine and you’ll be fine in most circumstances. For example, I’ve gotten clients at house parties, family reunions, weddings, and many more circumstances where I wasn’t actively seeking new clients. However, if you’re pushy, you will come off in a poor light.
Get out there and get marketing!
Richard is the managing attorney for Law Plus Plus, a local small business law firm. As managing attorney, he helps small businesses and nonprofits startup, creating the contracts, and navigate the legal needs of businesses. Some of his practice areas include: corporate, contract, mergers & acquisitions, corporate litigation, and estate planning.