I think we can all agree that marketing today, in the year 2018 is far different than marketing 10, 20, 30 years ago. Heck, it’s even different from a mere 3 years ago. Technology is a big reason for this and by extension, consumers (customers and clients) and their expectations are also a big reason for how marketers and companies do their jobs today.
I think the American Marketing Association provides the best definition because it focuses on providing value vs. selling, as stated in some of the other definitions. It’s likely that some of these definitions need to be refreshed and revisited by the organizations providing them.
Here are some different definitions of marketing:
Marketing is the activity, set of institutions, and processes for creating, communicating, delivering, and exchanging offerings that have value for customers, clients, partners, and society at large.
– American Marketing Association
Marketing is the process of interesting potential customers and clients in your products and/or services.
– The Balance
The management process through which goods and services move from concept to the customer. It includes the coordination of four elements called the 4 P’s of marketing:
(1) identification, selection and development of a product,
(2) determination of its price,
(3) selection of a distribution channel to reach the customer’s place, and
(4) development and implementation of a promotional strategy.
– Business Dictionary
The process or technique of promoting, selling, and distributing a product or service.
– Merriam Webster Dictionary
Marketing are activities of a company associated with buying and selling a product or service. It includes advertising, selling and delivering products to people.
Simply stated, consumers today want to be educated on how your company can help them solve their problems and pain points.
- They DO NOT want to be sold. Consumers want to see real information to solve their current problems which may be preventing their company’s growth.
- They don’t merely want a list of features and benefits. In the past, marketers often provided an impressive list of what their products or services do, with no consideration as to how it really helps the customer making the purchase. It was the easiest way to pitch and make a sale.
- They want to know everything about your service or product, not only what you want to tell them. In the “old days” marketers controlled the what, where, when and how they marketed their products and services. Today the expectation is immediate gratification and easy access to all information to help them make a decision.
- They want the information now, when they are ready to look at it, no matter what time of day or night. Think about it. With information available on our desktops, laptops, tablets and smartphones, we often cannot wait even a couple of minutes to get an answer to a question we have. We simply “google it” no matter where we are or what time of day it is. Your valuable information for the decision maker must be available to them 24/7/365.
The company and its marketing department no longer control the distribution of content about their products and services. It is now dictated by the general public and their intense need for immediate answers to their questions. If you want to attract customers, you provide sincere answers to their questions and educate them. You do not sell them. You put their needs first. You make the information easily available. You provide the information in the most impactful way possible, to capture their attention. This is why content is such an important element in the overall marketing plan today.
Today’s marketing is very customer-driven. It is vital that the customer’s needs are the central focus. The customer is in control because the world is wide open today with information at our fingertips at the click of a button. If you don’t take good care of your customers and potential customers, your competitors will. It’s as easy to find their company and products/services if they are not finding what they need from you.
Over the next few weeks, I will talk about many of the various elements of marketing and why they are an important part of your marketing plan today. You will see why customer-driven should be a focus of your efforts. Websites, design, email marketing, social media marketing, SEO, video, branding, communications, content – this is only a partial list of the vital efforts of the modern-day marketing team.
Please contact Anna Brice at Pinnacle Peak Marketing, Scottsdale AZ about Marketing for Small/Medium Business.