(Time to read this Blog article is about 90 seconds)

Every business talks about ‘marketing’, but most never really define it properly.  There are many debates and myths about what marketing is.  Some folks equate it to advertising, promotion and sales, but it’s much more than that.  Here’s my simple definition of ‘marketing’ that may be helpful…

Marketing is anything you do to increase the demand for, or sales of, what you sell.

So, customer and competitive research are marketing. Product design, product quality, selection, availability, packaging, presentation and signage are all part of marketing.  How you look, sound and perform in every part of your business and your sense of urgency are all part of marketing.   

Selling, delivering extraordinary service that creates raving fans, your pricing, your policies, your guarantee, your customer value and your corporate values are all part of marketing, as are your advertising and promotion, your website, your use of social media and everything you do that communicates in any way.

Increasing the overall demand for what you sell is a big part of marketing.  ‘Make the pie bigger’! This is especially true if your product or service is new, or if many of your target customers are not familiar with it…or have some fear or anxiety about it.

Many businesses are trying to convince us to buy something from them that we haven’t yet been convinced to buy at all.   So, you have two marketing jobs.  First, is to convince folks to buy what you sell…and second, to buy it from you.  Most businesses jump right to ‘Marketing Job #2…and it’s a huge waste of money.

Home Depot grows the ‘Do-it-yourself’ market by offering seminars on how to do various home projects yourself. They help people feel comfortable and competent about tackling the job.   

A very smart camping equipment store in Edmonton, Alberta offers guided ‘Camping for Beginners’ weekends in the nearby mountains to coach and assure potential customers that camping is amazing, fun, safe and affordable for couples, groups and families. 

Casinos offer courses in ‘Poker for Beginners’ to lure in more suckers. 

For years, the Recreational Vehicle Dealers’ Association has run a media campaign designed to excite more families about the experience of RVing.  

So how could you coach, encourage and promote to get more people wanting and using what you sell?  How can you ‘make the pie bigger’?

Many folks disagree with my definition of marketing…but they’re wrong.  They say, for example, that things like product design, product quality and dependability are not part of marketing.  But the truth is they’re the very start of marketing.  It’s a lot tougher to sell poorly designed crap than something that looks appealing, uplifts the soul and functions magnificently.  Anything that gives you an edge in the marketplace is ‘marketing’.

It’s not that I think everyone in your organization should report to the head of Marketing.  That would be goofy. It’s just that everyone in the organization, no matter what their job or department, should understand how their job affects the ability of the business to serve, to compete, to be extraordinary and to grow.  We should all be thinking of ourselves as being an important part of the marketing team, even if we’re not part of the Marketing Department. 

So, what will you do to create that connection to your customers in every part of your business?  What customer and business insights, training, clear commitments, regular communication, performance measurements, feedback, ‘thank yous’, rewards and celebrations will make everyone on your team more customer-passionate and customer-committed?    

For info about booking Donald to deliver his bottom-line management and marketing insights at an Industry Conference or Corporate Event…or to discus our Business Coaching program, contact us at donald@donaldcooper.com or by phone at 1-416-252-3703 in Toronto, Canada.


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