(Time to read this Blog is about 3.5 minutes)


Before we get to the main topic, here are a few things to get you thinking or smiling:

  1. My Biz Quote of the week:
    “When things go wrong in your business, you can spend your time figuring out who’s to blame, or you can spend your time fixing what caused the problem.  Choose wisely.”  
    …Donald Cooper.
  1. Quick Biz Tip:
    Do you ‘telegraph’ the response you want from your Team?   
    As a boss, do you ‘telegraph’ the response you want from your Team?  Below are 2 actual examples of a boss ‘telegraphing’ what he wanted to hear:
      1. “Check out the new samples that just came in and tell me how much you like them.”
      2. The same boss in a Management Meeting’. “Everyone who disagrees with me, please signify by saying I resign.”

If you’re doing stuff like this…stop it!  Instead, create an environment in which your people are comfortable expressing real opinions and engaging in respectful debate. 

  1. Who can you trust?  A Home Depot ‘Loss Prevention Officer’ is one of 3 suspects recently arrested for stealing $260,000 in merchandise from Home Depot stores in south Florida.
  2. Fun fact. On average, Canadian Pension Funds currently invest only 4% of their funds in Canadian public companies…a steep decline from 28% in 2000.  What does that tell us about their confidence in Canadian businesses?
  3. Two ways I can be helpful in 2024:

      1. As a Management Speaker at your company or industry Conference. My bottom-line Sessions on effective management; creating a clear competitive advantage; creating a Culture of clarity, urgency, accountability and profitability are insightful, interactive and super-engaging!  And, you receive my complete set of ‘Business Assessment & Management Implementation Tools’.
        These programs can be 90-minute Keynotes, or half-day or full-day interactive Sessions.
      2. My 6-month transformational virtual Biz Coaching Program for you and your Team. If you’d like an Info Sheet on my Biz Coaching and our ‘Business Key Challenge Audit Sheet’ just email me at donald@donaldcooper.com.


Now, to this week’s important topic:


So, exactly what is ‘marketing’?  It’s much more than you think:

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. Whether you sell a product or a service, design is a key part of marketing.  Whether you offer a wide selection or focus on one product or service is marketing, as are location and availability when and where your customers want it. So logistics is part of marketing. Packaging, presentation and signage are all part of marketing.  How you look, sound and perform in every part of your business, your sense of urgency and quick delivery are all part of marketing.  Kindness and joy are also 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. 

Marketing is creating clear and compelling value and then telling that value story in a way that ‘grabs’ your target customers, clearly differentiates you from your competitors, makes you famous…and grows your bottom line.  First you have to be a story…and then you have to tell your story.  So, what’s your clear and compelling value story, and how effectively do you tell it?

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, anxiety or doubt 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 the product or service that you sell…and second, to buy it specifically from you.  Most businesses jump right to ‘Marketing Job #2 …and it’s often a huge waste of money.

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

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

Casinos offer courses in ‘Poker for Beginners’ to lure in more suckers.  In my opinion, gambling and lotteries are a tax on stupidity!  But I digress. 

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

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, performance 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, functions magnificently and uplifts the soul.  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 your organization, no matter what their job or department they’re in, 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, whatever product or service you sell, what will you do to create that connection to your target 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?    



That’s it for this week…

Stay safe…live brilliantly!       

Donald Cooper 


Donald Cooper speaks and coaches internationally on management, marketing, and profitability.  He can be reached by email at donald@donaldcooper.com in Toronto, Canada.

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