Let’s face it, to lớn the average business person, marketing equals promotion.

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Marketing is what you say and how you say it when you want khổng lồ explain how awesome your product is and why people should buy it.

Marketing is an ad. Marketing is a brochure. Marketing is a press release. And more recently, Marketing is a Facebook page or a Twitter account.


Marketing, to lớn many business people, is simply selling at a larger scale.

The reality, is that kinh doanh sits at the intersection of the business và the customer – the great arbiter of the self interests of the business and the needs of the buyer.

Quiông chồng Takeaways:

At a fundamental màn chơi, marketing is the process of understanding your customers, & building & maintaining relationships with them.Marketing is the key to an organization’s success, regardless of its form size.There are several types và sub-types of kinh doanh, digital và offline. You should determine and pursue the ones that work best for you.Marketing và Sales teams need to have a unified approach. Automation helps them work towards the same goals.

What is Marketing, Really?

There I was, minding my own business, resting after completion of an amazing content sale strategy worksiêu thị for a client. And someone asked about my opinion on the difference between kinh doanh và branding.

I was directed lớn read this cartoon that defines marketing as “I am a great lover” vs branding which shows the consumer saying “I underst& you’re a great lover.”


This got me a little fired up. OK, a lot fired up!

I’ve already tried lớn define what sale is many times here. I’ve tried khổng lồ address the common perception of kinh doanh as being all about promoting and selling. And I’ve taken on the problem of advertising, mad men & their “big” ideas, và the sheer idiocy of banner ads.

I believe marketing has a kinh doanh problem. Ask most people what sale is and they think of some khung of either selling (I am great and you should choose me because of reason A or B) or advertising (buy our stuff and you will have a better life, be more attractive sầu, have more sex, attract better partners, be happier.)

As the global economy settles inkhổng lồ a new normal of consistent doubt, Marketing has an identity problem, a br& perception gap, maybe even a crisis of confidence.

“Business has only two functions – kinh doanh & innovation.”

~ Milan Kundera

When I transitioned out of a successful sales career almost 15 years ago, most of my peers thought I was crazy. The head of our division hung up on me (it wasn’t the first time).

Increasingly, after more and more conversations with real customers, I had bought in to lớn the idea that sale represented the future. I sold what was “in the sales bag.”

But I wanted to help shape the future. Naive? Probably. Delusional? Certainly. Possible? Definitely!

“The ayên of kinh doanh is to lớn know and understvà the customer so well the hàng hóa or service fits hyên and sells itself.”

~ Peter F. Drucker

Marketing is not about who can talk faster, or cthua trận better. It is about deep psychological understanding of customer needs. Steve Jobs had this gift better than almost any example. Henry Ford. Thomas Edison. Every innovation in the history of the world combined an uncanny understanding of human needs & the innovative vision lớn deliver it.

“Marketing is too important khổng lồ be left lớn the marketing department.”

~ David Packard

If business is composed of marketing and innovation, và kinh doanh is about deep customer insights, then sale is the job of every employee.

Social truyền thông has only made this point painfully clear: every employee is an extension of the brvà. The br& serves khổng lồ meet the needs of the customer and the business serves khổng lồ innovate.

Marketing starts by asking consumers who they are, what they want, và what they care about. Marketing starts with a question. Marketing is not “I am a great lover.” Effective sầu marketing simply asks “How are you?”

Marketing is a Conversation

I learned in college that sale is a conversation. Marketing is the conversation that starts between two people who don’t know each other well. Great conversations lead to lớn understanding needs. Great insights like this lead to amazing products delivered through engaging customer experiences. THIS is kinh doanh.

When I meet someone I don’t know, I ask them questions. I try to lớn get lớn know them. I try to understvà their dreams & problems and needs. I vị NOT talk about myself unless there is a genuine interest from the other person lớn learn about me as well. But this only comes from true & authentic empathy. I have lớn actually care about this other person khổng lồ earn their trust.

This conversation continues as we get khổng lồ now each other better. And like human relationships, the brands who continue inlớn deeper connections are the ones who seem to care more about the other person than they bởi about themselves.

The brands who win more customers are the ones who put their customers ahead of their desire to lớn sell more stuff.

They show potential customers that they are interested in solving real problems. They don’t just act lượt thích they care. They actually care and they prove it in the way they act. They genuinely seek to lớn help their customer to lớn improve sầu their lives through their nội dung, their expertise, their passion &, if they are lucky, through the stuff they sell.

And like in real life & common human interaction, Marketing means you have sầu lớn give sầu much more than you hope to receive. Great marketers are passionate teachers, giving away their expertise with only the hope that they are helping people. The business benefit is in establishing trust, and building an audience of people who believe in you to lớn help them in times of need.

When given a choice, we only buy from brands we know, like & trust!

Marketing Requires Empathy

But how do you vị you explain the power and importance of empathy to lớn executives who don’t have any? How vị you explain empathy when businesses only want khổng lồ sell, và promote, và hang their logos on stadiums và golfers hats?

You have to show them that, as a society, we tune out ads, and promotion, và ego-driven sale tactics. Promotion và propaganda don’t work in today’s world.

But we tune inlớn content and brands that helps us. The only way khổng lồ accomplish this is for brands to lớn create content that actually helps people. And lots of it. Because we have been burned many times. We are skeptical. We are tired. And angry with auto-play đoạn Clip ads on the sites we lượt thích to visit.

Is Marketing Broken?

Yeah I said it. “Marketing is broken.” In this episode of BrightTALK’s Market Movers interview series with Christine Crandell, I made the plain & simple case:

“Most of marketing is ineffective sầu pushing, và that’s the stuff that we as consumers are tuning out.”

I’m sorry if that’s hard to lớn hear. Hey, I’m one of you! I want to be a part of great, meaningful work that contributes lớn the success of a business.

But as even Christine admitted, it’s really hard to deny the point that much of sale is broken. Look around you. Can you remember the last banner ad you saw?

I think that too much of sale is tactical. The trùm asks you to lớn bởi something. The marketer goes and does it.And usually that thing is something promotional and ineffective. Partly because we don’t care if it’s effective. We only care if it gets done.

I believe we have sầu lớn remind the trùm what the brand stands for. Every business is started in order khổng lồ solve sầu a customer problem. The company grows & becomes successful because it created something chất lượng và helpful. But as the business grows, too often the focus becomes the business, not the customer.

Your br& is more than what you sell!

But khổng lồ be truly effective, shouldn’t kinh doanh start with a focus on meeting customer needs? Marketing should be telling stories, not selling products. That’s why I define nội dung marketing as the simple process of answering customer questions.

The business that wins becomes known and trusted as the brvà that solves customer pain points along their buyer journey.

I believe that too many of us thua trận sight of that commitment, & that is why I think that in many businesses, marketing is broken.

In the Clip I explained this further: “Unfortunately, a lot of the nội dung that happens inside companies is completely ineffective and all about the business.”

There’s a huge a cultural element khổng lồ this. I believe the executives inside the business need to lớn be held accountable for creating a culture of customer-focused nội dung. But it’s also up to lớn us in kinh doanh to push baông xã.

I know it takes courage. I know it’s hard. But that’s the difference between the marketing that’s broken và the marketing that works.

In the video I talk about how brands need khổng lồ go bachồng khổng lồ their roots and create content sale experiences that customers want khổng lồ read và giới thiệu. I also show how that helps you reach, engage, convert & retain buyers you would have never seen before.

Chechồng out the đoạn phim below:

What is Branding?

I learned a long time ago that your br& is something that exists in the mind of your customer. Ads don’t change the perception of your brand. Branding is a judgment, a sentiment, a feeling, that is created by the sum of all the interactions I have sầu with a company.

Only experiences change the perception of a brvà in the mind of the customer. Brands must deliver amazing customer experiences. Not just in the products we sell, và how we well we deliver “features,” but in the way that we behave as companies, in the way your employees treat me, in the sum total of all those experiences, a brvà is created.

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I believe sầu that Apple & Starbucks care about delivering great technology & good coffee. But I also believe sầu that Apple delivers on the promise of easy lớn use products, simply and beautifully designed. I believe that Starbucks cares more about their impact on the world than selling more coffee.

True or not, this is the experience I have with these brands. This experience sits deeply inside my mind. And no advertisement, biệu tượng công ty, or sales person could change that.

Marketing và Branding

Marketing can impact the brvà in a positive or negative sầu way. Marketing can help create a positive brand experience by having positive sầu, helpful, and empathetic conversations with their customers.

Marketers can hurt brands when they interrupt our TV shows & web experiences by showing ads of men with pretty girls on one arm và their hàng hóa in the other.

Companies that think that a million dollars in sexist, promotional advertising, logos splashed everywhere, grumpy employees, and aggressive sầu sales people are simply lost. They don’t underst& the world we live in.

Marketing helps build brands through great experiences.

In the perfect world, marketing supports building svào brands. Great brands bởi vì great marketing. They act as teachers lớn their audiences. They deliver amazing products. They treat their employees with respect. They act lượt thích concerned global citizens, thinking of the generations to lớn come. And they consider the planet that their children will inherit.

Great brands show us who they are in the experiences they deliver. Marketing seeks lớn understand what a great experience should be. Advertising interrupts our experiences & sometimes we don’t hate them for it.

What About Advertising?

Advertising is great, for brands who can afford to interrupt the content we want to consume. I appreciate some ads that tell a great story or are very clever and open about interrupting my nội dung with something emotional or funny. But I honestly don’t even rethành viên the brands behind many of the ads that made me laugh the most.

I appreciate Dove sầu for “Real Beauty.” I give them credit for what they were trying to do. I am sad that they stopped.

I appreciate Always for “Run Like A Girl,” but the impact would have been greater if they ignited a movement & created a real content br& from all that momentum. THAT could make a real impact on the world và would help change the brvà perception of the brvà.

Interestingly, the brands I mentioned earlier, Starbucks and Apple, vị very little advertising. The best ad ever was Apple’s 1984, which told a story of disruption in a compelling way. But it was backed up và followed by products that truly changed my life.

But if we’re being honest, we don’t want to lớn be advertised to lớn, any more than we want to lớn be sold to. And this is true especially for stuff we don’t need.

When a site plays an auto-play video clip ad, I hate them for it. But I hate the br& even more. Because I know they are the one paying for it. Publishers have to make a living. So I give sầu them some slaông xã. But the br& gets the brunt of my frustration.

So we have sầu moved beyond a time of tolerating ads lớn actually having interrupted ad-driven experiences cause us khổng lồ think negatively about them.

Types of Marketing

For those who think that sale is the same thing as advertising, nothing could be further from the truth. Advertising can certainly be one small part of a sale plan but it’s only one piece of the puzzle. Indeed, it’s possible khổng lồ work from a sale strategy that doesn’t utilize advertising at all.

Marketing can roughly be split inkhổng lồ offline và online or digital methods. Offline kinh doanh consists of “traditional” advertising in print, radio, và television marketing, as well as attending events like trade shows, fairs và conferences. It can also include word-of-mouth sale.

Most businesses will use a combination of online và offline marketing methods. However, these days the balance is shifting more towards online sale. This is because consumers are increasingly spending more time online & digital marketing offers various advantages in terms of speed, efficiency, & ROI.

So let’s look at some of the different types of online sale that are available lớn today’s businesses:

Search engine marketing – Also known as pay-per-cliông chồng or PPC, with this type of sale businesses pay to have a liên kết lớn their site placed in a prominent position on search engine result pagesRetargeting – Contacting existing or potential customers after they have sầu already had an interaction with your br& lớn get them to lớn come bachồng or convert into a sale. For example, placing an advert on their Facebook feed of a particular sản phẩm they’ve looked at on your site.

These are just a few examples of the most popular types of digital sale in play today. Each of these methods can be broken down inlớn several other types of sale và there are indeed hundreds or thousands of different types of kinh doanh covering both online & offline channels.

No business relies on just one size of kinh doanh. On the other h&, unless you’re a multinational corporation with a practically unlimited budget and resources, it’s not possible lớn tackle all different forms of marketing either.

To size an effective kinh doanh strategy for your individual business, you must select the types of marketing that will be most effective sầu for you, and form a plan in which they are integrated into a master strategy.

image source: https://ontopvisibility.com/the-elements-of-a-successful-digital-marketing-strategy/

The Difference Between Marketing & Sales

Sales and marketing are closely linked but they cover very distinct activities in your business.

The sales team doesn’t have any say in what the product is or who buys it – they simply take leads & convince them khổng lồ buy. Employees working in sales must build cthua trận relationships with your customers & they need intelligence from sale in order to lớn do this.

The sale team provides these leads by informing potential customers about your brand & sản phẩm. They also use customer feedbachồng and intelligence to lớn decide what products to lớn produce in the future or how khổng lồ change existing products so they meet the customer needs better.

You won’t be effective sầu at selling unless the people you are selling khổng lồ already have some awareness about your brvà or sản phẩm – this is what sale can vày for you.

For a successful strategy, marketing & sales teams need to work closely together và have a unified approach. This ensures that only good-unique leads are passed lớn the sales team.

You can use a marketing automation platform lớn align your kinh doanh and sales teams to lớn ensure they’re working more efficiently towards a common goal.

Understanding Your Customer

In marketing, knowing your customer is key. In fact, some marketers go so far as saying that marketing is essentially the process of understanding your customers.

Marketing should start right at the beginning of your business journey, before your br& even takes khung. This initial kinh doanh involves retìm kiếm and learning more about your customers in order to develop a product or service that meets their wants and needs.

This in-depth customer retìm kiếm isn’t a one-off sale task, but one that is continuous. Focus groups, customer surveys, và collecting user data online are all ways that can help you lớn learn more about your evolving customer base và ensure that your brand is communicating with them in the right ways.

After a particular sản phẩm or service has been introduced to the market, its success must be evaluated to lớn see if it’s meeting customer needs. Marketing also plays a part in customer service và nurturing customer relationships. It’s not just about attaining new customers, but also making sure you get the most out of your existing customers & that they stichồng around for as long as possible.

Digital sale has opened up a new world of possibilities when it comes khổng lồ understanding your customers better and building relationships with them.

We now have sầu the ability lớn collect a vast amount of data about individuals including their demographics, location, shopping habits, previous brand interactions, likes & dislikes, & more.

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This data can be used to build a picture of your customers in a way that’s much more accurate and meaningful than the traditional “customer avatar” exercise.