The word “marketing” has had numerous definitions and interpretations over the years, but, in layman’s terms Bath Marketing Consultancy sees marketing as a process that identifies and fulfills a customer need and this is not to be confused with the word “sales!!”
Yes, selling plays a part in marketing, but making a sale does not fall under the heading of out and out marketing. Similarly, marketing is also not just getting a brochure done or a website designed and built. I see marketing therefore, as much more than just a singular initiative or selling; it is a never ending process that should sit at the heart of every business.
The process of marketing should involve all of the following:
- Understanding your market
- Building your brand
- Planning the business strategy
- Managing existing clients
- Internal marketing/communication
- Winning new business
…….and these elements combined in a well thought out and fully costed marketing (or business) plan will facilitate “sales.” One other important aspect of marketing is that it is not just a quick fix when times are slow. It is a long-term effort that, if committed to, will yield results for your business.
Why “do” marketing??
Recently I met a prospect who told me that their business had got on well enough without dedicated marketing and why did they need to look at marketing now? My answer was that, in my experience, no company can sustain growth without a dedicated marketing strategy and the correct marketing platforms. Yes, businesses and brand can be built on reputation and referrals, but these things are unlikely to go on forever. In addition, every market is full of competition in some shape or form and I would assume that competitors are targeting new clients as well as your own so even a direct mail piece included in an invoice that encourages a repeat purchase could be a very effective piece of marketing.
In sum, my definition of marketing at the start of this post maybe brief, but it must encompass initiatives like winning new business. One area I always advocate to my clients is that of discipline i.e. to facilitate successful marketing may require a change in discipline, but if a business remains focused on what it wants to achieve and employing the correct routes to get there, the rewards are there. For example, how much of a market share do you think your business has? Probably quite a small percentage right? Well, flip the coin over – how much is left for you to get??! How much difference would be made if your share increased by 1 or 2%? Well, marketing and the selling it will facilitate will get you there!