What is Marketing?

Marketing Monday – Episode 1 – What is Marketing?

Hello fellow Entrepreneurs, it’s Michael Miller with Mindwhirl bringing you a new segment which, I think, is going to be dynamite! A real winner!

We are revamping our M5 segment and moving from marketing tips every Monday to marketing training every Monday. After a lot of thought and sleepless nights, we decided to call it Marketing Monday. Catchy huh?

This is the first episode and, the reason I wanted to move to a different format is because I wanted to structure our marketing philosophy instead of giving you tips here and there. Even though some of those tips are incredibly valuable, you may not have the context to understand their value. I’m currently under the opinion that structured training will be more helpful to you. AND Since our number 1 goal is to give you the tools you need to make money and grow your business with marketing, … I think it needs to be more organized.

That will help you in several ways: First, you will have access to this training whenever you want – it’s free and open to all. Second, when you watch it, you will get a great foundation in marketing. You will understand it, and you will understand our philosophy. If you want to expand your knowledge with our courses and trainings, we will be on the same page and we can get to the advanced information that, once you implement, will make your business take off like wildfire.

If you would rather us do the marketing for you – which is a smart decision because we bill based on results – you will still know how marketing works, you will know why we are doing what we are doing and you will understand the power that marketing has to grow your company, get more sales, get more customers, become more efficient, and improve employee morale and enjoy your life as the owner of the company more as well.

So here we are with episode 1, what is marketing… Let’s get going. 

When you ask the question, what is marketing, most people answer that it’s a process through which you get and keep customers, which is technically true it just doesn’t give you the full picture. What is the full picture? Well I believe that you have to go back to the foundational rules of business. Which are something I’ve made up in my own head, but nevertheless have proven themselves to be true.

When I graduated from high-school, my step father and I decided to start a garage door company in Daytona, Beach Florida. At the time, my Mom was the South-East sales Rep for AGFA Imaging Equipment. She was single handedly  bringing in over a million dollars in sales every month and was the number one sales rep. in the world for AGFA. As my step father and I started the Garage Door business, she handed me a copy of Guerilla Marketing by Jay Conrad Levinson and said, “Just remember, No matter what you do, you are a sales organization first!” I never forgot that.

It doesn’t matter what you do, whether you are a plumber, a garage door installer, a nail technician, own a pizza joint or an exclusive restaurant, manufacture goods, or are a retail store, you are a sales organization first!

Which means…  In business, sales is the game and money is how you keep score.

Think about sports games: football, basketball, baseball, hockey and the like… how do you know who wins? Points!

All of the strategies of play are designed to accomplish one goal: to score! So then, the question, “what is marketing,” becomes… What do you need to know and do in order to sell your products and services and win the game?

I’ve found that as Richard Bandler said, and not Tony Robbins by the way,… the better the questions you ask yourself, the better the answers you get. So we want to know how to score, and as many ways to score as possible. In order to do that, we need to ask ourselves some questions, and we need to constantly ask ourselves these:

  • Who are our customers?
  • What do they want?
  • Can you give it to them and make money?
  • What are the reasons they would buy your product and service?
  • Who is the competition?
  • And more…

Like I said, you want to constantly ask yourself questions that identify everything about your business. From who your customers are, to pricing, to having a better widget or service, to outsmarting the competition,  to packaging and distribution and more!

So you may be thinking, “That’s very interesting Michael, but you still haven’t told us what marketing is…” Actually I have… 

Marketing, really, is the strategy of the business, …  and it shapes the future of the business.

It’s just like a game of chess. If you sell X product for Y dollars, how much will you potentially make, what will your competition do? What will be the resultant impression of your company be in the minds of the consumer? If the package is blue, how much will you sell? If the package is green, how much will you sell? What are your distribution options?  If we spend X, will we get Y return?

In my companies the marketing plan, and the marketing calendar are the most valuable resources. Because I’ve always bootstrapped my businesses and never sought out investors, the business plans have been wastes of time. Only the marketing plan governs the strategy of the business.

Now, why does marketing govern everything?

When you think of an organizational chart of a business, marketing interfaces with many different divisions. HR, Finance, Operations/Production, IT… Everything that the business does is for the consumer. To give the customers products and services which enhance their lives in some way. 

So even if it’s shipping, it affects the customer in some way. If it affects the customer, it can influence them.

Marketing is responsible for the messages that influence the customer and should be involved in every aspect of the business. 

These next two slides I borrowed from Barbara Findlay Schenck so I wouldn’t have to design them, but look at this… this is the marketing process.

It starts with product development. Marketers help the product developers understand the target market and build the products that match the needs of the consumers.

Then pricing, labels and packaging, distribution – all of these are influenced by marketing because marketing is the only division that understands who the customer is, and what they want.

That’s when you move into advertising promotions and public relations, sales, and customer service. All of these are customer facing parts of the business and have the power to directly influence the customer.

Marketing governs those messages, and as a result builds a brand in the mind of the consumer. Now I realize I mentioned the word brand there, and I won’t be explaining it here because it’s a conceptual term that most people don’t understand, and you don’t really need to understand it here anyway.

Finally, we move into research. Which is where the marketers judge the effectiveness of their messages and their products and services in the marketplace. They refine them, and start the process all over again.

Just as an aside, if you’ve been watching the M5, you may recognize this process as a version of the tote model.

This is the marketing pyramid. You can see how everything builds on itself, and you answer strategic questions, in order to finally arrive at the strategies and the tactics you will use to reach your market.

You start with a vision and a mission. Which essentially asks the question “why” are you doing this? Then you set goals which help you identify what you’re doing, or what you need to do in order to achieve your mission and vision.

Then you set your objectives which tell you how you’re going to achieve your goals, and finally you develop strategies for how you’re going to play the game of business and make sales.

Strategies cover the 4P’s which you have probably heard of: product, price, place, and promotion.

You make sure you develop a strategy for each one of these by appropriating your resources. You see, or as you probably know, in business you have resources: money, time, energy, people, equipment, etc. you develop strategies that utilize your different resources in the most profitable way possible.

Now I said profitable because I believe that’s why you go into business – you know, to make money. But some people do it to serve others, or make something available to the masses and benefit charities as a result.

Regardless, your strategies will serve your mission and goals. That’s when you take those strategies and develop tactics that fulfill your strategies in the marketplace.

Essentially what you’ve done is identify the kind of team you want to build, brought the team together and judged your potential effectiveness based on the strengths and weaknesses your team possesses, you’ve developed strategies, or in football lingo “plays” and you have practiced in preparation for game day where you put those tactics in play. Now, just as every smart sports team reviews the tapes from the game they just played and they refine their strategies and tactics, that’s exactly what you should do as well in your business. Continually judge your results and effectiveness and go back to those questions I said we should constantly ask ourselves in the beginning of this presentation:

  • Who are our customers?
  • What do they want?
  • Can you give it to them and make money?
  • What are the reasons they would buy your product and service?
  • Who is the competition?
  • And more…

Before I close out this presentation, there’s one last piece of advice I want to give you.

Once you have identified your vision/mission, your goals, your objectives, your strategies, and appropriated your marketing budget across all of the tactics you will do for the year, all you will have to do is prepare to deliver those tactics.

Most business owners get into trouble when advertising sales reps “drop by“ and make promises about all the money they could make if they only advertised with them. Marketing is not an ad hoc, improvised, or random event – it’s a strategy. So the best advice I can give you is to plan your work and work your plan.

So there you have it… My thoughts on what marketing is! I hope this was informative and helpful to you, I’ll see you next time!

Thanks for watching!

About Michael Miller

Michael Miller is the owner of Mindwhirl.com, a sales and marketing coaching and training company in Atlanta, Georgia.

Michael’s mission is helping small business owners understand, and organize their marketing so they can make money and grow.

Mindwhirl helps business owners plan and implement effective, profitable marketing campaigns and sales programs.

If you need more sales, we know how to get leads and grow businesses. Call us today at (404) 858-3105, or email me at mmiller@mindwhirl.com.

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