One of the more interesting conversations I’ve had in a long-time was with a business owner who recently exclaimed: “Braden, I don’t believe in marketing”. He announced it almost triumphantly as if he’d found some kind of secret or that marketers are con-men looking to swindle hard-working entrepreneurs out of their money.
I simply responded, “That’s good because marketing doesn’t require faith.” I don’t think he liked that cheeky answer and so I went on to explain that marketing is a strategic tool to be used to drive results. It’s required to do the job for many businesses but maybe not in all situations.
If you want to cut down a tree in your front yard, you have different tools to choose from. You could use a chain saw, hand saw, ax, hatchet, pocket knife, or pull it out with a chain and your truck. Just because you chose to use an ax, it doesn’t mean you “don’t believe in chainsaws”. You get the point.
The reason this business owner doesn’t believe in marketing is that he doesn’t fully understand what marketing is and how it can be applied to his business. It’s a common misunderstanding. I’ve met numerous business owners that have hired marketing employees or consultants that were terrible. And not just once but they had repeated experiences that have left bad tastes in their mouths. This leads them to believe that marketing is a tool they can live without or train internally or they simply just resort to doing random activities on their own.
Here are 3 ways to understand and believe in marketing:
1. Marketing is about creating value.
Marketing is defined as facilitating the economic value exchange between a producer of a product or service and the intended market. Marketers facilitate this exchange through the areas of product, price, place, and promotion – the 4 P’s of marketing. Every good marketing strategy should be considering these areas.
2. Marketing must drive results.
The result of good marketing will show in increased revenue, profitability or other specific objectives. A good marketing strategy must clearly demonstrate how results will be created through the efforts and activities of the marketing function. Ensure your agency or marketing team knows exactly where results will come from, how they’ll measure it, and if they can explain it in simple terms.
3. Marketing is at the heart of strategy.
Every strategic plan or business plan considers the 4 P’S of marketing. What product or service mix should you invest in? How should we price our offering? Which channels are we going to sell through? What should it be called? Where should we advertise to maximize our investment? Should we even advertise or just allow word-of-mouth to run its course? These questions are the foundation of every business and must be answered regardless if an owner knows that it’s a marketing issue or not.
Obviously, I love marketing. More importantly, I love what good marketing can do for organizations. I’m fortunate that we work with business owners who understand marketing and its importance to their business but I’ll never back down from helping others to see the light.
Have a great day,