What is Marketing?

4286827_thumbnail-singleIs marketing a sprint or a marathon? Art or science? Advertising or sales?  Good or bad?  Answers: marathon; both; both; both.

Actually, on one hand I define marketing as the process of transferring meaning to a target audience for the purpose of causing the action you desire.  On the other hand, and probably more important to truly understanding how to improve your marketing, I define marketing as being most like a garden.

The important things to remember about my first definition are “transferring meaning” and “causing action.”  If what you mean by your message isn’t shared by your target audience, you haven’t communicated.  This is critical because most of your competitors are saying fundamentally the same thing you’re saying, aren’t they?!  If you define your uniqueness as quality or superior support, how similar are your definition and your customers’ definition of your quality or superior support?  Again, if they aren’t the same, you haven’t communicated.

Similarly, if you haven’t caused action, your marketing has failed.  I love it when I hear advertising people talk about creating awareness. . .as opposed to talking about creating action — results.  “Think about all the people who know about your company — how much awareness the campaign generated!”  Translation: “Nobody responded, please don’t fire us!”

All that is important, but more important to helping you improve your marketing is getting you to think about your marketing as a garden.

You can’t expect much from a garden if you:

  • Pay attention to it only every once in a while 
  • Water it only after things are looking really dry
  • Weed it only after the weeds have taken over

You get the idea.  Your marketing is the same.  Don’t ignore it until things start to “look dry” before you start paying attention again.

You’ll get healthier plants faster if you tend your garden regularly.  You’ll get better results faster from your marketing if you do the same.

2 thoughts on “What is Marketing?

  1. Lorraine Ball

    I love the garden metaphor. It reinforces the idea that results from marketing are often not immediate.

    i got a call today from a postcard I sent out six months ago. You never know how long people will hold on to something

  2. hamilton Post author

    Isn’t that the way it always happens! And I’d add, if you reached out to those people you sent postcards to six months ago, you’d likely be hearing from more of them too.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *