What is marketing? When we ask this question in the Monkey Business seminars that we run, people often come up with words like:
flyers, websites, promotion, advertising
They're not wrong - but they're not 100% right either. Those things listed above are often the visible signs of marketing - but the marketing process starts much earlier - with your market research.
There are countless definitions of marketing, and here are two that we like:
Every contact you make with customers, suppliers and staff
The whole business seen from the customer's point of view
The first definition is easy to understand, whilst the second is a bit more abstract - courtesy of one of the great management thinkers Peter Drucker. He also said something which acts as a good reminder of the value of good marketing:
The aim of marketing is to know and understand the customer so well the product or service fits him and sells itself
It's worth reflecting on this statement. Note that he doesn't say that marketing is primarily about selling. It's primarily about understanding your customer - and if you do that, your product or service will sell itself. The worst thing you can do is spend money on promotional tools like flyers and websites, without understanding who your customer is. This is why market research is so important, and why we offer our own definition of marketing (which we've probably subconsciously pinched from someone else):
Building relationships with customers
In our Monkey Business workshop, we take you through five stages of marketing. We'll look at those stages in the next blog.