People usually ask me, “Well, what’s Marketing?” “How can I begin Marketing my product?” and the ever-famous, “What are you learning at [school/that agency where you’re working with right now]?” “Can you help me?”
People, Marketing is a lot of things. There’s no manual, no recipe, no nothing that appropriately defines the art and the science that is Marketing. However, after four+ years of studying Marketing (plus a diploma to hopefully prove it) and an Honors thesis written on the matter, I have to admit I’ve probably learned more from reading business magazines and working in the trenches of the Marketing world than I could have in school. There I’ve said it :-/.
Here’s one example: I learned about the 4 Ps at school BUT I’ve been learning to actually implement them at our family businesses. Here’s another example, and it comes from an Inc. article I came across this morning:
For start-ups, making those first few sales can be the hardest part, … Truly understanding your customers will help.
“What books and magazines would your customers read? What conferences would they go to? What search terms would they use? Who would they follow on Twitter? Once you have an idea of where your customers hang out, you need to go there. The more time you spend where your customers are, the more you’ll learn about how they think and whether or not you’re focused on the right group.”
In other words, it isn’t enough to go out there and poll people and expect they’re giving you an accurate picture of what they know, like, or want (which is one reason I love Neuromarketing, but that’s another story). No, you have to also live like them: know the books they like (and read them), who they follow on Twitter (and follow them), where they hang out (and go there). In Rome, do as the Romans do, or so the saying goes.
An account planner’s job (which is what my past internships and agency jobs have been about) is to execute tactics the consumer will find relevant and will eventually accept. It’s about seeing things from the customer’s point of view. Which is why it’s sometimes hard to know the one right answer to someone’s marketing dilemma. (Because there isn’t one.) It’s not about casting a wide net and hoping you’ll catch many fish; you gotta know WHERE to cast the net and WHAT fish want to be caught (i.e. who wants your product?).
So when I tell different people that they have to “do X, Y and Z on Twitter and Facebook (after all, they cost $0), get your product into the hands of influencers, do this and that,” they go, “but is that enough?” Obviously, it depends on budget and word-of-mouth, among many other things.