People hear marketing and think of spam email, horrible commercials, false claims and pushy telemarketers. What many people don't realize is marketing is their gateway to better products and services.
I'm here today to fix your perceptions about what marketing is, and what marketing does.
I had a long phone call last night with a friend of mine who counsels couples.
I asked her what her role is with regard to the couple, and she exclaimed that she is a 'translator.' I thought about that for about 2 hours and then realized that, while her job is critical in translating thoughts, feelings and ideas between each participant, my job is really no different in that I am translating messages between the market, and my client.
What is Marketing...
Seven years ago I was in Afghanistan where my Unit opened schools, fed the starving, educated the dull and strengthened the good. However, none of that could have been possible without our interpreter ('Turp').
Our Turp was the medium by which we could learn the needs of the people and address them accordingly.
One of my proudest moments was pulling security for a photographer who allowed me to take pictures of little girls sitting in the front of a classroom. I imagined my own future daughter being prevented to learn from the likes of the Taliban, and so it was a privilege to put my life in harm's way to facilitate that for another man's daughter.
Marketers are interpreters. Marketers study markets and companies, and synthesize that data into customer-centric products and services.
While I often exclaim that marketing is getting people to know, like and trust you in the interest of improving their condition, nothing can be improved if a condition is not properly assessed and continually observed.
Marketing is the machine that records a patient's vital signs, and the 2 minute persuasive speech about how a treatment will improve a patient's life. Without assessment and without promotion, patients die and pills expire.
Have I gone too far? I don't think I've gone far enough.
I consulted a failing employment site-owner whose website served a particular niche which I won't go into because he is still a front runner and doesn't need any competition.
However, his site was almost impossible to find online when he contacted us, and recent graduates who studied to seize the very jobs he had listed for them were as invisible as trash at Disney World.
What we did was make his product visible to those whom could benefit from it. What we did was analyze his market to determine which prices they could abide, how much value they required, and what locations they could best discover our offering. We got good people good jobs, not only with a great product, but with a great translator/promoter.
What is marketing?
Marketing is the great communicator. While advertising is not necessarily endorsed by markets, it's life is perpetuated by votes in the form of currency. The mission of an organization is to minimize cost and maximize profit. Marketing promotes value and continually monitors the collective pulse of target markets to ensure value is present, relevant and tangible.
Just like any election, your vote counts, and that is why surveys, polls, questionnaires, focus groups and on-spot interviews are critical for us marketers to understand your needs and address them accordingly.
Also, we love watching you walk around stores with hidden cameras. You give us such great insight into how you like the look and feel of a retail environment to be.
So, what is marketing? Marketing is your 24 hour, 7 day a week spokesperson/advocate who is going to lobby on your behalf to organizations to make products better, promotion more entertaining, services more empathetic and value more beneficial.
I'm your marketer, and I will ensure my clients know exactly what you need, when, and how, you need it. Wish me luck.
Don't compete — DOMINATE.
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Matt Steffen was Listed by Forbes as the #1 Marketing Consultant Who Avoids the B.S.