Myth number 1: It’s all about sales promotion
So the question arises who needs marketing? Is it really a specialist area of management for which you should seek a qualified Chartered marketing professional? Or are we all marketers at heart capable of shaping the destiny of our own businesses? In the first in this 3-part series we will seek to answer this and explore some of the myths about marketing to clarify what is marketing after all.
Sadly that’s not me in the picture climbing up the side of a mountain – as one who suffers from vertigo this is probably not a good idea. I can fondly remember several years ago being in Paris and so much wanting to go up the Eifel tower. Well getting up was not too bad but coming down and being able to see the ground some way below through each of the steps down from the 1st level was not easy. I wasn’t able to look where I was going and needed my wife to guide me because she was able to look ahead.
It’s not that businesses can’t progress without marketing, and it is often the case that within most organisations marketing happens – it’s just that often for one reason or another, lack of time or resources, for example, we feel that we can’t look ahead.
Today it seems everyone is marketing expert. With the explosion of social media, the Internet and online search business owners have access to so called expert business advice from across the world. The danger is that as more and more people profess to have the secret to successful business development and business growth that marketing becomes devalued, ineffective or even abandoned for the next trend to appear from the horizon.
a) The selling concept (inside-out)
Many organisations approach to marketing is founded in the selling concept. This assumes that customers will not buy the company’s products or services unless it undertakes major selling and promotion. The aim here is to sell what the company offers rather than what the market wants. The focus is on short-term sales rather than long-term relationships.
Inside-out = starts with company’s products/services and the sales promotion required to obtain profitable sales.
Focus here is on using front-end marketing communications e.g., websites, social media, video, brochures, direct mail, advertising, PR, and exhibitions to promote the company’s offering. Can be very expensive and costly if you get it wrong. The familiar cries of “we spent a fortune on advertising in the trade but with very poor responses”.
In one project a client operating in the their specialist industry had maintained their presence and profile within the core trade press for each of their key market sectors. In spite of this strong presence they had seen responses from the advertising decline and overall market share decline or at best remain static. We agreed the way forward was a need to better understand their markets and customers requirements. Market research was carried out in order to identify what influences their key decisions when selecting suppliers and making purchasing choices.
b) The marketing concept (outside-in)
This is the marketing concept which holds that achieving the business goals depends on determining the needs and wants of target markets and delivering the desired satisfactions more effectively than the competition. In case of the said client, based on the research findings a much clearer message could be developed which is of relevance to the target audience. In contrast to the selling concept, the marketing concept takes an outside-in view, which starts with the focus on the market and customers wants and needs, developing marketing communications with the aim of creating long term relationships with customers.
In the next article in this series we will explore the myth number 2 that marketing is the remit of organisations with large budgets.
To find out more about how you can improve the effectiveness of your marketing and business strategy contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org for a free initial consultation or for more advice on business strategy and marketing expertise.
How your strategy can benefit from reach-mc
- Specialists in business strategy, marketing expertise & business development, leadership and management, product management, new product development and effective marketing campaigns.
- Specialist expertise for the construction and property, manufacturing and distribution, building materials, drainage and water management, renewable energy and home improvement sectors (bathrooms and kitchens, tiles and flooring).
- Successful track record targeting architectural specification, building contractors, housing developers, installers & contractors, and distributors.
- Winners of the Construction Marketing Awards 2014 for strategic planning and management.
- Leo Aspden, founder of reach-mc is an approved High Growth Business Coach, a Chartered member of the Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM), Steering group member of the Chartered Institute of Marketing Construction Marketing Group (CIMCIG) and a Fellow of the Chartered Management Institute (CMI).