Is it advertising? Is it social media? Is it giving the bloke from the local garage a sweaty handshake and your business card?
In actual fact marketing has been defined. This is what the Chartered Institute of Marketing reckon it is;
Marketing is the management process responsible for identifying, anticipating and satisfying customer requirements profitably.
God that is DULL. But hopefully you get a sense of the scale. It’s pretty much everything a business does. If you want to be pedantic about it, you could consider cleaning the office loos as a kind of internal marketing process- transmitting the message to your employees (your internal customer) that you care about them and that your organisation is a good place to work for.
A clearer way to think about it is the good old fashioned 7 ‘P’s;
- Physical evidence
What is your product? Who is it for? What are you charging for it? What is your margin? Where can customers find it? Where can they find out about it? How will you convince people to try your product? How will you encourage them to buy your product again next time? Who’s carrying out the service? How do they interact with the customers? How is the service delivered? How do you know if the customer is happy? How can you make sure each customer gets the best service possible? What will the customer be left with at the end? A nice haircut? A leaflet? A free book?
There’s a lot of questions there. If you then look at the plethora of marketing channels that are now available (social media, SEO, PPC advertising etc.) you might go mad before you make any decisions at all!
Therefore, if you’re feeling lost, overwhelmed and you don’t know where to start, take it back to basics. Think back to when people first started selling things to other humans. They decided what would sell. They decided on the price. They decided where to sell it and how loudly to yell about it so passers-by would hear them. That was the first marketing. The best advice I can give you (without knowing anything about you or your business) is to focus on doing a few things, really well.
For slightly more actionable pearls of wisdom, hop over to my Facebook group, flutter over to Twitter or walk your fingers in a professional manner over to LinkedIn and get clicking.