10 Things I’ve Discovered about Marketing

Having earned a master’s degree in marketing, I feel confident in asserting that marketing is not really all that complicated.

When I taught marketing at a local university, the CEO of a major company invited me to speak at the planning retreat of his regional managers. He sheepishly asked, “Can you condense into 15 minutes everything you teach in a 16-week class?” Tongue-in-cheek, I replied, “Actually, I only have 15 minutes of marketing knowledge. The hard part is stretching that over an entire semester.”

In more than 20 years of working on projects and coaching others as they engaged in their own marketing endeavors, I have learned the following 10 things about marketing:

  1. Marketing is based upon common sense, though such sense is uncommon.
  2. The social media revolution is the best thing to happen to marketing in a long, long time—even though the rules for marketing success are forever changed.
  3. Old-school marketers who try to tightly control the message will become increasingly frustrated, disoriented and ultimately obsolete.
  4. If you’re not creating community and engaging people in conversations, then you’re still living in a 1.0 world—even if you are using 2.0 tools and technology.
  5. Communications comes at the end of the marketing process, not at the beginning.
  6. If you aim your message at no one in particular, don’t be surprised if no one in particular responds.
  7. Marketing will always flounder when not in pursuit of a measurable goal.
  8. If a product, service or person cannot be differentiated, it cannot be marketed.
  9. Without a quid-pro-quo exchange, you’ll never have a solid marketing program. After all, marketing is the exchange of something of value for something you need.
  10. Value can be defined only by the customer, not the company producing the product or service. (Nonprofit organizations especially have trouble with this.)

From your experience, what additional observations can you share? Can you elaborate on any of these axioms? Do you disagree with any of them?

Advertisements

3 Responses to 10 Things I’ve Discovered about Marketing

  1. Ron Cushing says:

    I especially like #s 1 & 6.

  2. Almitra Buzan says:

    I like this. (And I’m not just saying this because I work for you.):-)

    I find number 10 to be particularly interesting because it is true that customers define the value of a product, but companies do spend time and money influencing consumer opinions. They have been successful in creating perceive value in buyers.

    Is there anything nonprofits can learn from that?

  3. […] success requires effective marketing. People have spent considerable energy trying to define marketing, but just for fun I’ve listed 10 things marketing is […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: