What is Marketing?
Last night following a discussion on Twitter I was asked a question which set my mind thinking. (Which you will come to realise is often a dangerous thing).
I was asked, “In your words can you describe what ‘marketing’ actually means?”. Despite being a rather heavy question for a Sunday evening, it really made me question what marketing is and what I actually hope to achieve.
My short 140 character answer was,
“To me it’s about getting the best out of a business by highlighting their strengths and communicating these to the customer”.
At the time I thought this was a good way of describing marketing however following much consideration I realised there is much more to it than that.
When I am invited to offer marketing consultation to a business I often arrive and have to develop new ideas and strengths in the business in order to promote these. To research the customer preferences and develop an offering to meet the customer wants and even create ideas which the customer isn’t even aware they want.
Consider the Dyson example:
Before the Dyson, bagless hoover was invented there was no need or desire to have a bagless hoover. Customers were content with their standard models and knew no different. When developing the new product Dyson was said to be crazy and not considering the market need. He created a disequillibrium between customer wants and product offerings and set on a journey to move customer wants back into equilibrium.
What I am saying is what’s often missed is considering the bigger picture and understanding whether customer wants meet your product and if they don’t rather than change your product it is sometimes possible to change customer wants.
Not to create false wants as that is a totally different debate but change peoples perceptions of what is important. For example making consumers understand the value of buying fair trade and educating them on the value to themselves and others.
To conclude, next time you say to a marketing consultant, what exactly do you do again? Consider this post and this tiny insight into the world of marketing.
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