There are a lot of different and loose terms used now around marketing. There are also a lot of misconceptions about marketing and what it is - that it is just graphic design of a business logo or sales or doing a bit of social media for your business.
Marketing is about all of these activities plus much much more! With our digital world changing so fast and expediently growing, marketing now encompasses an abundance of new elements.
So what actually is marketing?
In an academic definition1. (the text book I actually used at uni!) ‘today’s marketing is about creating customer value and building profitable customer relationships’.
This meaning has not changed, marketing today has just evolved and shifted wth how we communicate and build customer relationships.
Marketing today is about creating messages using different methods to communicate to your audience about your business and services. Marketing is still about promoting your business to your target market or ideal customer however there are just many more and different ways to talk to and reach your customers.
In simple terms, marketing is about how you let your customers know about your products or services that you sell or offer in your business to your ideal customers. Basically, as the saying goes you can build a castle but if you don’t let anyone know about the castle no one will find it or come to it.
Same goes with your business, you can have this fantastic product you sell or one of kind services you deliver, however if you don’t tell your potential customers about it, how will they ever know about your great product or one of kind services?
Marketing previously encompassed 5 P’s. Most people have probably heard about the 5 P’s of marketing, but what does it mean?
The marketing P’s are the elements in your business that you need to consider in order to promote your business effectively to your potential customers, and they also help form your marketing plan. The 5 marketing P’s are:
- Product /services – what your business sells or offers
- Price – the costs of your products or services
- People – your potential customers
- Place/Position – what location/area do you sell to or cover/service
- Promotion – how are you going to sell/promote your products/services.
By the time I had finished uni, the 5 marketing P’s had grown to 7 and I have now seen a number of organisations use 9 P’s. The additional marketing P’s are:
- Process – the business’s process for the product or services you offer
- Physical environment – location of business or offices
- Physical evidence – customer testimonials, credibility, awards, qualifications, experience, proof
- Partners – strategic business partnerships, collaborative agreements.
So what does this all mean for your business?
It means you need to consider each of these above marketing elements to help get your business message across to your potential customers.
Marketing is the life blood of your business. It is important to get your message out into the market place where your potential customers are if you want your business to sell it’s products or services, be competitive and ultimately make a profit.
These days as everyone is so busy and the marketplace is saturated with competition, it is becoming harder to cut through and harder to get your message across to be seen or heard.
Marketing is continually evolving with the ever-changing digital landscape, which means you need to assess your business marketing efforts on a regular basis and adapt accordingly.
1. ‘Principles of Marketing’, S.Denize, G, Arnstrong P. Kotler and others; Pearson, 6th edition, 2014.
About the Author
Hillary is a proficient strategic marketing professional with over 25 years business and marketing management experience in both government and private enterprise.
Hillary’s extensive career is supported with a MBA and Bachelor of Business Management from the University of Queensland. Hillary is genuinely passionate about helping small to medium size businesses with their marketing.
When Hillary is not working on clients marketing projects - you will find her in her new marketing academy teaching marketing to ladies in business, or out and about exercising with her dog!