The beginning is the most important part of the work. Plato
This is NOT an article about where marketing began or a historical account of the practice. It IS about where 21st Century marketing concepts, programs, and decisions must begin.
Over the last several decades, marketing (usually driven my advertising) became increasingly more disconnected from the product, company, and sales processes they were promoting. Based on the hefty shoulders of Network Television; some executives gambled that they could direct a TV commercial and media budget so well that they could forgo having sales reps, distribution, and even an actual product.
Marketing is not synonymous with media budgets!
Looking at the growth of social media platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, Reddit, etc.; we see proof several times over that a media budget of any sort is completely unnecessary.
This article by Fast Company explains how Reddit attracted millions of loyal users with an advertising budget of just $500. Period.
For many businesses/organizations; much of the marketing is done by customers and fans. Building tools and systems to empower and connect these advocates requires about 1/1000th the financial investment of a powerful media campaign.
Marketing used to be easily boiled down to 4 Ps. Product, Price, Placement, and Promotion.
Marketing begins with Leadership Team
The best marketing today starts from a deep understanding of all the people involved in the company, the message, and the products. It is in the combination of disciplines like operations, financing, long-term strategic objectives, product design and production, customer service, all aspects of HR, and training.
From here, keen marketers will refine information into a highly concentrated extract best explained by 3 new words (also starting with letter P).
Passion is the drive, dedication, or commitment to continue doing something even when it is difficult – knowing that the journey is often more than enough reward. Times will be tough for sure. Passion helps us get through the times when we cannot see the light at the end of the tunnel.
Purpose is a calling or an internal guidance system that is the source of all answers to the question ‘Why”. It connects our personal values to the work we do and is the foundation for organizational values.
Personality of an organization or brand is much the same as with an individual. It is about how we communicate with others – the timing and style of our communications and how we relate to audiences (potential customers)
Marketing radiates outwards in all directions.
This fundamental core of passion, purpose and personality is like the DNA of brand or culture. It is not the brand or culture itself, but the blueprints for how to execute building them. It provides critical reference to how we connect and interact with audiences.
This DNA doesn’t just radiate out to customers, distribution channels, and strategic partners. It is crucial that it also radiates through attracting, hiring, firing, and promoting talent that will embrace, protect, and expand the culture.
Now that we have a better understanding of where marketing begins, we can better put it to use – especially when we don’t have large budgets.