You Must Clearly Define a Discipline Before You Can Truly Master It
What is marketing? It sounds like a simple question, but if you were to ask a thousand business owners what marketing actually is, you’d probably get a thousand different answers.
Some would say marketing is to do with advertising, or branding, or Google Ads or email campaigns. Not many would be able to give you a clearly defined answer. The problem is, it's impossible master a discipline unless you can precisely define what it actually is.
Well, in my opinion, marketing is the discipline of...
Connecting the maximum number of the right people to your product (or service) in the most attractive way possible.
Let's break that definition down.
The word ‘connecting’ is vital, because marketing is all about connection, the ability to connect to other human beings. To be a successful marketer, you need to understand people above all else. People who are, very often, completely different to yourself.
If you can empathise with a busy, stressed out, working mum. Understand how it feels to be frail, lonely, elderly gentleman. Or put yourself in the shoes of a millionaire businessman who is always short on time, you are most likely a very successful marketer.
The ‘maximum number’, is important too. For the simple reason that good marketing scales. When you create a marketing campaign, you’re trying to connect to several people at once. Otherwise,for most business models, your marketing becomes so inefficient it becomes cost prohibitive.
The ‘right people’ is key because marketing that works is relevant to the specific people you’re seeking to attract. If you own a dog walking business, getting your service in front of dog owners, and only dog owners, seems like common sense. But if you look around, how many marketing messages do you see every day that are of no relevance to you at all? Hundreds? Thousands?
Somebody, somewhere, paid to get those marketing messages to you. And completely wasted their money. The more relevant and efficient you make your marketing, the less it will cost you and the better results you will generate.
Finally, ‘in the most attractive way possible’, because changing someone’s behaviour is one of the most difficult things you can ask of another human being. Getting someone to take a risk on a new product or service is not just about common-sense reasoning, if it were, marketing would be way easier than it is in practice.
Very often, a person couldn’t tell you precisely why they chose one particular product over another, but there are reasons. Often these reasons are so nuanced and complex, it takes time and effort to truly understand them. But once you understand the real reasons driving someone’s behaviour, you stand an excellent chance of being able to market your product or service in a way that consistently attracts and converts new customers.
Armed with your new definition, are you completely happy that your current marketing creates genuine connections, with the right people, at scale, in the most attractive way possible?
Almost certainly, you'll have improvements to make, but, now you know specifically what they are.