When I use the word marketing, i am referring to something very specific — I mean that you define an audience, a group of people that you want to target with your offer or message. You reach out to that audience with a message that is specifically designed for those people and then you work to elicit a physical, measurable response. The physical, measurable response is what makes it marketing. Without that, you may be communicating and that is beneficial – always, but real marketing requires a physical, measurable response. So that you can say “this worked, do more of that…. or this didn’t work, stop doing that”.
What kind of physical response can you hope for? A click online, a reply email, a purchase direct from your website – a forward, a print, sharing the coupon with a friend. These are all decisions, represented by a physical action (a click or purchase) and it is especially easy to measure these actions with online tools like email marketing or online surveys, where you can track and report on every action the recipient takes. It’s no longer prohibitively expensive to do “real” marketing with measurable response. Should cost about the same as three latte’s to jump in and try it. This levels the playing field. a lot. Real marketing can help grow your business or organization, with immediate results. Thank goodness there are affordable, easy-to-use tools available for small businesses and nonprofits – ten years ago, i couldn’t have said that. Today, it’s actually do-able and even fun.
There’s more to it, yes. Marketing is a dance businesses do to find their place in the market…but at the very least, this baseline for any discussion of marketing should be in place. Can we agree on that?