I recently did a survey to a selection of people from different industries, different backgrounds and varying exposures to ‘marketing’.
I realised some time ago that the word MARKETING meant many different things to many different people. People’s perception of what marketing is, was dependent on their exposure to it over the years.
To decide what your perception of marketing is, you need to be conscious about your exposure to it. You need to recognise that what you see at work might be marketing, what you see in the street in terms of advertising is marketing, what you buy at the supermarket and online in marketing and how a company approaches a target market is marketing.
During my research into this topic, I started to get the impression that a lot of people thought of marketing as one individual element, one piece of the puzzle. Whereas I see it as a whole – the strategy. So you don’t have to say “marketing is digital”, “marketing is leaflets”, “marketing is events”.
Marketing is strategy.
The strategy is an overview of all that is available to you and then the relevancy and potential effectiveness of that to your overall business goal.
50% of respondents to the survey said that printed materials (leaflets, flyers and posters) were the first things they thought of when asked about marketing. This surprised me as I have certainly felt a reliance from clients on an increasing amount of online and digital focus or ‘traditional ignorance’. You’d be amazed though at how many people are still only scratching the surface with traditional marketing, the offline basics, the things that shape your organisation and its behaviour towards the customer.
40% then pinpointed digital and social as the next up which is what I expected with so much done online these days. The benefits of having a digital element to your strategy is of course, the targeting ability and the quick, tangible results. To couple that you can also have a long term, reputation building strategy to complement. It’s a busy and ever-changing environment and fascinating to be a part of.
I see the strategy as pulling together several elements for an objective.
EVENTS Getting to know your customer
BRAND IMAGE Getting your customer to recognise you
DIGITAL Staying in front of your customer
ADVERTISING Reminding your customer
SALES Making the most of your customer
TRADITIONAL COMMUNICATIONS Chatting to your customer
65% said that the best form of marketing is a mix of digital, offline and word of mouth with the latter gaining 30% of the respondents. Certainly in South Wales SMEs there is a strong focus on relationships and networks.
65% of respondents said that marketing needs a long term and proactive strategy to be successful. I have seen a trend of clients who are much more goal orientated now and have a clear vision of what they want for themselves, their businesses and their teams in the next 5-10 years.
If you need to understand more about how you get to where you are going, faster but with stability and results, let’s talk.