Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Marketing - By Any Name


Over on Ryze.com there was a thread posted on marketing and what it was that caused business owners (the thread was directed at a woman only list, but applies to all genders), where they express interest in growing and developing their business - ie Making More Money - and yet fail to even bother to read or learn about marketing - much less do any.

Frankly I come to wonder if the nomenclature is the problem. Just like nobody thinks they need to "do a business plan" - as though there was an option for that! Well of course that is optional too. You can know what you are going to do, how you are going to do it, what you need to do it and how to get where you want to go from where you are already ("Where Am I?")...or you can do the other thing. hehehe. How funny. Like anyone would be that stoopid ;-)

Where marketing begins and where it intersects and impacts on every other area of a business is something that mystifies me some, so I just don't look at it as a separate thing. A business is a system - at least a working business - and a system is more than a collection of parts. It is a collection of parts that work together to create something that functions. Take out any vital part of a system, and it is not a functioning system any more. It is nothing. Like taking out a vital organ from a human being will cause the system to fail and the patient to suffer and eventually perish.

Word of mouth marketing? Yeah, you don't need marketing when you have that. How do you get that? Oh, well you need *this* and *this* and *this* to happen... It is the culmination of all the parts of the system working well. And behind all that is the marketing strategy, working with the financial and operational systems, the customer service systems, the internal relationships and external relationship systems and on it goes.

At the heart of it, the frustration is that what people need to learn is not marketing. It is far broader and far narrower than that. What they first need to learn is how to open their mind and their eyes and some strategies for discovering how to learn to know what they don't know.

My advice? Don't wait until 'the wheels fall off'.
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