Marketing – An Organizational Function Much Bigger Than Advertising

Most people think “advertising” when they hear the word marketing. That’s understandable because much of what we see/hear as consumers involves traditional advertising activities – newspaper ads, television commercials, billboards, etc. These media ads are the most visible and “in your face” marketing activities so it’s not surprising that most of us think that these ads are marketing.

But, while advertising is a component of marketing it is NOT marketing. There are many other elements of the marketing mix that can – and do – have a significant impact on your success! Here are a few things that “are marketing” that you may not have thought about:

  • Marketing is responding quickly and courteously to incoming phone calls and emails – it is being responsive to your customers
  • Marketing is pricing your products or services so they represent a value to your customers and support the image/brand of your company, firm or practice
  • Marketing is making sure that the products and services you provide – and every element that goes into the provision of those services – satisfies or exceeds the expectations of your customers

Marketing is really part of everything you do and so everything you do needs to be scrutinized as closely as you might scrutinize copy for an ad or the script for a television commercial.

Marketing is often too narrowly defined. Marketing isn’t advertising. It isn’t sales. It isn’t producing television commercials. Marketing is the underpinning of every decision made and of every communication activity in any organization, whether that communication is received by staff, by shareholders or by customers. Whether that communication is in print, online or in person. Whether that communication is designed to elicit a direct response (sale) or to help support the brand.

Effective marketing generates positive financial results for organizations. Effective marketing is marketing that meets consumer needs. This is such a simple statement. Ironically, it is perhaps the very simplicity of the concept of marketing that leads to so many misinterpretations and missteps on the part of even the most experienced “marketers.”

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