What do you think marketing is?

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What do you think marketing is?


I’ve been tweeting about the difference between marketing and sales, and that they’re not the same: the former is about gaining relationships, spreading expertise and maintaining credibility; the latter is about making money.

But what does marketing mean to you? What and why is it important? How can it be used to transform your business’s visibility?

Of course we will say every business should regularly perform marketing, and that it should be maintained as a drip-feed process over a period of time. It slowly creates relationships, increases your expertise in your chosen field to build up your credibility, and carefully considers your customers and the benefits you can provide for them and the solutions to their problems, by making your business so attractive they cannot fail to notice, pay attention and succumb to your marketing charms.

So what’s the most important? Why, the customer, of course. Without them you have no business. Your whole corporate existence should be concentrated on their very being, how they tick, what they think, what they need or desire, how you can make their lives better.

Then you’ve got to be aware of your product, to turn it into something your customers will want to buy. By truly understanding both parties (customer and product), only then can you successfully market it by triggering the response required to stimulate a purchase.

Create case studies, tell a story, entertain and interact to show you’re understanding them, to win the hearts of those you pursue. Gather them under your wing, let them into a secret, make them feel special or the only one, play with your business philosophy and psychology to convert their way of thinking to become like your own. Present your product as if it would save their lives, that they cannot live without it, that it would be the best thing since sliced bread. Make your price so attractive it immediately becomes affordable, coupled with necessary incentives for more immediate responses.

But hey, isn’t this also selling? Well, yes, but it has been done over a long period of time, not just within a few minutes. It has taken the softly-softly approach, carefully analysing the customers’ response, working with their feelings and reactions, carefully promoting this product to make it look better, become more attractive, appear to be affordable, cannot be without. There is no hard sell tactics, which can upset, anger, annoy and irritate, impede on the customers’ time, take over their personal space, brain-wash their senses, or demand an immediate response. Customers are given the opportunity to make up their own minds about what action they will take next.

Marketing is a long-term activity towards gaining the same purpose selling strives to achieve immediately. Both have their place, and each have records of their successes, but each method should be carefully scrutinised to be the best form of action before an approach is undertaken.


  1. Nice article Alice and all true of course.
    I do find though some small business leaders just can’t get their heads around marketing – all uneccessary cost they say.
    Worse still, I have had one say to me “I know we need it but without sales we cannot afford it, its chicken and egg…”
    To those doubters I strip it right back to this, “Marketing is the seed, sales is the crop”…
    Usually the penny drops!

    • Alice says:

      Thank you Geoff, I like saying ‘Marketing is the seed, sales is the crop’. And I’m afraid it’s not just small businesses who think marketing is an unnecessary expenditure during a recession, when that is the time they should be doing even more marketing to steal a march on their competitors!

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