smoke-and-mirrors-1Marketing is Not Smoke & Mirrors

If you studied business, you were exposed to Philip Kotler’s text book, ‘Marketing Management.’ It’s a good encyclopedia of marketing and through the book, you come to realize that effective marketing incorporates all aspects of business – product development, finance, sales, service – and even social sciences. In other words, you realize marketing is not smoke and mirrors.

Kotler’s book defines marketing as follows:

Marketing is a social and managerial process by which individuals and groups obtain what they need and want through creating, offering, and exchanging products of value with others.

Isn’t that exciting? That definition is found on page 9……of 787 pages.

I still have that textbook, and actually have referred to it many times during my adventures as a marketing professional. However, based on my real-world experience, I’ve been able to cull the definition – and goals –  of marketing down to three items that work for me when developing a marketing plan to support a product or service.

1. What make you different, and better, than the competition?

2. What’s in it for your customer?

3. What do you want your brand to represent to your potential and current customers?

Of course, there is a lot of thought, detail and work involved in answering these three questions; followed by a plan, budget and tasks to execute to make the plan real and deliver it to the market. That said, effectively answering these three questions is a big step towards building a winning marketing plan.

What if answering these questions is really hard? Well, you might need to go back and fix your product and service so you can actually answer these questions with confidence and enthusiasm. Remember, marketing is not smoke and mirrors.