Anyone Can Call It Marketing

marektingOne of the toughest things about working in the Marketing and Communications field to me is that so many other businesses have adopted what they do into the giant category of “marketing.” You know, it’s tough to use that word and be descriptive. And the social media gold rush has just made it worse. For example, I got a solicitation recently from a company that told me it does “online marketing” and then they proceeded to offer me mailing lists of various industry executives. Ummmm…not marketing. asics soldes A very tactical tiny little piece of marketing and sometimes appropriate, but far from actual marketing. And it can be confusing. At a previous job, I once sat in a meeting where a group of senior executives debated the difference between “marketing” and “communications” for a full 30 minutes. I was seriously re-evaluating my own life choices at that point, but the SUBJECT of marketing can really be obtuse at times. asics gel kayano So IMHO, actual marketing has these five characteristics:

  1. Strategic and based on the business goals — If they are recommending tactics before they understand the business and its goals, it ain’t marketing.
  2. Measurable results — hopefully to something that benefits the business, like sales for example.
  3. Involves listening (research) more than talking — Marketing-driven companies first listen to the market and then respond. Adidas Gazelle Soldes Or like many marriages, pretend to listen and then respond. Your call.
  4. Brings in the right combination of paid (advertising), earned (PR) and owned (social) media to generate the results (that of course drive the business forward)
  5. Planned and executed by a bona fide marketing professional. See, they teach this stuff in college and it can be really helpful to actually have someone who has learned and practiced it. asics kinsei There really is a method to the madness.

In many ways, it’s like Marketing and Communications has arrived because it joins so many other time-honored professions including law, medicine and indoor plumbing in having to distinguish itself by service level and by practitioner. Don’t be fooled by the mailing list companies, the social media “experts” promising to generate “Likes” and the search engine optimizers out there. Real marketing is done by real marketers and digs into the real issues that drive your business.