by Alexander Van Buren
Here is my definition of marketing.
My marketing definition includes what marketing is (acquiring and keeping a customer) and more importantly HOW marketing is actually achieved.
Knowing and understanding this definition of marketing will make you a much better marketer.
Read it carefully because this marketing definition gives you the SECRET of all effective marketing.
Marketing is . . . acquiring and keeping a customer by creating the right message, identifying the right target market and then delivering the right message to the right target market through the right medium.
Message -> Market -> Medium
Why Marketing is So Important
Marketing may be the single most important skill that any business owner can learn. In fact, if there were only ONE business skill I could learn, it would be marketing.
Why? Because marketing gives you the power to create a flood of customers on an ongoing basis. It creates CASHFLOW which is the life blood of any business.
Without marketing there ARE no customers. With lousy marketing there is a constant struggle to get enough customers.
If you're good at marketing, you will ALWAYS have lots of customers. Without this skill, you may struggle for clients and customers your entire business life.
Marketing makes THAT much difference.
2. Identify The RIGHT Target Market
No matter how good your message is or how well it's crafted for a specific group, it won't be effective if you have not identified the specific group that will respond well to your message.
Demographics and psychographics are ways to use location and personal characteristics to pinpoint a specific group of people who are much more likely to respond to your message.
Most business owners don't target their market correctly. They just aren't specific enough because they don't realize how VITAL it is to be very specific.
This often makes the difference between a profit and a loss.
Identifying the right target market is a skill you can acquire with practice.
3. The RIGHT Medium
Even if you have a great message AND a great market targeted, you may not get many of those people interested if you deliver your message through the wrong medium.
Certain industries and target groups actually respond better if they are reached through a particular medium.
Mediums are sometimes called 'channels'. Examples of mediums are Television, radio, direct mail, in person, trade shows, trade journals, newspapers, magazines etc.
When you get all three parts of the marketing equation correct, marketing takes on a generative effect.
In other words, you can run the same ad, or mail the same brochure to that same group over and over and get a predictable response - an inflow of responses that turn into new customers.
Additional Links and Resources
Marketing Strategies for Business Owners is a 2-day marketing seminar that is guaranteed to help you improve your marketing and create a flood of new customers.
The Entrepreneur's Edge is an advanced coaching program for business owners that will significantly improve your marketing.
How The Definition of Marketing Helps You
Knowing this 3-part marketing definition is very valuable when it comes to marketing your products and services. You now know that you MUST get all 3 of the elements correct for your marketing to be effective.
Just focusing on these three things whenever you launch a marketing initiative will make you a much better marketer.
The Most Valuable Marketing Secret
The single most valuable thing I've learned in the past 19 years from modeling the most successful marketers and marketing systems is by far . . . The Marketing Mind set.
It's the set of belifs, assumptions and habitual criteria and values that the best marketers use. It's basically how to THINK like a master of marketing.
Nothing will make you more effective at marketing your products and services more than this. Without it marketing is usually mediocre at best.
I include a module on The Marketing Mind Set in most all of the marketing seminars I teach.
Once you really think like a marketer, you'll start ACTING like a marketer . . . and all the rest simply falls into place.
Positioning yourself and your products for a market is simply shaping how the people in that market group perceive you. The focus of all positioning should be the most important one or two benefits your products or services provide.
Positioning is essential because these key benefits must become the focus of ALL your marketing programs and initiatives.
In addition to a good marketing definition, it's a good idea to understand the term 'Marketing Mix'.
It refers to the set of tactics and methods you use to accomplish your marketing goals. A marketing mix can include everything from newspaper ads to radio ads to various internet methods like email or banner ads etc.
The best marketing mix always utilizes the 'preferred channel' or channels of your target market.
The big secret of Marketing Mix is to have MANY ways you generate leads, and convert them into satisfied clients. The vast majority of businesses rely on one or two ways to get customers, and that's not nearly enough.
The Most Important Parts of Your Strategy
The two most important parts of any marketing strategy are the TARGET MARKET and the POSITIONING.
If you only get two things right in your marketing, make sure you identify the exact group of people you're going to focus on, and precisely how you will present yourself and your products and service to them so they are compelled to buy from you - instead of anyone else.
If you NAIL these two things you can make a lot of other marketing mistakes, in everything from your tactics to your brand . . . and you will still come out way ahead.
The Power of Targeted Advertising
Think of advertising as 'Salesmanship Multiplied'.
It's one thing to talk to 20 prospective customers and get one or two as clients.
It's quite another thing to reach 5,000 prospective customers - all at once, in just one weekend or in a matter of minutes from one radio spot.
Advertising gives you an incredible amount of leverage. The key is to pinpoint precisely WHERE your ideal customers are and what advertising medium reaches them best, then reaching out to them with the right message.
The Real Purpose of Marketing
First and most importantly it is essential to understand just what exactly marketing is supposed to do.
When you do one of the typical activities we consider to be marketing (place an ad on the radio, in a paper or trade journal or on television or you mail out a brochure, post card or letter, or you go to a networking event to "market' your services or products) what is it you are attempting to DO with your marketing?
The answer is that you are simply trying to acquire a customer. All marketing is for the purpose of acquiring and/or keeping a customer.
We are attempting to ACQUIRE a customer when we market to people who have never purchased from us before. We are attempting to KEEP a customer when we market to our existing customers. Both are important.
1. Crafting the Right Message
Marketing is accomplished by doing three things. The first is Crafting the Right Message.
You can always recognize good marketing because the message that is being delivered contains several recognizable features. Why these features? Because they have proven over time to be the most effective ways to 'get a response'. That is, they lead to getting a new customer.
The essential components of effective direct response marketing and COPYWRITING are:
Good marketing ALWAYS presents benefits that the target market wants most. The #1 benefit is often placed in the headline to immediately grab attention.
It's written or delivered in the first person and speaks directly to you, vs. being written or spoken in the third person. This creates rapport and increases trust. It's about THEM, not YOU.
3. EVIDENCE & PROOF
There is evidence that what is being offered is valuable and/or has helped others (just like you). Testimonials and case studies are good examples. Facts and figures are another way proof is provided. Proof increases credibility.
4. AN OFFER
A specific offer is made. The better your offer the more powerful is your 'Value Proposition. Go for offering tremendous value for only a small investment.
There is a specific reason to act right away, like a deadline or a loss of a bonus for not acting.
6. A SPECIFIC WAY TO RESPOND
Good marketing makes it clear what response is required; call the 800 number, mail in the coupon etc.
7. IRRISITABLE OFFER
An 'irresistible offer' is made to cause a person to act. This is a special version of a 'value proposition' and stacks many benefits that the prospective buyer wants. This BIG value is offered for so little investment of time, money and commitment that it increases the likelihood that they will buy.
The product or service is made more desirable through being unique because people want what is special, rare and unusual vs what is commonplace. Limited quantity and one of a kind products are good examples.
9. MEASURABLE - USES TESTING
Effective marketing is trackable. The exact number of responses can be counted. This is usually done by using a tracking code or a special 800 number unique to a specific ad. Separate web pages can be created for responses to specific ads as well. This allows you to TEST out various marketing initiatives and know how well they've worked.
10. SOLVES PROBLEMS
Benefits are rarely ever enough. Good marketing shows how the product or service solves the problems that the target market most wants solved. It speaks to the needs, desires and PAIN of the target group and offers solutions to them. "Warts gone in 5 days guaranteed."
11. RISK REVERSAL & GUARANTEE
A strong guarantee removes the risk that the potential buyer has to take and puts the risk on the seller instead.
Good marketing stays 'front of mind' by using frequent exposure and repetition of the message. The famous 'Law of 7" in marketing states that it takes 7 exposures to an idea before a person is ready to buy.
Good marketing ALWAYS asks for a specific response. Call this number. Mail in this coupon. Click here and order. Visit this specific page on our web site.
14. GRABS ATTENTION AND IS DYNAMIC
Good marketing always grabs your attention. One of the biggest mistakes business owners make is being way to "normal and practical" in their advertising message. People are receiving an overwhelming amount of information these days. Your message must STOP them and get them to listen to you. Don't be afraid to be BOLD and DIFFERENT.
Having a marketing plan is important. A marketing plan is simply a summary of the strategy and tactics you'll be using to achieve your objectives.
The power of the plan is that it gives you direction for all your activities and helps you stay focused.
The good news - a SHORT marketing plan can be very effective. You can create an extremely powerful marketing plan in 45 minutes when you know how.
Often, I have found that a SHORT marketing plan is far better, for most business owners, than a long and detailed one. The short marketing plan is for YOU, not for investors.
Created correctly, the SHORT SNAP SHOT MARKETING PLAN is one of the singular most valuable tools you'll ever have for marketing your business masterfully. Jay Conrad Levinson, the author of the Guerilla Marketing book series, said this over 20 years ago. He was right! And it's still true today.
This is one of the things I help people do in my trainings and marketing consulting packages.
Strategy VS Tactics
One of the most important distinctions you can make in marketing is separating strategy from tactics.
A marketing STRATEGY is a kind of blueprint that details how you will focus and allocate your resources to achieve your business goals.
A strategy always includes what makes you different from other businesses and what your competitive advantage is. It will pinpoint your target markets and your position, which are the two most important parts of ANY marketing strategy.
TACTICS are the various ways you will accomplish the strategy.
The great news is that when you learn how, you can create a highly effective marketing strategy in JUST 2 PAGES or less.
Here's a VERY important secret. Strategy comes first, before tactics.
First know exactly what you're attempting to achieve, and WHERE you will concentrate your precious resources, THEN decide on the best methods for achieving it.
Am I the first guy to say this? Not quite.
"Tactics before strategy is
the noise before defeat."
Having the right marketing definition along with an understanding of some of these other
key marketing concepts is an important part of becoming skilled at marketing.
Our Marketing Seminars & Coaching Programs