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The world of marketing is a fast-moving, ever-changing one. It’s exciting, but it can also be perplexing at times. “Why are advertising, sales, and marketing different things?” you might ask. “Why can’t I just create an outstanding ad that will surely appeal to the masses?” If modern marketing options leave you scratching your head, you are not alone. But fear not! I’m here to reassure you that while the way we market has changed, the reason why we market has not.

Marketing at its Core

Not so long ago, marketing was a pretty straightforward thing. You figured out your target audience; did your research; created an advertising plan that probably consisted of print, radio, and maybe television; and measured your results. These days, things seem a lot more complicated than that, but they’re really not so different.

I will agree that planning and executing a marketing initiative can be pretty confusing. There are so many options today, and the more you research, the deeper you go, the more involved things become. But it all boils down to one thing – It always has been and always will be about getting to know your client, not selling yourself outright.

It’s All About the Client

At its roots, marketing’s purpose is still the same. The American Marketing Association defines it as “the process for creating, communicating, delivering, and exchanging offerings that have value for clients, partners, and society at large.” Notice that you don’t see words like advertise, promote, or sell in this definition. It suggests that the winner here is not the marketer, but the client. That, my friends, is what marketing is all about, building and nurturing a relationship. Giving the client tools and ideas for their success. When you scratch their back, they’ll eventually scratch yours.

Knowledge at Your Literal Fingertips

We live in a world where we have instant access to endless knowledge. Type a keyword into Google, ask Siri a question, and you get a response in mere seconds. It’s pretty amazing. Websites, social media, email, blogs, metrics…it can be enough to make your head spin! The Internet has changed how we market and how people receive and interact with brand information. I’ve even seen suggestions that marketing is dead. Really? What’s dying are the old, inflexible marketing systems and channels that are too rigid, take too long to measure, and are simply not cost effective. “Permission marketing” is the modern way. It’s the idea that consumers are more open to messages when they invite the marketer to interact with them, rather than being attacked from all sides with things like pop-up ads, disruptive commercials, and cold calls.

That Whole Relationship Thing

We’ve talked about this before, but I can’t say it enough. Marketing is all about courting your clients. Making a sale is like signing a marriage contract. You wouldn’t marry someone without dating them first, right? It’s the same with marketing. You have to establish a trusting relationship with potential clients and make them aware of the value you bring to your partnership. How can a company survive without continually building relationships and feeding the pipeline? I guess if the company doesn’t rely on revenue streams it could…but is there such a company? I think not.

Marketing is a vital function of any company, and it always will be. It is a matter of maximizing your budget, targeting your right-fit client, and utilizing those channels where your potential clients reside. Build your unique strategy, plan it, execute well, measure, refine and repeat. Marketing may have many faces that change regularly and swiftly, but its soul is always the same. Get to know your client. Inspire trust. Establish a lasting relationship. Nurture that relationship, and that client will remain loyal. If you need help sorting through the options available to you, let’s chat. I’d love to help you simplify your marketing and get results!