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The changing definition of marketing - My Marketing ThingMy Marketing Thing

My Marketing Thing

The changing definition of marketing

Eric limbo marketing with caption sm

What has the word ‘marketing’ meant to you?

To some, marketing has meant vertebrae-cracking limbo dancing to the lowest common denominator in order to make sales. Or it could have been whittling down your audience to a size 1 niche and pushing a camel through the eye of a needle…in order to make sales. But to most of us, marketing has been something in between.


Marketing definition: past

In the past, marketing has been about reaching the people you think you can help and communicating your solution to them with gusto.  Sometimes it’s something they need.  Sometimes it’s something they want.  Sometimes it’s a combination of the two.


Evil marketing

Sometimes marketing is introducing something that ‘they’ didn’t know they needed or wanted.  And then, upon this fine introduction, they decide they need it or want it.  This is where a lot of people think marketing is evil.  No axis.  Just straight-up evil.  But I’d beg to differ on that one…

 

Remember the wheel?

It wasn’t always around.  But the wheel seems to have caught on.  When it was invented, someone had to explain what the wheel might do.  How it might make life easier.  Who did he (or she) explain it to?  Answer: the consumerist suckers that would listen.  And look at where that got them. Everywhere…


What’s great about now

What’s great about now – and what’s changing the idea around that word ‘marketing’ – is the internet.  But why I think it’s great might be a bit different to why you think it’s great. You might think the internet is great because:

  • You can reach people globally much, much easier
  • You can save on printing costs (and save trees, very important)
  • You can set up certain ‘widgets’ (that word always tickles me – see My Cartoon Thing about Harold and widgets) that enable people to comment on your information (you’re getting warm…)

 

Why I think the internet is great

Yes, I agree with all of the above.  But what really makes me grin like a maniac about the internet is because people are gradually learning not to start sentences with “In the aforesaid viability…”.

Yes, there are people who are still writing like they have a pitchfork poised around their nether regions.  But the internet increasingly calls for human-sounding conversations.  Sometimes these conversations can go too far in the other direction.  A wee bit too brief, or too sloppy.  And perhaps what is being said may be so intimate it’s offensive – or just plain confusing.

The conversational language that the internet inspires is now feeding back into other forms of communication (e.g. printed material).  This doesn’t mean a bow tie shouldn’t appear, or poetry even.  But the possibility for The Conversation now hovers in our atmosphere like oxygen.

 


The essential thing to remember is this:

Communication succeeds (whether in formal attire or wearing tracksuit pants) if it connects well with the people it has been created to talk to.  And there’s one more thing….

 

The ‘bottom line’ in marketing

Let’s not forget the ‘bottom line’.  It’s usually a tough person in a suit that talks about the ‘bottom line’ while I think of someone’s bottom (sans-underpants) sitting on a wire fence.  But the bottom line for marketing is NOT just conveying what you want to convey to those who you want to reach.

No, that’s not all.

It’s also about getting a response. You can’t have a conversation if you’re the only one doing the talking, can you?

So what did you think of this blog?  Let me know. Start the conversation.

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