It’s true, marketing is for business like TRX are for kids!
I hate to break up the fantastic party and congratulatory celebration of “digital” and “content” marketing royalty. After all, they seem to like wearing their big, fat, Cheshire Cat grins, a dab of sparkling tiara here or there.
They’re enjoying the back pats and bubbling champagne toasts while the crowd swells, and the bandwagon keeps growing. Bottoms up.
The music’s blaring a happy, triumphant background for the shiny, laughing scene and the confetti—about to drop!
Digital loves disruption. But when PepsiCo’s president, global beverage group, Brad Jakeman speaks out at a recent conference, saying “digital marketing is just marketing using a digital channel,” as reported by Adage, it’s as if he fired a bullet into the crowd, popping the party balloon, like a gunshot, paralyzes the night.
Will the party be over now that we all know, we are all just marketing?
You can hear a pin drop. Ut oh! I guess we can all go back to work now.
Look, I’m no marketing diva, maven or guru, but I do know a thing or two about marketing a business. And guess what, folks? I agree with Mr. Jakeman, and I further suggest: digital and content marketing are just marketing.
That’s right. I’m saying it aloud: marketing is the same as it has always been. Essentially, a driver for business. Let’s dissect.
Marketing is for Business
Everything you do in business IS marketing because your actions and interactions reflect back to your company/brand. It’s so much more than a department or any singular function. At the very least, your marketing works in tandem with operations. (See above marketing/brand reflection example.)
Encompassing all company communications, marketing presents the how and why you exist as well as framing how your audience will define you.
But, on its most miniscule level, the concept of marketing equates to sales.
In this article, What is Marketing, Dr. Philip Kotler Explains, Dr. John Tantillo points to a “go-to reference” by a “marketing sensei.” He prefaces this video by Dr. Kotler saying, “He will make you appreciate the saying: “marketing is sales with a college education.”’
However, as much as I see that sales are the bottom line for a business, (or why be in business?) I find in my experience, it’s about so much more.
Finding the Pulse
The bottom line is not at all about the purpose of marketing, the terms or current buzzwords used for marketing, or even the mega digital possibilities and tools that are now intricately entrenched in the marketing mix, but something has changed.
And guess what, that something has stayed the same too, and is in effect, the lifeblood of every business, of every kind, style, and size. Because without this one thing, business is dead and over.
If you’re jumping up and down yelling, “Sales, revenue, profit, markup, money,” or the like, you couldn’t be more wrong!
But dig down deeper, and you’ll realize that cash to your business stems from somewhere. Finding the oxygen and core—the pulse of every business—is having a customer. You know, that special someone who will gladly buy from you. And show you some other love, too, if you’re worthy.
Enter marketing with a big job to do. Connecting to your ideal customer and creating a meaningful impression that leads to an ongoing relationship is hard enough, but the challenge is expanded, almost as exponentially as the space of the World Wide Web itself.
The marketplace has grown, and the channels and communication with an audience are different and changing at breakneck speed. Meeting your customer where they are is shifting the whole dynamic in the business of marketing, targeting and reaching desired results.Marketing to your customer has become marketing with them.Click To Tweet
Roll Out the Welcome Mat for Gen C
Marketing to the “connected” consumer transcends typical demographics because Gen C (generation: connected) is any age, sex, income, education, etc. so, any person who functions and participates in the digital space and marketplace. Comfortably participates, in fact.
Active participation on the part of your customer, like the earlier GoPro example, and way beyond, is what I see as the game changer for marketing into the future. And better (or worse) yet, your audience has a BIG voice, transforming two-way communications into two-way marketing!
Kathryn Aragon Media presents this idea she calls, NewGen Marketing in a far better way than I can explain away in this post, so click this video and get the best insight on this realignment. You will understand why and how you need to update your marketing tactics for highest impact and to connect with your customer where they are, going forward.
So What’s Different?
So, now you can easily see the main difference in marketing today is your customers. The Gen “C” customer is using digital channels that demand that you market in that same space or risk a disconnect.
Further, Kathryn clarifies why a different customer requires a different kind of marketing. Some of her key points are well worth paying attention to.
She expresses that the connected customer wants, likes and expects to:
- Create their own experience, so “customization” is imperative
- Find “the” good fit, one that relates to them specifically
- Scan and use visual cues, as part of today’s “attention economy” trend, requiring you to respect their time (and use it wisely)
- Share—tweets, bytes, memes, etc.—and be part of something bigger, so give them something to help market you and spread your message
- Have a voice and to use it, (this is a biggie) transforming one-sided marketing/advertising to a two-way “conversation” and exchange of information
- Be “social” by making “human” connections, so you need to “humanize” your company or brand to build relationships
- Be viewed as a “smarter” consumer, with the option of giving you “permission” to connect, thereby “allowing” you in to build trust and market to them, directly
Serving Your Market
On a deeper level, serving your market becomes the true objective for marketing efforts, rather than an emphasis on selling your product/service.
The points expressed in the above outline all lead to this thinking but, it flies in the face of traditional marketing and the slower moving vertical business model as well, and is only slowly seeping into the psyche of many organizations.
But still, overall it’s true: marketing IS for business, just like “TRIX are for Kids.”
A shift in focus from business/product to customer-first means altering the marketing mindset.
It seems a very forward marketing approach was used by General Mills back in 1954 to establish the TRIX cereal brand. By marketing directly to their specific target audience with their famous (silly) rabbit and tagline, they created a lasting impression (that has been the same since established) for more than 60 years.
Now companies must meet their customers where they are, engaging their heart, before their mind or their money.Everything you do in business IS marketing because your actions and interactions reflect back to your company/brand.Click To Tweet
Why change marketing gold? Or in the case of TRIX, a fruity rainbow of successful marketing.
NOTE: A version of this article first appeared on Mirasee.com