The Marketing Bureau

Specialist Marketing & Communications Resourecs



Don't Worry. Everything Is Fine.

By Brian H Meredith

From the NZBusiness"Marketing Maestro" Archive
First published February 2012

Marketing isn’t broken.

It isn’t a gazillion times more complicated than this time last year.

It hasn’t turned itself on its head and made life a confusing misery for CMOs (Chief Marketing Officers) and SME Owner/Operators and all those in between.

But you could be forgiven for feeling as if that is exactly what has happened.

The dominant contributing factor in this is the arrival of Social Media (which has now been supplemented by Social Marketing, Social Commerce and a whole other bunch of Social thingies).

At times, it seems as if the developed world is overrun by hundreds, nee thousands, of self proclaimed Social Media “gurus” seeking to convince anyone that will listen that Social Media is the beginning, middle and end of all things marketing. And what a load of old bunkum that is!

The result is that, from the biggest to the smallest businesses and organisations around the world, confusion reigns and marketing is being watered down on an almost daily basis as practitioners try to work out just what they are now supposed to be doing and how they are supposed to be doing it.

I can help.

Go sit somewhere comfortable, look out at a clear blue sky, take a few deep breaths, and remind yourself of this simple, compelling and important reality – Marketing hasn’t changed one jot.

The tools, techniques and channels available to marketers have certainly grown and fragmented exponentially but Marketing itself remains precisely what it was last week and last century (and the one before that).

And at its’ core, a business or organisation must remind itself of the following vital components of business & organisational performance and success (which you can still do without a Social Media Guru being anywhere near you):

•    The Marketing Concept
•    Marketing Planning
•    Marketing Communications Planning

Marketing Concept

Marketing remains at the centre of the business and organisational universe.

Marketing is still the concept and philosophy that recognises and responds to the reality that there is only one place the money comes from – customers

Marketing is as much a state of mind as it is anything else and any business or organisation, however tiny or gargantuan, needs to have that state of mind prevalent throughout their very being.

Marketing recognises and responds to the reality that a business will only achieve it goals (whatever they are) by identifying and/or creating needs and wants amongst it s chosen target markets and fulfilling them, at a profit, time after time after time. And for public sector and not for profit organisations, simply remove the word profit and replace with “cost efficiently” – nothing else changes in the concept or definition.

So, in this increasingly complex and confusing world of marketing communications channels, never forget that the core concept has not changed.

Also never forget that, in order to fully exploit the marketing concept, means you need to give proper attention to establishing the answers to the following key questions:

•    What business am I in?
•    What am I selling?
•    Who am I selling it to?
•    Why the heck should they want to buy it anyway?

Marketing Planning

And whilst we’re never forgetting, let’s never forget that whoever we are and whatever our business or organisation is doing, to do it without a Plan is to fly blind and, ultimately, risk crashing & burning. Eisenhower famously remarked “Plans are nothing. Planning is everything”. Listen and respond to that wisdom and make sure you have a Plan that is a record of some excellent planning (i.e. thinking).

Such a Planning process is, in effect, a navigational process seeking to answer the following key questions:

•    Where are we?
•    Where do we want/need to be?
•    What do we need to do to get there?
•    How will we know if we are on course?

So, we are refreshing our understanding of the Marketing Concept. We are clarifying our thinking around Marketing’s 4 Key Questions. And we are setting out on a navigational process designed to take us where we want to go.

And not a Social Media Guru in sight yet!

Marketing Communications

Once we have our Plan, then (and only then) are we ready to begin to think about (i.e. to plan) what we want to communicate, with whom and how. This is often called the Marketing Communications (or Marcoms) Plan.

The Marcoms Plan has the following headings:

•    Determine the problem or opportunity
•    Determine the Objectives
•    Select the Target Audience
•    Select the Marketing Communications Mix
•    Select the Message Strategy
•    Select the Message Delivery System or Media
•    Determine a Budget
•    Implement the Strategy
•    Measure the Results

The above elements of Marketing thinking and practice haven’t changed and won’t change and need to continue to dominate the thinking and practice of successful businesses, notwithstanding how the future of communications and communications channels and methodologies may develop.

So don’t worry. Everything is fine. Really.



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