I used to think that marketing was about advertising and PR. Then I had to study marketing for my professional qualifications and was astounded to find how many areas of the business are part of the marketing process.
Are you ready for this? Marketing covers:
- Finding out what your customers want and what your competitors are doing about it (Research)
- Developing a product or service to fulfil those wants (Development)
- Establishing a price that not only covers costs and delivers a profit, but also competes in the marketplace with similar products (Finance)
- Letting people know that your shiny new product or service is available (Advertising, promotion, PR)
- Making the product or service available in sufficient amounts to meet the demand (Operations, Production and/or Purchasing)
- Getting people interested in buying the product or service (Sales)
- Ensuring that people have access to the product or service (Distribution)
- Checking that customers are happy with what they’ve received (Customer service)
And where is the focus in all this activity? The customer – every company is in business to deliver something – a product or service – to their customers. I could go off on a rant about how some organisations fail to understand this and treat their customers as an inconvenience, but that would be self-indulgent! My question to you is how well is your marketing focused at every step of the business process?
There is a saying “If you’re not serving the customer, you had better be serving someone who is.” How are you serving your customer?