The Secrets of Successful Business Part Ten: A Simple Programme (or Marketing Stood On Its Head)

Marketing is commonly seen in two ways.

Both are highly damaging to any business.

Radical statement?

Well, let’s take a look at the two ways:

1. Most business people see marketing as an activity in which the products or services of the business are pumped out into the marketplace in the hope of attracting customers. To do this, businesses run ad campaigns, social media campaigns, have billboards, work on branding and basically try every way they can think of of getting out there into the Void in the hope of contacting and persuading the largest possible number of people to buy their products or services.

2. Most businesses see ‘marketing’ as a distinct activity: the first part is the business, producing and delivering something, collecting money, recording what it is doing and so on; then there is ‘marketing’, which is usually seen as a separate function to do with reaching out and promoting the first part.

It’s all actually backwards.

I’m going to try to explain what I mean.

The Conventional Sequence

The sequence for most businesses is that they come up with a product or service. It might be their own, or it might be someone else’s that they hope to sell and possibly deliver. They then get some resources together, including personnel, and make the product or prepare the service.

One of the early steps is of course to find people who will buy and use what is being made or prepared. To do this, a portion or the personnel or an amount of time is set aside to put out ads of some kind saying ‘Here we are, come and get this product or service, get it now now now.’

Often - more often than not - production continues, even when the number of people showing up wanting to buy the product or service is low and perhaps non-existent. More effort is put into reaching out. There is a nervous scramble as the business creator tries to match the costs of production with the sales figures. For many, this nervous scramble never ceases - this is what ‘being in business’ is like, for the majority of business people.

But this is a ‘product-centric’ model. It starts with an idea, which turns into a product or service, which turns into a massive amount of work reaching out to try to find people who will buy. It’s no wonder that businesses also place an incorrect focus on sales and money as a measure of success: there is always this battle between trying to get enough money in and trying to get enough product produced. The notion that a ‘sale’ isn’t actually an end goal at all eludes most.

Need Is Always There