In the midst of all the things we could be talking about in marketing … optimizing marketing automation, content marketing, social, inbound vs. outbound, etc., sometimes we’ve lost track of what marketing is – we can’t see the forest for the trees.
Why does marketing exist in the first place?
Marketing enables a business to provide information about its products and services to prospective customers. You’re letting people know what you sell, what it’s for, why they might care, and the benefit they might gain from using it.
Then, the customer gets to decide if it’s really something they can use and if the cost to get it is worth the value it might bring them.
Customers often decide value in conversations with sales, but they’re determining if they think you’re worth the time in every interaction before that. And that’s where marketing comes in – influencing these touch points in a positive direction.
There is no evidence that classic advertising, for example, ever induced someone who wasn’t already a potential customer to buy anything. For example, I’m unlikely to buy a refrigerator f I don’t own a place to put it or have things that need to stay cold.
Only if I already have a home, business, or other location where I need a refrigerator am I likely to pay attention to advertising for that particular product.
What classic advertising does, however, is inform consumers that products exist, that there are solutions to problems that those consumers might have, and the benefits of one solution over another. You can have the greatest, best product in the world, but if no one knows it exists, no one’s going to buy it—you need marketing.
Digital marketing has expanded our ability to deliver messages in new and novel ways. We can engage with current and potential customers like never before through a social media thread, chatbot, or even providing real-time personalization of the website experience.
We can discover what people are looking for, dig into the intent behind why they’re searching, find related questions-and-answers and address all of them through our site, ad copy, and remarketing. Simply put, our capabilities for on-point advertising are far greater than they have ever been.
But in the midst of implementing new technologies, optimizing websites, and enabling sales, we need to remember what our core business is:
To inform and educate those who might be interested in our products and services about their potential, effectiveness, and availability.
When we focus on our mission, we can see clearly how marketing and sales must be aligned in order to sell products. We know that we’re in it together, educating the right population, having conversations through different media, and ultimately, helping consumers make the best buying decisions to achieve their own goals.
So, what to do?
Revenue Marketing Basics (Free course)
We have a free online course, Revenue Marketing Basics, that walks you through an evolved view of marketing’s purpose – and how to connect it to driving more revenue (which makes everyone happier).
Or, you can read more resources here!