Just What Is Marketing?
If you look marketing up in a dictionary, you’ll get something along the lines of, “the action or business of promoting and selling products or services, including market research and advertising.” That does give someone who’s never encountered the word before a decent understanding of the notion. But how, exactly, does one go about doing that?
I like to think of marketing as sort of a continual feedback loop between three different sub-classes: strategic marketing, outbound marketing, and inbound marketing.
Strategic marketing is where marketing intersects the rest of your business. It takes your products or services, and aims to understand what your target market is, how your product is positioned within that market, and what channel you use to go to market. Then, in conjunction with your business goals, it outlines a plan which informs outbound marketing.
Outbound marketing is what most people probably think of when they hear the word — it’s the active promotion part of marketing: the advertising, the PR, the brand development. But it’s also the
active support of your sales channel, with the creation of collateral, the generation of leads, etc….
Inbound marketing is the piece that connects the real world back with your strategy, and starts the cycle over again. It takes the lessons learned from your customers, your sales team, your competitors, and uses those to inform your strategic direction — both directly for marketing, and, potentially, for your business as a whole.
That’s just a quick overview of the major components of marketing, but I love to get into all the details at the next level. If you have a question, drop me a line!