When I say marketing, what goes through your head?
I’m lucky to meet a lot of entrepreneurs, business owners, and rather intelligent people. They are usually individuals who are capable of greatness and have much more money than myself.
When I meet them – be it over a drink or a meeting or dinner – they always ask my opinion on marketing. They want to know how I would take their company from A-to-Z. This is what I do:
- I sit back in my chair
- I smile
- I take a sip of my coffee
- I lean forward and ask a million questions
One of two things tends to happen: 1) They stare back in awe as we go down an amazing journey and discuss the inner workings of their business. 2) They sit in silence with doubt and skepticism beaming through.
Overall this is great as it shows me who is and isn’t a perfect ‘fit’.
It is hard though. People expect me to talk about adverts and social media and promotions. This isn’t marketing, though. This is a part of marketing, sure, but it isn’t the real meaning.
The Starting Point
I find it strange how most people expect an easy solution to an unknown problem. Most do though, no matter their age or occupation or level of experience.
It doesn’t make them a bad business person or an idiot. It doesn’t even make them a bad marketer. It simply means they need to expand their vision and take a step outside of the box.
Those who show excitement are my type of client, whereas those cautious fellows tend not to be. This post is for the former. It’s for the business person who wants to unearth the true potential of their marketing.
It won’t answer every question you have, nor will it solve all your woes. What it will do is get you thinking. Let’s start at the start…
Where You Are & What You Want
If I ask the following, what are your answers:
*In five words, describe your Brand and what it means to you
*In five words, describe your Brand in the eyes of your customer
*What problems do you want your Brand/Product/ Service to solve?
*Speak about your Brand for 30 seconds without stopping
Can you answer/do the above? Usually when I put people on the spot they can’t, but when you think about it…why? After all, this is THEIR business, surely they understand it inside and out.
It’s not as easy as that. There’s only so much time and we’re too busy ‘doing’ to take a step back. This is the true meaning of marketing, though. It’s understanding the finer details of your world.
Expanding Your Vision
How are we meant to understand where we’re going if we don’t know where we are?
And if we don’t know what we want, how can we get there?
Whenever I speak to an entrepreneur my aim is to get them thinking about the bigger picture. There’s no out-of-the-box solution, and each business is different, but if we think on a grander level it makes the whole process easier.
I always start with three aspects:
- The Vision (the what & why)
- The Mission (the how)
- The Core Values (the who)
If you understand these, your world becomes clearer.
All of a sudden you know where you want to be, how you’re going to get there, and what you stand for. People always focus on the communication channel (social media, advertising, etc), but I rarely do this. Instead I care about the message.
It needs to be consistent and meaningful and deep and unique. Further down the line, when you’re thinking about Twitter or Facebook, you won’t ask what channel to use, rather what the message is.
Does it align with your Vision, Mission & Core Values?
Is it consistent with everything else you do?
What message can you provide that will actually mean something?
Usually, when you focus on this, the answer presents itself.
The True Meaning Of Marketing
The true meaning of marketing is in the finer detail. It’s about uncovering the meaning of your business, what you stand for, and what message you NEED to share.
This frustrates many people because it provides more questions than answers, but that’s the point of this post. It’s to get you thinking and ask questions you might otherwise overlook.
There isn’t an out-of-the-box solution and it isn’t easy, but there is a bright side to all of this:
YOU know your business better than anyone.
YOU understand your customers better than most.
YOU know what you’re truly about.
You just have to ask the right questions
Turndog - @turndog_million