What Have You Got To Offer First?

I know that there’s a lot of luck involved in getting you to read this Blog article. It may slide into your awareness just as you’re halfway through an urgent issue, but then again, you could well be sitting on the toilet checking through your social sites. There’s just no telling these days.

Marketing is about creating engagement, but, it’s harder than ever because, as an audience, we all lack a bit of… Hang on a minute, phones ringing…

Attention.

But in the same way that serendipity is a crucial factor in marketing, so it was that I was looking at Twitter on the train last week. I followed a liked tweet (by someone I’ve forgotten) that referenced a conference (by a stranger); which referenced a speaker (I’d never heard of) with a couple of slides showing. One of the slides caught my eye highlighting the need to stick with traditional marketing ideas, and it referenced the cover of a book (I’d never heard of) called Kotler on Marketing (Philip Kotler, 1999), which I have since bought and started to read.

I’m only 9% in (good old Kindle) but have already come across some great insights which resonate with me in terms of strategic approaches to marketing, and I paraphrase:

Most companies are looking for their marketing to deliver a response – attention, interest, desire, purchase, word-of-mouth – but need to realise they must offer something that someone else perceives to be of value first so that they offer the response in exchange.

Even today, too many companies focus on selling product instead of meeting needs and equate marketing with selling:

  • Emphasising customer acquisition rather than customer care.
  • Trying to profit on every transaction rather than over the customer lifetime.
  • Price according to marking up cost, rather than target pricing.
  • Plan each communication tool separately, rather than integrating marketing communications tools.
  • Selling the product rather than trying to understand and meet the customer’s real needs.
  • Considering this book is from 1999 and despite the advances in technology has much really changed?

In my career experience, marketing is very often seen as an afterthought or a “once every so often” activity, despite the demands placed on it to deliver sales and do more of the sales process than ever before.

How many companies do you know that have created a rolling 12-month marketing plan that has joined up campaigns? How many simply tend to have reactive surges of, we’re going quiet, let’s market?

Summary

I constantly hear that loyalty is waining, that ‘millennials’ are hard to market to, and that the Internet should be delivering more. But, going back to basics – and that at the end of every transaction is a person – are that many of us actually offering something first? Something that someone else perceives to be of value so that they offer the response we want in exchange?

Enjoy my Blog 🙂