What is marketing? What is its purpose? The AMA defines marketing as, "the activity, set of institutions, and processes for creating, communicating, delivering, and exchanging offerings that have value for customers, clients, partners, and society at large." That's certainly part of it, but it hardly goes far enough. Peter Drucker wrote, "The aim of marketing is to make selling superfluous." In other words, it's about creating a valuable product, service, and experience that draws customers towards the brand and commands higher margins because of its superior desirability. In essence, the brand sells itself without the need for persuasive techniques. I agree with Drucker and would go one step further and say that the purpose of marketing is to create and keep customers while making selling superfluous.
Drucker also wrote, "Because it is its purpose to create a customer, any business enterprise has two - and only these two - basic functions: marketing and innovation." And in today's marketplace, marketing and innovation are not about "making and selling;" or doing to people. It's all about doing with and for; creating strong feelings and relationships through shared information, insight, collaboration, and coordination, both externally and internally. It's about being strategically captivating, desirable, real and interesting in every customer exposure to, and interaction with, the brand, the organization, its operations, communications, people, and other constituents.
What’s a marketer to do in this chaotic environment of abundant products and services, high expectations, fast-flying consumers, and a rapidly changing landscape? I'll tell you what not to do: Don't sit around and navel gaze, mulling over your brand's and organization's "essence." Do something! Be a bold and creative force in the lives of your customers, community and people! Will Rogers once remarked, “Chaotic action is preferable to orderly inaction.” Orderly inaction describes today’s ineffectual, status quo marketing. Chaotic action is the new marketing imperative; to wit:
Your core business theory should be fanatical pragmatism, along with a strong distrust of abstraction. You should be constantly striving to figure out what works by doing with, not doing to, people. And you must be audacious in your execution. Because boldness is scarce, and scarcity is what drives marketplace value.
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