Marketing: Fluff or Fundamental?

Is marketing ‘nice to have’ or ‘critical’? Does marketing mean playing around on Twitter all day or building a strategy for success? Hana Ballard, CEO of The Bridge Marketing, takes a look at the importance of a sound marketing plan in separating the fluff from the fundamental.

Although there are many longer-winded definitions, marketing, in its rawest form, is about finding out what people want and selling it to them at a profit. Sadly, the research, business modeling and strategy side of marketing is often overlooked in favour of jumping straight to the promotion of the business, product or service. Very often it is just too tempting to get wrapped up in the excitement of a new idea that the customer’s opinion is overlooked. Now, I’m not saying that promotion isn’t important. It is. It’s very important - and a lot of fun – but how can you possibly know the best way to promote something without knowing who to promote it to, how and when?

In order to make sure you’re not wasting time, money and effort on promotional activity that won’t work, you need a plan. You need to know and understand the habits of your target market like you know your friends and family. Analysis and research are crucial. They will help you to understand the best way to communicate with your audience and the messages they will respond to. It can even tell you the best way and time to contact them with offers or invitations and how much they’re willing to spend on your products or services.

Not only will research and analysis help you to determine your strategy and tactical activity, it will also help you to define your brand – your promise to your customers and the visual identity that makes you unique and recognisable. Create an informed plan and stick to it - or ask us to do it for you.

Just remember: Marketing is “finding out what people want and selling it to them at a profit”. Don’t forget to ask people what they want.