Marketing is not magic

One of the most common questions I read on Quora and Facebook or LinkedIn groups is ‘what’s the best marketing strategy for X?’.  The question is asked as if there a secret formula or that you can wave a magic wand and find marketing success.

Spoiler alert: there is no secret formula or magic wand.  Assuming that is how marketing works causes more failures than anything else.

Marketing is fundamentally about compelling a defined person or group to take a specific commercially-valuable action.  The goal is to move the organization forward.  Commercially-valuable can be measured in terms of dollars and cents but equally in non-monetary values.

The core elements are positioning, a clear defined action, timing and picking the right mechanism to make the request (known as a call to action).  Marketing also requires for relationships to be strong enough to support the action.  Each element depends on the specific context of the organization and the people you’re trying to compel to take an action.