What is marketing?
In a conversation on Twitter last night a good friend Stefan Lubinski suggested that everything these days is marketing. I disagree – and here’s why.
There are more platforms than ever before on which to communicate to large groups of people – Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, WordPress, Blogger, Pinterest, Foursquare, Instagram, Snapchat, Meerkat, Periscope, Google Plus, Google Hangouts, Email, SMS, WhatsApp… to name but a few. There are more online publications than ever before – on any topic you can think of. There are more people using them to publicize products, services, opinions, content – you name it. But that’s NOT marketing.
At best, the majority of it is publicity; at worst it is just noise. Like somebody with a megaphone stood shouting at people in the digital street.
Some are shouting orders: ‘Do this!’, ‘Click here!’, ‘Buy this!’, ‘Read that!’.
Very little of it could be described as marketing!
Marketing is about getting people to take a specific action – because they want to. This requires them to understand what they are being asked to do and do it willingly in order to support you or your organization. The action needs to be specific and clearly defined. It should, also, have a defined commercial value.
No matter how much you urge somebody to do something; no matter how loud you shout or how often, if they don’t want to do it all you do is lose your voice.
I wrote a few months ago that most PR and marketing is publicity that explains more.
— What is public relations?
Public relations is a process of strategically building mutually beneficial relationships with the people that matter most to the growth of a small or early-stage business. Marketing is compelling those people to take an action in support of your business. Publicity is communicating a message, typically, to as many people as possible.