The Counter Intuative No Cost Marketing Blog

Valuable tips and tricks, bibs and bobs from the counter intuative marketing world

What is Marketing

What is marketing, we seem to talk about it endlessly and we all seem to think we know what it is, but when you get down to it, how do you define it?


Well, being a simple kind of person, what I mean by that is I avoid the complex like the plague, I’ll give you my definition.   

Marketing is having a conversation with someone who has a problem they don’t want or who wants something they don’t have.  

Pretty simple really.  The challenging bit come about when you try and decide who to have that conversation with and what to say to them.  Making it even more challenging is knowing that some of the people you are trying to have a conversation with sometimes don’t know they have a problem or want something they don’t have.


A perfect example of wanting something you don’t have and not knowing it, is the smart phone.  I never knew I needed a smart phone until Steve Jobs told me, now I can’t run my business without one.


One of the ways I see businesses try and overcome this challenge is to ask their clients what they want.  Marketing companies call these focus groups.  These can be a big mistake.  To miss quote Henry Ford, “If I’d asked my customers what they wanted, they’d have said a faster horse”.  He never actually said that, but you see my point. 


If we accept marketing is about having a conversation, then we need to stop telling and selling in our marketing collateral and start having valuable conversations that encourage our potential clients to engage with us


In my next post I’ll explore what marketing is about or in other words, what it is supposed to do.

What is the actual purpose of marketing? 

Marketing is about having a conversation with someone who has a problem they don’t want or wants something they don’t have.  Simple really.  But what is the actual purpose of marketing?


Well, first off let me start by saying that unchanging principles of human nature dictate that people always want to make the best buying decision possible, so marketing’s job is not to yell incessantly about how great you are or how low your prices are. 


Marketing’s job is to position your prospective buyer’s, so they have total control over the decision-making process... based on them having enough quantity and quality of information to determine that they’re receiving the most value for the price they pay.  In other words, the actual purpose of marketing is to help facilitate your prospects' decision-making process.


Prospects need to buy what you sell, sometimes they need to be educated to the fact  that they need to buy what you sell in the first place, other times they already know that they want it but they need help deciding who they should buy it from, often they think they might want what you sell, but they have questions and concerns that need to be overcome


This is why the content of your marketing, the what you say and how you say it part, is so critical because the marketing message is almost always more important than the marketing medium where you say it.  Both are important, but the real leverage is in the messaging.


The key to effective marketing is to compel the greatest number of potential buyers to want to know more about you, to do that, you need to master the messaging... NOT the medium where you say the message.