I’ve Got to Say articles are personal thoughts and opinions from the Owner-Partners of And Update My Website, LLC.
During the past year, I’ve been working to ensure the success of my company by enrolling in a Small Business Management course through our local Small Business Development Center (SBDC).
The process of self-evaluation, a focus on fundamentals, and regular reminders of the many similarities among businesses of all sizes and types have contributed greatly to my skill development. And I believe it has positively influenced the success of my company.
It’s been useful to take the time to step outside of the daily press of operating the business, to get out of the “weeds” and view the business from a 30,000-foot vantage point. Sometimes, viewing your business from a distance yields insights that lead to fundamental improvements.”
Marketing is an essential business function, one of many that go into running businesses. At least that’s how it’s most often viewed by the people I know. It’s a part of the whole: a methodology, a set of tasks, a department’s or person’s job within the company. I’ve also come to see it from a different perspective, one I’d like to share.
For a person engaged in a business, marketing is everything we do.
This was among the first — and most relevant — lessons of the course. It’s also a deceptively simple assertion. This motto or statement might appear to be overly simplistic, or even inaccurate. Dealing with supply-chain issues, logistics, or other “weed-level” issues certainly isn’t marketing, is it?
Consider that marketing is a transaction through which a product or service is exchanged for monetary compensation. The statement “marketing is everything we do” clarifies that whatever “we do” is for our customers. If we aren’t doing it for money, then“everything we do” is a hobby.
“Marketing is everything we do” is true whenever we think about our business, work to grow it, to maintain it, to improve it. Marketing happens whenever we talk to anyone about it. Whenever we plan. Whenever we build a product or deliver a service. How we actually conduct our business embodies our marketing style.
SBDCs are organizations and programs resulting from a funding collaboration among the federal Small Business Association (SBA), state and local governments, and the private sector. Your local SBDC is a fantastic resource, providing education and advising on all types of business topics. I highly recommend the course for ALL business owners or managers, regardless of your depth of experience. More information about SBDCs from the SBA.
Does that suggest a different view of marketing? Perhaps one that’s more positive, without overtones of manipulation or crass self-interest? I hope so. For me, this definition of marketing is more nuanced and gets at why everyone working in a for-profit business is “marketing.” If every employee in a company, large or small, in jobs from entry level to the executive suite realized their words, thoughts, and actions had an impact on the company as a whole, and on the company’s customers — that would be be a profound, significant development.
Products and services will be better fit to buyers. Product quality improves, service improves, and, in the end, the business thrives by aligning thoughts, feelings, and actions with the needs of customers.
“Marketing is everything you do.” Is that true for you? Are there areas of your business you see as disconnected to your customers, or that need improved alignment?