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Does Marketing Matter?

In 2021, Apple is one of the most successful companies in the world. On the surface, the simple reason Apple is so successful is that they make popular products with generous margins. There is no question that Apple makes good products but making good products is not enough. A large contributing factor to Apple's success is marketing but what is meant by marketing? The first takeaway is that marketing is not just sales and advertising.

Before proceeding, it is important to acknowledge that the Apple example is far removed from the area of small business, not for profit or government organisations. However, the Apple example does provide some fundamental lessons that can be applied to all business to consumer and businesses to business organisations (which are well documented).

On a smaller scale, there are many examples of new businesses that have opened up with innovative products and services only to close down again after a short period. Hard working business owners with big ideas and ambitions often walk away frustrated and disillusioned. While marketing is not the only reason businesses fail, there are many cases where the business drivers have little to no marketing knowledge.

A common mistake is when an organisation immediately engages a tactical marketing approach without any marketing strategy. This may consist of an expensive advertising campaign that has not considered market conditions, the target market, communication objectives and advertising appeals. This can be particularly damaging to an organisation that has limited resources and that cannot sustain a long term advertising campaign.

Another area of contention is that digital marketing has replaced the traditional advertising mediums of television, radio and newspaper. While it is true that the options available to marketers have evolved, the marketing fundamentals of knowing your market and knowing your customers remain the same. If you are going to place an advertisement on a social media platform, it is important to understand whether your target audience actually uses that platform. What is the objective of your message and what is the best way to communicate this? In this context, plenty of marketing planning needs to occur before you go to market. In conclusion, good marketing always comes down to three key phases of: DIAGNOSIS, STRATEGY & TACTICS.

So there are two things a business owner can do when considering whether marketing matters. Firstly, you can put your head in the sand and hope for good luck. Alternatively, you can start educating yourself about the best marketing strategies (strategic and tactical) that will enable you to grow a successful business.

So ask yourself .... does marketing matter? If the answer is yes but you do not know where to start, that is where we can help.

Alicata Marketing Mentor

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