Alongside Ian Nicklin of In Business Ninjas, Sue Ollerhead of the Oxford Professional Education Group, we answered some questions around marketing, branding and LinkedIn.
What is the best definition of marketing?
Ian: People can get confused with what’s marketing and what is sales – is it not all the same thing? well to me if you’re taking it to the absolute basics marketing is reaching out to people that are interested in your product or services and getting them engaged to do something. To me marketing is to generate a lead so that’s what you do with marketing.
Sales are when you have the lead and then you close them. So how do you get through and that we’ll talk through this in a bit – how do you get through to the biggest concentration of your target market, get them interested and excited or curious to do something and then all of a sudden you take them from a suspect in your target market to a prospect; now you can do something with them and to me that’s what marketing is.
Why is marketing important to an organisation?
Gillian: Well it’s that saying if you fail to plan you plan to fail and I think a good marketing strategy or a business plan it gives the company a road map, something to follow to help them stay on track. If you hit adversity and situations that you weren’t expecting you can go back to your business plan revisit it and try and pick up where you left off.
It helps you sort of jog your memory where you’re at. It helps you to communicate better with your audience so if you’ve got a good plan in place you know your target audience, you know what they’re about, and you know what sort of thing will come across well to them, so you can then generate some good communication that will tie into that.
It helps you to manage your product portfolio so if you’re running a product portfolio make sure that you’re focusing on the products that are still relevant and that are getting good traction. also it helps you to refocus your resources so if you’ve got a limited budget it’s possible that you can sell to everyone but to market to everyone would be very costly and a lot of time would be taken out so it helps you to really focus down into who you’re trying to target your market into.
What is a good marketing plan?
Sue: I think this picks up on some of the things that Ian and Gillian were saying. I think it’s really key that we embed some kind of process for environmental scanning. We’re on shifting sands all of the time our customers are a moving target. I’m not the same person as I was this time last year and I think covid and the pandemic has showed us that so we need to make sure that as Gillian said we’re constantly looking out for that.
Then making sure that there are some specific objectives and an actual strategy that contributes to where the business is trying to get to before we then look at our customers, translate that into tactics and then really importantly make sure that we’re measuring. Are we achieving those objectives and taking any kind of corrective action? So that we have this kind of concept of continuous improvement all of the time.
I think as marketers we’ve got a lot of data now to sift through and one of the stages that we miss is interpreting that data and putting it back into the top of the marketing plan in terms of how we can just keep on getting better as a process. So kind of echoing what Gillian said with regards to just having that road map in place.
The show goes on to provide some fantastic insights about how to achieve excellence, what we think about coaching and mentoring and what our advice would be to students or individuals not currently in work or set up with their careers.
The full audio can be heard here.