“My name’s Andrew and I’m in marketing.”
From large networking events to small dinner parties, I’ve uttered that line more times than I care to remember. It’s normally met with a smile and a swift transition to another topic.
Perhaps because it can mean so much – and therefore simultaneously so little – the topic of marketing is not something that most people are desperate to discuss at length.
I, on the other hand, find it fascinating. Or at least I find good marketing– and that’s much rarer – fascinating.
Andrew in marketing
So, what’s marketing? You’ll find a hundred definitions if you look hard enough. To me though, it’s pretty straight-forward: marketing is about trying to make your sales force obsolete.
Sound odd? Well, think about it:
- if you’ve done your market research properly and the product you’re offering is exactly what your customers want;
- if you’ve priced it at a point that makes its value compelling and undeniable;
- if you promote it in such a way that all your potential customers know about its existence and understand its value; and
- if you ensure that it’s available in the right place so that all your potential customers can buy it easily and readily,
…then you don’t need a sales force.
Now, of course, sales people the world over don’t need to worry too much about their jobs. What I’ve just described is a nirvana that only very few companies ever achieve, but – at the very least – it should be every marketer’s goal.
That’s marketing. It’s complex, challenging and, in my view at least, really exciting.
Andrew in marketing
So, what’s good marketing? Well, ultimately what you’re trying to do is influence. Marketing is about influencing your prospective customers to buy your product. To do so – now, more than ever – you have to innovate. The internet and social media have created enormous opportunities for marketers but they have also created a much more savvy, informed and therefore world-weary audience. They’re easier to reach but much harder to impress. You need to be doing something different. Something innovative.
What happens between having your innovative idea and exercising your influence? Interaction. When they hear “interaction”, most people think social media – where you literally interact with customers – but it can also mean making your prospective customer feel like they’re involved in your brand, product or service. What I’m getting at is that good marketing is about making a connection with your customer in such a way that they couldn’t imagine buying any other product but yours, because yours is so aligned with the way they see themselves, with their own ideas, objectives or even values.
Good marketing should innovate, interact, and influence. That why I call it InMarketing.
Andrew in marketing
And what do I know about all of this? Not nearly as much as I’d like!
I’ve been involved in sales and marketing for more than 10 years now. I started my career in financial services, working at what was, at the time, J.P. Morgan Investment Management. I then spent a year or so selling a financial data distribution platform for a UK-based technology firm before moving on to run the marketing function of a small financial IT company. I did that for about five years. Since 2003, I’ve been doing marketing and communications for SWIFT, the member-owned cooperative that provides the communications platform, product and services to connect over 8,500 banking organisations, securities institutions and corporate customers in more than 200 countries.
I love technology – in particular, the internet and social media. I work in financial services and I’m passionate about good marketing. So, the idea behind this blog is to highlight and discuss related news and examples of all of that and to start a discussion with you.
I hope it proves interesting, that you come back and visit regularly and – most of all – that you contribute your own opinions.
My name’s Andrew and I’m InMarketing.