You are going to become a marketing genius…

“Business has only two functions – marketing and innovation.” ~ Milan Kundera

I’ve wasted more money on marketing than some people spend in a lifetime… aren’t I special.  I don’t say that to impress you, but to impress upon you that I have gained much experience both through normal learning practices and through marketing successes and failures. Way too many hard lessons in my marketing life. Some done on OPM (other people’s money) some done on my own money (yuck). If wisdom is defined as learning on other people’s money, then I need a lot more wisdom.

I am going to take the millions of dollars of being “schooled” by marketing methods and pass it on to you – not the dollars, but the learning. Though if you adopt these basics, they will help you to gain a much better profit…I’ve been doing marketing and advertising since I was 14. It’s a passion of mine. I love to know “why” people do what they do, why they respond to marketing and sales the way they do, and how to harness that response more profitably.

I’m going to bundle that up and pass it on to you. Mind you it’s not a simple “place this exact ad in this exact place” solution – your industry is unique and that will come with time – but I am going to show you how to decide what works, lead with that, and get you making small incremental changes that profit you from the start. I know – you want answers now. Even if you knew everything there is to know about marketing, it will still take you time as you build a knowledge base of what works in your industry. At least once a week I will dive into a concept of marketing. Take good notes, practice this methodology, and gain profitability with each step. Here we go…

(Adapted from Profitable Marketing Conceptsand life)

Marketing. Sometimes we might as well be speaking a different language. Say it and it’s like shouting “FIRE!” in a crowded theater. Some people get chills running up and down their spine. You can almost hear the music from the movie Psycho playing in the background – or maybe Jaws. It’s as if I said, “That’s an elliptical oculus with a spayed limestone embrasure.” What?? At first blush, that sentence makes no sense. But quickly unpacking it –

• Elliptical is something oval or maybe round.
• An oculus is a glass or window.
• To splay is to diverge in shape or position; become wider or more separated.
• Limestone is something made out of, well, limestone. Kind of a brick.
• Embrasure is  a small opening in a parapet of a fortified building, typically splayed on the inside.

So an elliptical oculus with a spayed limestone embrasure is a small oval window with a separate brick inset. Personally I have a lot more use for marketing than that window, but you get the point. Rarely do we get anyone to help us understand marketing – quickly.

Okay. Let’s turn to the – ahem – experts. The AMA (American Marketing Association) definition of marketing –

“Marketing is the activity, set of institutions, and processes for creating, communicating, delivering, and exchanging offerings that have value for customers, clients, partners, and society at large.(Approved July 2013)” 1

No wonder people struggle with marketing – we’re complicating something that does not have to be complicated.

We’re mostly going to be talking about marketing research  – don’t freak out! – I promise it is much easier than it sounds and really quite harmless. Really. Everybody likes to sound intelligent and academic (elliptical oculus), but I’m going to turn all that academia into something the rest of us can understand and use. I hate it when communication fails to take place. George Bernard Shaw has quipped, “The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.” That is a true epic fail to me. Please let me know (nicely) when I don’t communicate well to you. The great thing about a blog is that I can change it often and make it work best for all of us – or at least most of us. A few of us? Okay. Just for you.

For our purposes, marketing research boils down to what I call Advertising Accounting – or better still – Advertising Bookkeeping. To oversimplify – find out who your customers are, put them in a spreadsheet or database, and paint a picture of what they look like so you can go find more like them. What I call Define and Refine. Or if you’re just starting, who your customer is going to be  – or who you think she will be.

I am not going to go deep into marketing theory but I am going to give you the top things that you can do to kick your advertising into overdrive no matter where you currently are – and it really is pretty easy. If you want to dive deeper, I have a bibliography of books that I recommend on practical marketing and advertising. They all touch on different parts of the marketing basket.  It’s okay – you’re not alone. 98% of the small business world doesn’t seem to understand marketing and advertising. My hope is that this part of my blog will give you insight, methodology, and strategic procedures into what makes good advertising work so you can make more profit. That’s my entire purpose. And – you can do it. It’s not hard.

Most people take these principles, these Laws, for granted. They are not marketers so they don’t apply these much. Please don’t fall into this trap. If you’re good at what you do for a living, these Five Laws – only when you apply them – will make you a much better profit.

In my next Marketing Blog Entry sometime in the next week, we will talk about the most important factor of advertising – one that is 10 times more important than every other aspect. Get this right, and you go a long way to understanding how to market profitably. Give me just five minutes per week and you will be a marketing genius in a couple months. Please take a moment, and share, tweet, email, text, call, and otherwise “tell” every one you know that wants to learn about marketing properly about this post. I want as many people as possible to join in the conversation.

“Good marketing makes the company look smart. Great marketing makes the customer feel smart.” ~ Joe Chernov

For more reading on practical marketing subjects

Reflection:How important is marketing to me? Do I believe it is a major part of my profit strategy? Or do I believe it’s just a good thing to do if I can afford it…

Action: “Eighty percent of success is showing up.” ~ Woody Allen. Show up here over the coming weeks, learn, and apply thees principles.

MAKE it a great day!

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