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Marketing: The Art of Influence

For over 30 years, when I mention that I work in marketing, I consistently encounter the same question: "What exactly is marketing?" This is often followed by variations such as "Is it about placing ads?" or "Does it involve sales or social media?"


The easiest explanation is marketing encompasses ALL the above but in a well-planned way.


I typically explain that effective marketing is a process that starts with the formulation of a strategy. It involves defining the right message we need to convey to our target audience to entice them to engage. This foundational message stays consistent across all marketing tactics.


A critical element is concepting a clever creative campaign to deliver the message.


Developing a solid plan and budget means distributing our marketing dollars effectively to reach the audience. We consider a variety of marketing tactics and select the best opportunities to build an integrated plan. These tactics serve diverse purposes and involve distinct approaches:


Advertising: Paying to place the message where our audience is likely to see it.

(Ex) An online ad when you search.


Publicity: Gaining visibility, often through relevant journalists covering the topic.

(Ex) A news story.


Public Relations: Cultivating relationships, such as having influencers discuss the product.

(Ex) Oprah endorsing her favorite products.


Promotion: Delivering the message to a location where it will be noticed.

(Ex) Placing the logo on a coffee mug.


Social: Encouraging the audience to share the message with others.

(Ex) Friends expressing interest in a particular brand of sheets.


Sales: Informing the audience why and how to make a purchase.

(Ex) A pop-up offer on a website.


Marketing is the process of planning and measuring the entire thing. If we deliver the right message and engage the target audience, we drive sales success.

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