Although I am a marketer now, I was not trained in marketing. In fact, I’ve only taken one marketing class in my entire life (although I am an avid reader of many marketing journals and books). Despite my lack of training, I like to think I am a fairly good marketer. Others are welcome to disagree, but I feel my success has lots to do with the fact that I was not indoctrinated with the traditional teaching of what marketing is and how marketing is defined. Yes, there are the four P’s and five C’s, but marketing is first and forecast about people!

What do I mean by that? First, it matters not whether you are in a B-to-C business or a B-to-B business. The decisions to purchase your products and/or services are always made by people. There may be processes in place to get purchase approvals, but the decision to spend the money is always made by people. Second, technology and business processes don’t need what you sell, people do! Whether what you sell fulfills a particular kind of needs or wants, these needs and wants stem from and satisfy the desire of human beings, not machines or business processes. So if both the decision to acquire and the void the purchase would fulfill are by the people and for the people, then it follows that marketing must about the people.

Unfortunately, not everybody thinks so. Some people like to think that marketing is all about the creative ad copies while others think it’s how you communicate your message to others (thus fueling the wild fascination marketers have with the entire social network and social media phenomena). In fact, those are actually only components of marketing. The way I see it, the marketing cycle starts with the question “what do people want/need?” and ends with “how can people want more of it?” In other words, marketing starts and ends with your customers. Satisfy their wants/needs, and you will be well on your way to successful marketing.

What do you think? Please leave your comments below.

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