So, what is marketing? Is it a strategy or technique to manipulate people into buying products and services? That's what many people think. However, marketing is not about tricky or shady tactics to get people to buy something. On a high level, marketing is a function of how an organization, company, or individual interacts with the market. Marketing is a strategy of mass persuasion.
The goal of marketing is to persuade people to change their behavior or perceptions. This is a simple and accurate definition of marketing. All marketing activities and every aspect of marketing fall under the goals of guiding perception, changing behavior, or both. Try to think of a marketing activity that doesn’t fit this goal. Also, can you truly change someone’s behavior without changing their perception? Unlikely.
The buyer has a choice. We all vote every day with our money. When we buy something we don't buy something else. In the last few decades, the Internet has launched what is now often referred to as digital transformation. The Internet empowered buyers, with more access to product information than ever before. We are more aware now of how companies act and their ethics and more importantly, we have more choices than ever. The power of buyers will continue to increase.
Studies show that B2B customers progress more than 70% of the way through the decision-making process before ever engaging a sales representative (source). More than 57% of purchase decisions are made before the customer even calls the supplier (source).
Tomorrow, everyone will be viewed as an influencer. Quite frankly it’s already true today. Almost everyone has access to free social media, where everyone has their own circle of influence. It’s not a new phenomenon that people influence other people. Even before technology, people share their experiences and stories, and that includes products and services. Social media allows everyone to amplify their forces in order of magnitude.
We, the consumers, have the power to create market winners. Marketing is all about people, buyers, and consumers. Marketing is not about one strategy or tactics. It is about people.
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