Isn’t Marketing Just a Couple of Social Media Posts?
NO. IT ISN'T.
Okay, okay. I'll be more rational.
Social media is part of marketing. A really important part but it isn't all of marketing. Nor is advertising, PR, content creation, your website, email, campaigns or any other individual channel you use. They are all arms of marketing. In the same way that GPs, surgeons and radiologists are all doctors; specialists under medicine, so too, are those individual channels specialisms under marketing.
It is a common misconception and a source of a lot of frustration. I've spoken to many business leaders who have either tried their hand at "marketing" or employed someone to do it with varying degrees of success and usually a lot swearing at the process to get there.
The problem is that these marketing channels have commonly, and unknowingly, been created as a delivery service as opposed to a strategic service. Delivery being the journey and strategy being the direction, and as such, the brief gets lost in translation. This is where discrepancies between expectation, understanding and deliverables are suddenly exposed.
It is ironic that marketing and branding have an image problem. The terms are banded around nonchalantly, with little regard for their definition, acting as substitutes for anything remotely digital or promotional. The flippant use of these terms dilutes their meaning and therefore the associated work that goes with it.
So, let's try and sort that out.
Marketing is the process you put in place to promote your business (product or service) to drive sales and ultimately, business growth.
Branding is how you position your company so that people perceive it in a certain way.
I'm sure the copywriters amongst you are shouting at the screen right now with much more catchy suggestions (feel free to add them in the comments!)
The perception of your company is the brand. My favourite description of A Brand (note the noun, not the action) is from Amazon's Jeff Bezos, who says, "your brand is what people say about you when you're not in the room." I can't think of a better description. If it ain't broke and all that … the point is, that you can’t always be there to correct or explain to people about your business. Their impression of your business is made up of all the touchpoints, no matter how big or small, you make public.
It isn't just one thing or even a number of things. The key is to combine all of those one things and make them work towards the same goal. That's marketing.
Choose your activities wisely.
Questions? Suggestions? Disagreements? Get them in the comments.