Is Marketing Everything?

I was doing some office cleaning recently and, in a pile of stuff marked “worth keeping?” I came across a clipping I saved some years ago (I’m sort of a pack rat and save far too much stuff).  It was a “Letter to the editor” of a national business magazine that ended with a statement I had underlined, “Indeed, it seems that marketing may be the dominant paradigm of more than popular culture – it may be the next dominant paradigm of everything.”

From my perspective, I believe history has proven the writer correct.  Marketing is the dominant paradigm:

  • When a company works to add value and differentiation to a commodity product they use packaging, branding, bundling, speed of delivery… all marketing.
  • When prosecutors in a murder trial have family members of the deceased testify about their loss and suffering, emotions of sympathy and empathy are injected into the trial… all marketing.
  • When a politician uses “Spin” to shade a story they are utilizing copywriting, persuasive scripting, and public speaking skills… all marketing.
  • When the phone is answered, “XYZ Company, this is Bill, how can I help you today?”… all marketing.
  • When a customer is contacted by phone, email, text, or real mail after they have purchased something to ask about their level of satisfaction… all marketing.
  • When a jeweler or florist sends a congratulatory reminder of a birthday or anniversary with the obvious intent of selling something… all marketing.
  • When a company that sells an “automatic monthly shipment” includes something extra at the anniversary date of the service… all marketing.
  • When a job seeker visits the hair stylist before an interview they use cosmetic adornment, grooming, and exhibit a particular attitude… all marketing.
  • When the dentist, the vet, or the auto mechanic sends a “Reminder for Check-up” card they are utilizing database management techniques and “Lifetime Value calculations”… all marketing.

Because price and quality among competitors selling a similar product or service are often so comparable without much to separate them on their own merits, the customer service and customer rewards aspects of marketing has become the dominant differentiator, the dominant paradigm.   To market better look at your business with a strategic focus.  Consider what you can do at little or no cost that will delight your customers so that they will never defect to your competition.  When you see the resulting boost in customer retention (which some people describe as “customer loyalty,” you will see that “Marketing is Everything” or maybe “Everything is Marketing.”

Question or comment to Larry: