What is the Role of Marketing?
“What exactly is the role of marketing?” Homer asked. “And why do you keep avoiding my question? Is it some sort of “secret” that I need special clearance to get access to?” he persisted.
“Do I need special protection, like a radiation suit or something? I have one at the plant you know!” Homer chuckles. “Or is it like one of those James Bond secret weapons that looks like an umbrella and turns into an Uzi?”
Homer rolls around on the couch, laughing so hard I expected him to topple off at any second. Fortunately, he did not!
“No.” I countered, “The marketing secrets themselves are NOT what you need to be protected from! As an Authentic Brand,
you have the right to access them.
It’s the marketing world’s scum that don’t. These low life characters pretend to be supporting your brand’s success, but instead, they take your budget, do what they want with it and give you a mere 25 or 30 seconds of pointless, easily forgotten entertainment in exchange.
These are the villains that these marketing secrets will arm you to fight
“That sounds exciting,” said Homer, “And just a little bit scary…” “It is scary!” I affirmed. “but it’s better to be forewarned and armed than to be yet another victim.” Homer frowned. “I’m no one’s victim!” He declared loudly, puffing out his chest. “Good!” I responded. “That’s the spirit! Now let’s begin!”
The Role of Marketing is to Deliver…
“Homer, I want you to think of marketing as a massive courier service. Imagine that it
has fleets of planes, trains, trucks, boats, mopeds and bicycles. Imagine that it also has an expansive collection of specialty vehicles; rickshaws, canoes, skidoos, swamp boats and
more. Oh, and add in a few caravans of camels and teams of sled dogs for use in extreme weather conditions.”
“So if marketing is like a courier service, what is it delivering?” Homer asked. “Great question!” I applauded. “The role of marketing is to deliver the brand’s messages, claims and promises to the brand’s target market via one or more of the vehicles that are known to be able to reach that target market.
“What happens when they do that?” Homer asked.
There Are Two Objectives:
- To raise awareness of the brand with the people most likely to value it.
- To predispose those prospective customers to buy the brand, by building
a relationship with them and letting them know which of their problems
the brand can fix, and how they’ll find it useful.
“I don’t remember hearing about too many marketing messages being delivered by dog-sled,” said Homer, dubiously. “Maybe not,” I agreed, “But if you were up in Alaska or the Yukon, working at a diamond mine and living in a compound, how would you find out about new brands that could fix your problems or make your life easier?”
How Do YOU Learn About the Brands that Can Make Your Life Easier?
“I don’t know,” said Homer, “Infomercials?” “Perhaps,” I allowed, “But I think that it’s more likely that the people in such places would be an excellent target market for direct marketing. So I would think they get quite a supply of targeted mailings delivered by skidoo or plane
– and possibly even by dog-sled when it is too cold for planes to fly.”
“The people at the diamond mines could also shop with the Internet,” said Homer “I hear that thing is still around.” I laughed, “Yes, it’s still around, and of course they could learn about new brands on-line, but it would be like searching for a needle in a haystack, as opposed to receiving specific messages that address the issues that matter to them.
And of course, once the brand’s marketing messages persuade someone to make a purchase, whatever they buy would have to be delivered in some physical way. Because we still haven’t figured out how to “transport” goods through the ether. The kinds of “mediums” that can reach through time and space are not the ones we’re talking about.” I smiled, entertained by my play on words.
Homer jumped right in and hummed a few bars from the Twilight Zone theme. “That’s right ” I said, “We’re getting close to living what was once science fiction, but we still have a few unconquered frontiers to explore.”
What are Marketing Mediums?
“Marketing mediums is a fancy term for marketing channels,” I went on to explain. “Marketing channels, or marketing mediums, include radio, television, newspapers, magazines, billboards, websites, and direct mail.”
“Ha ha – channels – like TV!” Homer laughed. “That’s easy to remember.”
I smiled and asked. “So how do you know which channel to use? How do you know which channels your target market is tuning in to?”
Which Channels are Your Audience Tuning In To?
“ Well Homer,” I replied, “That’s the million dollar question. You’ve nailed it. And it’s a question that all too often doesn’t get asked. And when it IS asked, it tends not to get answered very well.”
“Why?” asked Homer, “It seems like a simple question.”
“It’s not difficult to answer,” I replied, “But because it involves numerous agendas and conflicting interests, it takes some time to explain. Let’s take a break now, then come back to it,” I suggested.
Homer’s stomach rumbled loudly. “There’s a box of donuts and some sodas on that table. “ I said, pointing. “Take a couple of minutes to put some sugar into your system, because what I have to say next about those marketing villains will make your head spin!”