Inbound Marketing Blog | Inbound

What Is Marketing?

Written by Steven Male | Dec 22, 2016 12:04:39 AM

At the heart of every business is this term called 'marketing'.

The downside is that most people don't understand what marketing really does, or how if truly utilized can skyrocket a competition. But before we get into what marketing is, it's important to start off defining what it isn't.

Marketing does not equal success

Marketing is a way of amplifying a brand, a product, a service, a business to acquire more attention. But one thing we find most business owners believing is that marketing means more sales. It's easy to see where they have drawn that conclusion but there's a very important assumption in there that is destroying a lot of companies.

Yes marketing should lead to more sales but there's two factors at play.

The first is the acquisition of attention. Drawing more eyes and more potential sales.
The second is the actual conversion of a lead to a sale.

I can get a website a million visitors, but if the product or service they're offering sucks, they're not going to acquire many more sales.

And as an inbound marketing agency, the one thing we never guarantee is an increase in sales because that is up to the sales team, or the product engineer. We can guarantee an increase of leads, but we can't close the sale for you.


Truth #1 The fact is, the product or service might not connect with the audience. 

We've had to send away a lot of potential customers because they offered a product that we knew at the current stage, just wouldn't sell. Unfortunately most of them disagreed, went to another agency who were willing to take their money and wasted it all.


Truth #2: It's really hard to create a sustainable business if the product or service is undesirable. 

You definitely can, don't get me wrong, and you 100% can sell in the short term, but it's unsustainable.

And as a quite note, anything can be desirable, don't think you have to re-invent the wheel. I had a meeting in Saatchi building in Auckland recently and I came across a tech start-up, a content marketing agency, a retail tech company and a shop that sells windows. And they're all pretty successful if they have a spot in that building.

It could be as simple as:
  • Your product is amazing but you're targeting the wrong audience.
  • You're trying to sell the wrong part of the product (a sunscreen might be pushing the fact that it has a superior UV Ray deflector as opposed to saving lives by decreasing the chance of cancer).
  • Your too early in the market.
  • You're trying to do the exact same thing as someone else but they're doing it better.

So marketing is not the end all or be all of a businesses growth. If your marketer isn't bringing you more awareness then that's their issue, but if they're bring you the exact audience you're targeting and it's not converting, it's time to ask a few questions.


Truth #3: Marketing Should First Be Used For Validation

Marketing should initially be used for validation. The first test is to see if people want to find out more. If you can't get anyone to become curious to learn more, then it might mean your message isn't resonating with them.

If they are interested, the second test is getting people to buy your product or service. If a good percentage do, then you should scale and use marketing to grow. If not many do, it's time to question. It's time to see why they're not buying your product.



If you don't have any key metrics on conversion rate, how much traffic your website is getting, what's the current return on investment from your marketing activities, you need to get that sorted first. And that's exactly something we can help with.