Or the lack of effective Marketing
Often misused and mostly misunderstood by those of us who use the term, “Marketing” has been used to describe a process of, or involvement in, sales, advertising (print, video or air) or, customer service or customer support or, telemarketing (people using the telephone to call potential customers with an offer of some kind) internet sales and, sometimes a performance by one in a similar persuasion.
The definition of “MARKETING”.
According to Merriam Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary (Tenth Edition) the word MARKETING: “1. A: the act or process of selling or purchasing in a market b: the process or technique of promoting, selling, and, distributing a product or service 2: an aggregate of functions involved in moving goods from prouder to consumer”
The aggregate functions are described as:
E. Customer Service
F. And, some may argue R & D (Research and Development).
And, one may argue that Marketing is a social function as well. During the process of moving products from production to the consumer, especially today with many multi-level marketing programs and networking opportunities, we encounter many others along the way.
When asked “what is your job function” one often answers, “I’m in Marketing”. Although this may be a correct response, the answer itself conveys nothing to the audience of what one actually does or in what part of Marketing one may perform or participate nor does this answer make clear or address an area of expertise.
With this answer, it is my opinion that a listener lacks an understanding of the job performance of this individual and is left to question exactly what does this speaker do. I would think that rather than engaging a listener in conversation this answer may leave only questions in the listener’s mind. I think a response like this unintentionally ignores what the person actually does and may be counterproductive in its application i.e. failing to clearly present to the listener an understanding of one’s job performance or area of expertise.
Generally, we understand the difference between Marketing and Sales.
The person or firm using the term Marketing instead of the actual job description may somehow feel entitled or empowered by using this term, perhaps for effect rather than accuracy. Or perhaps one may feel elevated to a higher class or standard than that of a mere salesperson or one who may be an advertiser!
I question one’s validity in choosing the term Marketing to explain their job performance. What does this answer really convey to the listener? Does this answer clearly state what the speaker does IN Marketing?
I beg you, what is wrong or politically incorrect with a SALESPERSON saying or referring to the SELLING process as that to which one is engaged? What is wrong or incorrect by telling someone that you are in print or radio Advertising, as an example? Can it be they themselves have a negative connotation to the job that they are doing?
Or, is it that they have a misconception of selling or the selling process and in some way may feel empowered by using the term marketing; does it somehow soften the blow by redirecting someone’s thinking for a more favorable response? Clearly, the answer “I am in marketing” profoundly clouds the response by creating a non-transparent answer to a very simple question!
This brings up a question. What is our understanding or interpretation of the selling or advertising process? Why must we change the name of what we do?
I believe it is Fear!
Yes, fear! I think we either consciously or unconsciously fear rejection or non acceptance should we profess our involvement as a sales person or advertiser. We clearly understand that some have a negative perception of salespeople and the function of sales but, this is the profession some of us have chosen. So why is it that we prefer to hide behind a cloud? Why do we not declare ourselves to be a professional salesperson?
Interestingly, I believe that we choose words that we THINK would have a favorable impact upon our intended target when we are seeking a more favorable response to ourselves-seeking approval or acceptance.
I believe we justly receive the misunderstanding of what we do because we fail to correctly and completely inform our target of WHAT it is that we actually do. This of course results in confusion with the lack of clarity. Must this charade persist? Must we continue to wear this false façade impressing no one?
Consider this: A salesperson might offer the following answer to the question “what do you do?” The salesperson may say something like “I provide performance benefits to my clients in their advertising campaign such as….(describe the benefits and performance one should expect) “.
By describing what one will do to advertise their clients’ product or service, frequency and quality of their services and how they differ from their competition, the speaker is demonstrating confidence, not only in himself but also in his knowledge and expertise, and confidence in themselves as a professional salesperson.
This answer does not only demonstrate knowledge of the task at hand it also demonstrates an understanding of their competition including their products and services and, that one has the expertise needed to conquer the competition with favorable results for the customer.
A simple exercise for clarity ought to answer any question one may have as to which choice would be more appropriate, informative and, clear to the intended listener.
The exercise? Simply, ASK THEM! Ask your intended audience what their choice would be. Conduct a little marketing research!
Which would be more beneficial to the listener? Providing them a clear and complete description of your job performance or offering the answer I’M IN MARKETING? Which answer would you prefer?
Ponder if you will the concept that one truly believes in the work they are doing. One believes they are offering benefits and services that will truly enhance the value of life to those who accept them and, they are proficient in what they do.
They are knowledgeable and professional in their careers. They understand their competition and their products. They value and appreciate those around them. They care about performance excellence for their customers. They are positive and creative.
Would this person not want to tell a prospect what they do? Would they not want to inform everyone that they encounter just how they could benefit from using these goods or services? Would this person not want to tell everyone that they meet that they are professional salespeople with valuable products that will benefit them and their family?
I am sure one who declares himself/herself a professional and competent salesperson would want to tell everyone exactly and clearly who they are and what they do!