So, just what is marketing anyhow?

marketing-2-1It's already the third week of my classes at MIT where I teach business planning and marketing, and at Tufts where I teach classes in Marketing and in the "Science of Sales". We're now ready this coming week to jump from knee-deep-testing-the-waters-concepts to full immersion in the reality of my methodology of teaching "Process-Tools-Technology-People & Math" and wrapping those mechanics into the practice of Sales and Marketing.  

During this week, my 10 student Tufts teams visited their project customers that they signed up for this summer, and we are now charging ahead to deliver detailed marketing and sales plans the first week of December.  Always exciting and always challenging for both the students and me!  If you're interested in participating in the spring semester, just connect with me.

I always begin every first class every semester with a simple question of "Just what is marketing anyhow?", and in the first 15 minutes, the whiteboard (chalkboard at MIT) is filled with words such as "advertising", "convincing", "PR", "social media", "TV & radio" , "trade shows", "leading people", "selling", "making people buy" and 20ish other phrases all trying to answer that simple question.   

And this is not just students! 

I've had that exact same question asked to me from CEOs of both small and large brand-name companies.  I used to joke that if I wanted to slow down or divert the subject of a meeting, I would just roll that same question out on the table, sit back, and I would be guaranteed of 45 minutes of discussion with little conclusion..  

20 years ago, I latched on to what I thought was a good answer from an iconic venture investor and marketer, and now 20 years later in my world of "Process-Tools-Technology-People & Math", that has been refined to a science, which is both exacting and flexible in it's use.       

this morning I'm more interested in your definition of "Marketing". 

Leave a note in this post and then next Friday, let's see what we have, and I'll share with you what I think.

What I do know is that Event Marketing is Coming Back...slowly

For years, trade show marketing has been in our marketing toolbox.  Always expensive, always a huge effort in coordination and always suspect as to its ROI and measurement of real lead gen, trade show marketing has remained until 2020.  I've literally been to a thousand plus trade shows and events.  I've personally run them, and I've been the CEO of companies who've commanded huge square footage in Las Vegas, Miami, McCormack and Javits.  Therefore, I was very glad last year to see a stake hammered through the heart of the classic trade show event of unnecessary booths, new product rollouts, worthless giveaways, high-cost speakers and countless customer dinners. Even in a non-Covid world, trade shows have been dying an agonizingly slow death propped up only by tradition since the ROI is clearly negative, but that age-old fear still remains that "If we don't go, our competitors will say we're in trouble, and so on..."

ACG Dealfest September 21What is slowly coming back with lots of caution and experimentation in screening, vaccination cards, green-yellow-red badge stickers, and countless other tactics is networking events.  While my quarterly never-miss networking event at the Associated Industries of Massachusetts with Mike Kennealy, the MA Secretary of Housing & Economic Development at 8:00 AM this morning is still virtual, this past Tuesday night I did attend live and in-person the annual DealFest reception at the Association of Corporate Growth of Boston.

  • My first F2F event in 18 months.
  • Perfectly and safely executed by the ACG team!
  • Outside at The Lawn on D in the Seaport.
  • Perfect weather, food, hosts and everything else!
  • I am a huge believer in ACG so check it out: Events here, membership here.

In my own answer to the question of "What is Marketing?", carefully arranged, specific networking events among business leaders will always have a high focus with an immediate ROI, very specifically calculated by marketing processes, technology platforms like Hubspot, credentialed younger marketing experts and exacting analytics. 

In both of these business associations, I've been very active for years as a volunteer and board member. AIM has been pin-point focused on what it does for the Massachusetts business community for ACG. the same for the M&A and PE deal community.  Most importantly, the ROI for both organizations is off the charts since it's very professionally done and very specific to creating active engagement among professionals in the business of business.    

Have a great day selling and marketing today as we now move very quickly to the end of this quarter. Looks like a great weekend so grab a bit of down time since next week will be the final push for this Q

Don't forget to note here your answers to "What is Marketing?".  I have a couple of highly-prized, autographed copies of the fascinating book, Inbound Organization by Dan Tyre & Todd Hockenberry  to send you for the best answers.   

Jack Derby, Professor & Sales Coach AN ANYTIME SOUNDING BOARD 

If at any time, you have a need for a confidential sounding board for your 2022 planning process, just connect with me at any time.  Text or email me, and I'll quickly set up a call.  I'm a very good listener, and we can get deep into tactics if you want. Obviously, no cost for a call or two; just an opportunity to listen intently and make a few recommendations based on decades of experience.

Derby Entrepreneurship Center@Tufts. 



Tags: marketing effectiveness, marketing productivity, meeting networking, free marketing projects from universities, student intern marketing projects, how to write a sales plan, marketing planning, writing sales plans, Derby Entrepreneurship Center@Tufts