What the heck is marketing anyhow?

The end of the day on Thursday found me starting to write this morning's blog on a classic VT spring day:

  • Snowing, raining, sleeting since 6:00 AM; 12 hours later, the same-just heavier
  • The dirt road by the studio/garage/barn thing is 12" of thick mud and getting worse
  • There's water bubbling up through the concrete in the barn since the ground's still frozen

Gotta love Vermont...or you will find yourself one day wandering around out in the woods talking to the squirrels and asking yourself..."Why the heck do I still live here?"   With 6 prior generations before me living in this same valley, I've asked that question many times and now have a well-honed answer which is that "I love the simple truths of Vermont and its people!".  Having figured that out, I also know that I need the stimulation of Boston, of teaching at Tufts and the interaction of solving even bigger questions such as...

what the heck is marketing anyhow?

If you ever want to slow down a meeting of any kind...a staff meeting or even a board meeting...just throw that loaded question into the mix and then sit back and listen for 15 minutes.  In the majority of companies, those discussions will cascade up and down around the meeting and collide into one another with words such as "PR", "social media", "advertising", "business development" and 20 other terms all trying to out-market one another to define that simple truth of "What the heck is marketing anyhow?"

Marketing is Everything! 

marketing is everything-1The simple truth is that "Marketing" is everything, and there's no better definition of that concept than the iconic January 1991 HBR article written by Regis McKenna titled simply "Marketing is Everything".  One of the founders of Silicon Valley, McKenna was a true pioneer in the simplicity that marketing is in fact "everything"!  

The complexity, and therefore the endless discussions about the definitions of the absolute word is that at a point, we as marketers and as business leaders in general need to make choices as to...

  • which specific tactics and which activities are we going to use?
  • which metrics define success of our Marketing and our Sales?
  • what's the cost and effectiveness of a lead over the time of our sales cycles?

...plus 10 other critical metrics to be questioned and executed on.

We all think that we sound pretty good singing in the shower or with the car radio cranked up, which is the same as why many people feel that they're great marketers since in no other science do we find as many untrained people voicing their personal opinions and guesses. Today, marketing is an absolute science steeped in deep analytics, hundreds of technologies and managed by highly trained people who came out of the best colleges with majors in marketing and communication and continue to become trained and certified in new tactics using AI and more interconnected and easy-to-use tools. 

As you finish up the Q next week and take a few days in the first week of April to assess your go-forward sales and marketing plans for Q2, you may find our 2022 edition of "Writing the Winning Marketing Plan" useful.  As always, at any time, just reach out to me for a question or two.

Also, at this time of year, as I move to the close of an exciting Tufts semester, I'm already starting to look for project companies for the fall semester when my students will deliver detailed marketing plans based on whatever objectives your companies may have.  If you're interested, just connect with me, and I will take you through the details of what has become an excellent resource for both our companies and for our students.  

Have a great day selling today...and enjoy the weekend!  It's going to be wicked wet and cold here in Vermont, and then I'm headed up to Stowe on Sunday to do some "field research" with my friends at ACG at their annual Dealmaking at The Mountain.  Should be fun...and great marketing!


Jack Derby, Tufts Professor & Sales Coach


If at any time this year, you have a need for a confidential sounding board for your 2022 business, Sales or Marketing planning process, just connect with me!  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, how to close sales, Tufts marketing projects, free marketing projects from universities, how to write a marketing plan, marketing planning, 2022 sales planning, 2022businessplansuccess