Marketing is a big, vague, overused term. We hear it everywhere — marketing budgets, marketing strategies, content marketing, marketing consulting — and we think to ourselves “Sure, I know my business needs to do that. Every business needs to do marketing”
But what does that really mean?
There are a billion buzzwords in the marketing world, and many being blended, made up and forgotten in a matter of months. I’d like to clear one thing up about marketing.
Everything is marketing.
Yes, everything. Of course, there are the main “branded” platforms and assets a company owns — website, social presence, brochures — but there are many other elements that play a role in how you market yourself, how your audience perceives you. These have to do with the way your company acts. How you treat vendors (even bad ones), how quickly you pick up the phone, how you take care of your employees. It all matters.
When users are searching for answers to their problems and they stumble across you and your company, you’ve got to create an authentic experience for them if you want them to trust you, consider you, buy from you and share that experience with their network.
The ZMOT (Zero Moment of Truth) is one of my favorite ways to explain how modern users make decisions about products and services. Essentially, it’s the idea that people no longer get hit with messages and decide to make a purchase. Instead, this principle says that those decisions are made after spending time researching, reading reviews, digesting content and experiencing many touches over time. When someone makes a choice to engage with your company, it’s usually because they have formed an opinion about your brand through their own research and guidance from the brand, not via direct sales tactics.
I challenge you to open your mind up to what “marketing” really is. Polish your operations, sales, backend internal functions as well as your public-facing assets. Your goal should be to create a “content web” of materials, resources, visuals, words, conversations and experiences that make an impression on a user.
If you’re interested to learn more or would like to connect with us to discuss where you stand in your marketing efforts, shoot us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org, leave a comment on social or tweet at us @toucanads.
Toucan is a New Orleans advertising agency.