In my experience working with professionals in both sales and with fundraising, the onus for success too often is placed upon the “miracle” of a specific marketing piece. “If I had this particular radio spot, this really nice brochure, or if I were able to attend that Hawaii convention with a cool brand stand and hand out expensive giveaways, I could sell the hell out of this product.”
The integrated and congruent strategy of the organization, the relevance of the product to be sold, the financial analysis, the current relations with consumers, and the preparation and development of the professionals producing and selling it (to accentuate just a few important variables) must come first. Putting all of this together is the essence of marketing. There is no miracle in focusing solely and independently on a single creative piece or approach that will magically convert people into believers.
I’ll reference below some defining characteristics of marketing from Seth Godin’s blog this morning:
“Marketing is the art (and the science) of serving the people you seek to serve, to do better work by finding and satisfying needs. Marketing is the practice of making things better by making better things.”
There is no miracle, there is only the comprehensive work of relating with and converting a potential consumer from a “no” to a “maybe” or to a “yes.” Selling is changing the outcome. Marketing is the comprehensive work of getting to a conversion opportunity and relating with them thereafter.