January 1991, the Harvard Business Review published Regis Mckenna's 'Marketing is everything'. It was a powerful prophetic piece that proposed the direction marketing would take over the following decade.
He was right; marketing is everything, and everything is marketing! And that's a good thing. If it were up to fate, most of us would be seriously screwed :-).
If you think about it for a moment, marketing is at the core of every success story. It's choosing to embrace life, put ourselves out there, and make sure we get our slice of the pie. It's the way we move our pieces across the acquisition board.
Two people graduate on the same day, from the same prestigious university, with the same degree. Five years later, one has been promoted to CEO of a fast-growing company that just released their IPO, with the income and lifestyle they both dreamed of back in school. The other is mixing drinks at the local watering hole. Just dumb luck, or superior marketing?
We've all seen the clumsy nerd or ugly duckling in high school, that somehow married one of the most desirable hotties. He/she took action, out-marketed all rivals, and closed the deal.
The most brilliant invention, or life-changing idea, lies stillborn at the feet of its creator, without marketing. I'm looking at the screen of my Apple computer today, because a very simple product developed in a garage was enthusiastically marketed, and that vision expanded to become so much more. Billions of people get up and go to work each day because the products and services their company provides have been marketed to the world.
Some people instinctively get that. For others, it takes longer to reach that epiphany. Writing this post to you is marketing. Convincing my staff to enthusiastically service our clients is marketing. Sending a thoughtful text message to my daughter is marketing. The happy look on my husky's face, after taking him to interact with his doggie friends at the beach, is the result of marketing. Every time we reach out and expand our relationships, demonstrating our value in their lives, we're marketing.
Over the years I've heard many people moan, "I hate marketing."
Call it street smarts, gumption or hustle... it's marketing that separates the winners from the also-rans in every arena. To say that we hate marketing is to say we hate life.
I can envision our families still huddled in their caves, without the benefit of fire or wheel, had there been none to market new ideas. If we look at the entire timeline of human existence on this planet, 1731 was only yesterday, and The Gentleman's Magazine was trying to sign on the very first advertisers to a brave new way of marketing, in printed publications. July 1, 1941 the very first television spot ran, for Bulova, and electronic media altered the world forever. October 27, 1994 HotWired ran the first banner ads, and AT&T purchased one of those first spots. Some businesses fought each new marketing channel release, while others currently bemoan their rapid demise.
Content marketing may be a newer marketing channel — exciting or scary — but it's just marketing. "Out content" the competition and you win authority, traffic, influence, new business and market share. Instead of waiting for the phone to ring, you can embrace it as your "edge", become proactive today and begin kicking your competitors' asses to the curb within only months.
Content marketing isn't as new as the blog hype suggests, but there are some frontier advantages left. It's still comparatively cheap, when placed next to last millennium marketing tactics like magazine ad spreads, television commercials, the trade show circuit or even pounding the pavement.
Fortunately, you don't have to figure it out on your own, or even do any of the heavy lifting. In other words, you need not become a popular blogger, social media evangelist, infogram designer, video producer, email list manager or SEO copywriter. Whether your in-house team needs a coach, or you require someone to handle some or all of it for you, becoming involved has never been easier.
Cole Wiebe helps brands and professionals grow their influence and value online; so they can “out content”™ their competition. Cole is a content strategist, content writer, conversion copywriter and online marketing coach.