It really is all about marketing. Problem is, most everyone seems to have an idea about what marketing is that’s way too narrow. Some think it’s synonymous with selling. Some focus on advertising and promotion. Many in the nonprofit world think marketing is irrelevant altogether.
If an enterprise (business or nonprofit) only does two things, as Peter Drucker declares in Management – innovation and marketing – then marketing must encompass much more that any of these narrow definitions would imply. I think marketing might really be called “relationing.”
Relationing says that if your enterprise existed in a vacuum, a Drucker innovation cave of sorts, you could invent ’till the cows come home and no one else need be affected. But others do get involved – customers, constituents, staff, vendors, investors, strategic partners, etc. – and you need to do some relationing, whatever that is, because you are now in relationships. Obvious once you consider it this way.
So, I think of marketing as relationing. It’s everything that is “other facing”: selling, telling, advertising, training, communicating, publishing, benefiting, serving and the rest.
If we talk together about marketing, it will all revolve around your enterprise’s relationships. When you talk about growing and prospering your organization, it will be about how you’re relating your business or cause-based group to your relations. This is a fresh way to look at marketing that gets to the heart of what will make a difference. Too often, marketing people equate marketing activity with actual marketing – managing the inanimates instead of the animates. Let’s agree it’s all about marketing…and marketing is all about people.