“Marketing is dead”. Anyone who has worked in marketing or thought of working in marketing or has ever mentioned the word marketing has probably heard this phrase. It gets thrown around with a nonchalant wave of the hand and a tone of finality which suggests that the final word has been said, the nail is in the coffin and everyone is off for a cup of tea after the funeral – you are the only one who didn’t read the obituaries yet.
Well I’m afraid I disagree.
Of course you disagree, you will say. You are a marketer, poor thing.
Yes, I am a marketer. But so are you.
Whoever you are, if you are in the workforce, you are a marketer. A part time marketer perhaps, but a marketer nonetheless.
Take a cleaning lady in a hotel for example. When she does her job with pride, making sure the rooms are spotless and adding those little extra touches that people notice (like fancy napkin folding, or a chocolate on the pillow case) then she is marketing for the hotel. When she says good morning to the guests with a smile and is pleasant and helpful, she is marketing for the hotel. How? Well, the guests are more likely to write a positive review about their experience, to recommend the hotel to their friends, to return their themselves, to book for their company when on a business trip in the area. So, she is a marketer.
The IT support guy in your company? He makes sure you keep contact with all your customers and other stakeholders, keeping your customer service efficient. He is a marketer.
Your receptionist? Her attitude on the telephone and when visitors walk in the door can make that all important first impression which can mean the difference between getting that sale and losing it. She is a marketer.
Marketing has grown. Expanded. It now can be taken to mean all of those things which are used to create a company’s brand, from those things thought of traditionally as being marketing (namely advertising, although marketing is of course much more than just this) to research, to New Product Development, to internet reputation management… but it could also be expanded further to include literally everything a company does and every move it makes, especially those made in view of stakeholders. Even the little things. Especially the little things.
So long live marketing I say, and long live the marketers – be they full time or part time.
Oh, and a word to the wise. Never upset the cleaning lady. She is more powerful than you think.