Business Insight – Finally a Definition

Finally – A definition!
By Roger La Salle

The search
For more years than I care to think about I have been searching for a suitable definition for the terms marketing and sales.

Of course we all know they have different meanings, but how so?

My education spanned both electronic and management studies that included marketing. Indeed the definition of marketing I was taught was that “Marketing is the task of matching the customer need with the company capability”. Now this may be all very well, but to me this is pretty well meaningless, so for years I have searched.

Get Connected!
Several months ago I wrote an article called “Get Connected” to the effect that connections are what makes the world go around. Indeed some of the world’s most valuable companies such as Facebook, Google and the like do little more than connect people or perhaps more so in the case of Google, connect people with information.

It was a connection that lead me to the Holy Grail, the perfect definition for marketing.

A little context
Just to put this into perspective, I work in quite a number of countries, one being Colombia, a place that I have visited many times On each visit I have been amazed at their universities, not only in the quality of their buildings and grounds, but also the people that populate these universities.

The last time I was there I had the pleasure of having dinner with a friend, a lady professor of business studies from a university in Medellin.

I asked this lady how she defined marketing, and in a flash she gave me the perfect definition. A definition I might say I have sanitized a little for more appetising consumption.

Marketing, she stated is the art of corrupting the minds of people to have unconditional love of your offering”

What a marvellous set of words!

My now adopted and slightly modified definition:

Marketing: “The art of winning the minds of people to have unconditional love of your offering.”

To me this is perfect, and I acknowledge that this is not my definition, but one plucked from my connection with a very knowledgeable professor in South America.

Of course sales is easy to define:

Sales: “The art of having somebody buy your product whether they want it or not”

Perfect marketing
With this definition of marketing in mind, it may be appropriate to turn one’s mind to the companies that seem to have perfected the art, and none better than Apple.

Try telling an Apple convert that there are better products, it’s completely impossible. In my view, Apple has conducted one of the most successful marketing campaigns in history with its converts having unconditional love for everything Apple.

Apple has succeeded on the grand scale and one way they have done this is by making themselves available. Apple shops are peppered with experts, if you have an Apple problem visit and Apple shop and get help in seconds.

In this age of rapidly moving technology and forever updated software the need to have ready help is obvious. Apple realised that and have risen to the challenge with Apple shops at all major shopping centres. Of late of course SAMSUNG are emulating this model now with SAMSUNG shops. If only IBM and Microsoft would follow the same model.

The Lesson
Make yourself customer friendly and easy to use. Do so and watch the word of mouth message spread as you build your brand

**** END ****

Roger La Salle, is the creator of the “Matrix Thinking”™ technique and is widely sought after as an international speaker on Innovation, Opportunity and business development. He is the author of four books, Director and former CEO of the Innovation Centre of Victoria (INNOVIC) as well as a number of companies both in Australian and overseas. He has been responsible for a number of successful technology start-ups and in 2004 was a regular panelist on the ABC New Inventors TV program. In 2005 he was appointed to the “Chair of Innovation” at “The Queens University” in Belfast. Matrix Thinking is now used in more than 26 countries and licensed to Deloitte, one of the world’s largest consulting firms. www.matrixthinking.com

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