The word “marketing” is like the word “crap”

Written by Robert Weston Gilliard

A Crappy Name:
I love to study the history of words. For example: did you know where we got the modern word “crap?” It is because Thomas Crapper invented the indoor toilet. originally this invention was called the “crapper” as a beautiful tribute to its creator who handed us a modern civilized society gently wrapped in toilet paper. But somewhere along the way, (I imagine) some country hick reasoned that if it’s called the “crapper” then it must be for “crap.” Thus, Thomas’s last name became internationally synonymous with human dung. Not a pretty story I know, but one has to laugh about it.

Marketing is NOT sales:
It reminds me of how words change over time, and how the word “marketing” has become just another hotword for an entry-level sales position. That is the equivalent of saying that a cashier that takes your order at KFC and asks “do you want to make that a large” deserves the same pay as Colonel Sanders. While sales is a minute part of marketing, it is just the tip of the iceberg lettuce on that Secret Recipe Chicken sandwich. Marketing takes years. It takes vision. It takes knowing the big picture. It takes a degree. It takes experience. It takes knowledge, but above all, it takes an open mind, a loving heart and a hard-working soul.

5 P’s of Marketing?
Every person out there with a marketing degree can say the 4 P’s in their sleep. But, if every other department and industry out there got ahold of them, we would have a much better economy and there would be a lot more respect for the marketers out there–or at least the good marketers. Here is what true marketing is about:

1. PRODUCT: Marketing should be directly involved with the creation and establishing of a product. Why? Because they are the ones that are going to be the ambassador of the consumer in the design room. They are going to hold the focus groups, use the product and tell you what works, what improvements could be made and find even more uses for your product than you originally created it for.

2. PRICE: The marketer is going to be the one to gather the information so you can get a clear picture of how much it actually cost to produce your product…but marketing also tells you what the customer is willing to pay based on research of other similar products and focus groups.

3. Placement: (Which is just a “P” word for “distribution” 🙂 Different products require different distribution. Think of the Movie Industry, the music industry (failing), MaryKay Cosmetics, Pampered Chef, Kirby. All of these have unique distribution channels which made their company successful. Yep, that’s what marketing helps you with.

4. Promotion:
Every product, every price, every distribution channel, every demographic can require a different promotion. Ultimately it is marketing that helps you decide the best way to promote your product to increase sales in order to meet your short-term and long-term goals. (This is where that “sales” position may or may not be a part of marketing)

(DRUM ROLL PLEASE) I would like to add a 5th P.

6. Pevaluate (okay, that is actually “evaluate” with a “P.”–the internet was fresh out of P-words) But it IS THE MOST IMPORTANT AND VALUABLE THING WE DO as marketers. Every campaign, every media, every product change, everything we do must be recorded and analyzed. Finding out what your customer responds to is key! This takes time, patience and experience but will payoff in the long run. Every piece of data helps you know your customer better. When you “pevaluate” everything…even the campaigns that seem like a failure are still getting you closer to knowing what you customer DOES respond to.

Yes, We Marketers are Annoying!
As you can see, they have their hands in EVERYTHING! They are constantly creating more work to make the product better. They are always challenging the way a company functions and operates to make it more efficient and productive. But, without us, employees would direct their frustrations directly to the company leaders and consumers would quit buying…Ultimately, the marketer is that annoying voice in a company that keeps saying, “but what about the customer?” It’s not convenient, but neither is any success that is worth claiming.

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