One of the best business books I have read in ages is Rework by Jason Fried & David Heinemeier Hansson. If you haven’t already read this I urge you to do so; it won’t take long as it’s sharp, to the point and jargon free – how very refreshing! It’s an excellent way to get a new perspective on all aspects of how you are running and growing your business.
The book is spilt into very short chapters, some with really funny and intriguing titles like, ‘drug dealers get it right’, ‘welcome obscurity’ and perhaps my favourite ‘marketing is not a department’.
When I used to work within organisations and run the marketing department I used to get very frustrated by things that were out of my control (megalomaniac, moi?) because I truly believed in my heart that everything was marketing. Unfortunately things that I believed were marketing issues often were not under my control and so, despite my team’s best attempts to build a brand, communicate effectively and makes sales/ gain new customers, other things such as customer service, housekeeping and even the product itself sometimes let the side down and so the sale was lost or the customer wasn’t happy or totally satisfied.
Marketing is not just how you promote yourself, the same as a logo is not a brand. Branding and marketing are EVERYTHING. As the guys put it in Rework;
“Accounting is a department, marketing isn’t. Marketing is something everyone in your company is doing 24/7/365.”
Every time you send an email, it’s marketing
If you’re in retail, the check out counter is marketing
Your invoice is marketing
The way you follow up after a trade exhibition is marketing
The décor in your reception area is marketing
If you’re in the restaurant business the after dinner mint is marketing
If you build software, every error message is marketing
Every time someone uses your product, it’s marketing
So think about your company, what aspects are there that you’re currently not thinking about from a marketing perspective? What important aspects of your business could currently be letting the side down? This could be anything from your office signage or your answer machine message to the quality of your company stationery or the way and speed in which you deal with complaints or negative feedback.
We’d love to hear about areas you think you can improve and if we can offer advice or feedback we will, sharp, to the point and jargon free!