I have had several conversations recently with people about Marketing's role, and I realized I have internalized a "different kind" of marketing so thoroughly that I've forgotten that only a certain breed of Marketing pros really think this way.
Real Marketing is Facilitative
The role of the marketer is to facilitate the emergence of the market and the connection of the market to the product or service.
You can think of marketing as "becoming the exchange platform."
The questions a real marketer needs to know:
- what are the attributes of people who might need this good or service?
- where are those people?
- how do those people communicate?
- what are their triggers: what makes them act?
And then the work of marketing is to live where the market already is, and create messages that they understand that put the product or service in a place where it's easy for them to buy/adopt.
Then finally, the marketing person needs to learn:
- What just happened?
- How can I improve?
- Are there new people who need the goods or service (or can I conjecture that there might be in the future)? Where are those people and how do they communicate?
So you can see "marketing" methodology can be used for any situation where there's communcation between an institution and a population: non-profit, social enterprise, community group, or business. Also, it can be used to "sell," which is to say facilitate the exchange of money for goods/services, or it can be used to exchange knowledge or messages or ideas. You can use this to explain a product, or you can use this to find a pool of recruits.
Marketing is a community building activity.