The Importance of Clearly Defining Marketing in 2013, from B2B Marketing Specialists, The Mezzanine Group

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As companies plan for growth in 2013, Lisa Shepherd, author of ‘Market Smart’, and President of The Mezzanine Group, offers her three-part definition of marketing. Clarity of the meaning of marketing can help companies create more effective marketing strategies.

To make profit growth a priority, and a reality, in 2013, company executives can benefit from a clear understanding of effective marketing. Lisa Shepherd, author of Market Smart: How to Gain Customers and Increase Profits with B2B Marketing, and President of The Mezzanine Group, offers her advice and knowledge of the practical definition of marketing to help companies execute.

The question: “what is marketing?” Lisa Shepherd breaks it down into three fundamental parts:

Part One - Market Definition: a company’s decisions around which market are they going to pursue. And that means ‘who’s their target market?’ Are they going after a high end segment? Are they going after a cost-conscious segment? Are they going after a particular geography? It’s those decisions that are critical.

Part Two – Funnel Analogy: The funnel is a dated analogy, but everyone gets it, so it’s still a good analogy. Marketing is all of the stuff that happens to get things into the funnel. So it’s above the funnel, if you will, or at the top of the funnel. All those lead generation activities, going to trade shows, doing pay per click, sending out direct mail, whatever the tactics are, it’s all of that activity that gets leads into the sales process.

Part Three – Ongoing Initiatives: The third part of marketing is all of the activities that go virtually alongside the funnel, activities that support the business development process. For example, branding - having a strong brand really makes your sales process a lot more efficient because you’re not going to face the same kind of commodity challenges, or the same type of battle, over responding to an RFP. It’s also activities that help build client loyalty and retention, making sure that it's all current.

To sum up, here is Lisa Shepherd’s three-part definition of marketing:

•Defining the market you’re going to play in and the position you will take in the market (your marketing strategy)

•Getting leads into your funnel, or into your sales process (lead generation and brand building)

•And all of the support of the sales process in order to convert leads into revenues (sales support and client retention)

For more information on developing an effective B2B marketing strategy and tactical plan you can find a step-by-step easy to follow guide in Market Smart: How to Gain Customers and Increase Profits with B2B Marketing.

About Lisa Shepherd
Lisa Shepherd is the founder and president of The Mezzanine Group, a B2B strategy and marketing company based in Toronto, Canada. She has worked with over 200 companies to increase their profits through effective marketing, and has grown Mezzanine into a four-time winner of PROFIT’s Fastest Growing Company award. Lisa is a recognized expert on B2B strategy and marketing, and speaks and writes extensively on B2B growth. Her expertise has been featured in The Globe & Mail, PROFIT Magazine, 20/20 Magazine, The Toronto Star and The National Post.

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