Marketing is vital to the success of your business, especially in an economic downturn. Even if your product or service is the absolute best in the world, few will buy it without marketing.

I was visiting with a client of mine and he said “how come there are so many people out there who know less than I do and yet their businesses are more successful?” It’s because those successful few know how to take any product or service and reach prospects better than others. They understand marketing.

Let’s face it, over the last few years, until this economic downturn, most businesses did no marketing. The average small business succeeded despite themselves. They were order takers. Their marketing plan was no more organized than someone with a blindfold on throwing darts at a target they couldn’t see. Let’s look at two definitions of marketing.

What marketing is NOT:

Marketing isn’t name recognition or brand awareness. It isn’t getting your name in front of thousands of people. It isn’t creating an image that you or your product are the best. It isn’t going to network meetings and social events to meet prospects. It isn’t putting an advertisement in the local paper. It’s not going golfing or taking others to lunch. It’s not having a website, a cool business card, or really nice brochures.

Yes, but those are the things that many believe are marketing. Trouble is, none of those things are really very effective. Let’s look at a new definition of marketing and begin to understand what it really is.

What marketing IS:

Joe Polish defines marketing as a “diversified group of systems that automatically deliver ideal prospects” to your business, and he’s right. These ideal prospects are people who are showing up already interested and motivated to do business with you. They are qualified prospects who WANT to do business with you. That’s the kind of prospects we want. But the key here is to have the diversified group of systems that bring them in with little work or selling on your part.

When you look at the definition of what marketing is not, you see many of those activities take your time and involvement. Wouldn’t you rather have a set of systems in place that market your business with as little of your time as possible and bring in those qualified prospects who are predisposed to buy from you?

In the next few posts I’ll walk you through some of those systems and help you understand how to do real marketing. It will energize your small business and bring you real success.


by Steven Schlagel