What Is Real Marketing?

Yesterday I said it was time to start talking about real marketing. You might ask “if you haven’t been doing real marketing, then just what are we talking about?” Good question; let’s get right into it.

telephone marketing
via Flickr

Real marketing is what real businesses do. It’s not just throwing up a website, optimizing it as good as you can, collecting email addresses and bombing people with sales messages, trying to get them to buy products that, for the most part, you didn’t create on your own and don’t have anything else to offer. I’m not dismissing that as a way to make money by the way, but it’s not marketing. It can lead up to marketing, but it’s not real marketing.

Real marketing is uncomfortable; there, I said it. Real marketing is picking up the phone and trying to get someone on the phone to even talk to you about the services or products you have to offer. Real marketing is writing marketing letters and sending them out to prospects, hoping that the people who receive them will open them up and even remember who you are 5 minutes later. Real marketing is going to networking events and trying to talk to people who could care less about you and what you have to offer because they’re trying to market themselves.

But that’s not all that real marketing is. Real marketing is also working the contacts you’ve met on social media platforms such as LinkedIn, which is supposed to be a business networking site after all. Real marketing is making connections with some of the people you meet on Twitter where they might have businesses that can benefit from what you have to offer, or at least might be able to make a connection for you.

These are the things that I need to start doing as much as anything I’ve done in the past. These are things I’m betting a lot of you probably need to start doing as well. To this end, last week I started working on one of the main real marketing things I absolutely hate doing, yet know I need to get it down, or at least get more comfortable with it.

That would be making phone calls. I hate the phone. I’ve hated the phone for years. I used to love the phone back in the days before we had things like robo-calling, telemarketing, and computers. Oh yeah, I remember the days when it cost people money to make phone calls so you didn’t have marketing by phone. Telemarketing; didn’t happen. Computers… nice diversion, that’s for sure. Once I had other things to do, I stopped enjoying the phone like I had before.

Also, marketing by phone can feel emasculating, like you don’t have any control at all. Even if your sales message is sound, you might not get the opportunity to use it. You may get voice mail; you might get blocked by a secretary. Or you might get someone who doesn’t want to be bothered by your sales call; who can’t identify with that?

Still, it has to be done by some of us. I know I need to work my way through it if I want to succeed. What’s success for me? It’s having the ability to buy whatever I want, when I want, where I want. It’s never having to worry about paying my bills again. I think that’s about it. I don’t want to be a millionaire; I want to be a ten-millionaire!

So, we do what it takes to get there. We all have to be willing to go that extra mile, that next step, to reach our dreams. Yes, I believe in the laws of attraction, but they don’t say to sit around doing nothing and have things come your way.

I ask you; what challenges do you have, if any, in making phone calls to hawk your wares or services? How do you hope to get beyond it, or if you’ve gotten beyond it, how did you do it?

28 thoughts on “What Is Real Marketing?”

  1. Bravo! You spoke for those of us who study and practice real marketing, the research, metrics, psychology, strategy and implementation of the art. So many think it’s easy, and I don’t know where that fallacy came from. Thank you for spelling it out. And readers, please know, just because you tweet and blog, it doesn’t mean you know marketing. It just means you tweet and blog, no more, no less.

    Thunderous round of applause from a real marketer!

    1. Thanks Kemya. I’m far from being a real marketer, but I do have what I hope is a real business. I’ve optimized and done everything possible with my social media exploits but even I have to recognize that for some of the business I do where people aren’t going to find me online, having to resort to the old fashioned method, as humbling as it can be sometimes, is unavoidable. Also, knowing that so many people quit their jobs to get into this type of thing encourages me to tell some truths. So, it should be a strange adventure as I push forward.

  2. Sooooo… marketing is when you get SERIOUS about running a business and are willing to actually put some work into getting people interested your product/service.

    I’m glad somebody finally said it. Knew we could count on you, Mitch.

    1. Thanks Allan. It’s going to be a journey that I hope takes me to where I’d like to be, and one that I’ll share here, along with my other stuff of course, because I want us all to be really successful.

  3. Marketing have many avenues, for sure it is not only websites, magazines, TV commercials, etc. Even uniform and office stationary is a kind of marketing, or stickers over car. Of course cold calls also may work for some businesses. There are many challenges and for sure business start ups doesn’t know which form of marketing will works best, so I think everything should be tried and closely monitored, to be able to determine what really works.

    1. Exactly Carl. Just asking, but with all the companies you represent what has been the mode of communication that got you in touch with the majority of them?

      1. In my experience pretty much depends on the niche, but mostly communication is by email or phone call. Currently I see a trend that many companies implement “live support” chat on websites as usually customers want quick answer.

  4. A really nice professional guide on real marketing.. I enjoyed going through this post.. Everything in the post was interesting about getting serious in a business and popularizing the product.. Thanks for sharing. 🙂

  5. Reading your post brought to mind the need to distinguish between “marketing” and “sales”. It is important to understand how these two relate.

    Marketing activities are “wrapped around sales activity.” Marketing is used to identify the customer, satisfy the customer, and keep the customer. On the front end, marketing identifies prospects, presents the value proposition, and qualifies prospects. Following the sale, marketing activity is all about customer satisfaction and retention.

    Sales activity is all about closing the deal. Often in cold calls, the marketer will start the “sales pitch” before the prospect is qualified. This will end the dialog without necessary qualifying feedback. Worse, it can lead to inappropriate conclusions about why sales are unsuccessful.

    Real marketing is mostly data gathering and metrics developed around a value proposition (advertising). It is boring detailed analysis (for online marketers, think about the details you get from Google analytics), but provides a business owner with clear demographic information that raises the odds of closing sales.

    The purpose of effective marketing is to help target “sales activity” to more qualified prospects.

    1. I’m glad you felt the need Roger because I wasn’t going to bother. lol I see it very similar to what you’ve said here except for one thing. I believe that the sales call process is still marketing because until that call is made, especially in some fields, you’re not really sure who or what you’re going to deal with on the other end. You really can’t sell anyone anything if you can’t talk to them, and leaving a message is more marketing than sales because you’re certainly not telling someone “I have this pump I want to sell to you” in a message, but you are saying “Hi, I’m ______ at _______ and we do ________ and I’d love to have the opportunity to talk to you.”

      Now, when you get your opportunity to actually talk about something, that’s when sales kicks in, at least in my mind. So, I do differentiate the two, and I wasn’t ready to discuss how to close sales or anything like that. To me, it’s more important for most everyone to get someone else’s attention first, and to me, that’s all marketing.

      Good stuff; you’ll help get people thinking about it.

    1. I’ll give you that Charlesetta, but I think marketing is about getting noticed, because without that there will be no relationships. It’s also about guts, and sometimes I don’t feel I have enough of that.

  6. Real marketing is definately an art – I would consider telephone marketing more to be direct marketing, similar to door to door selling which depending on your target segment is very difficult and annoying for many.

    Ive had extensive experience of that in another business I used to run with vending machines – yukkk! Never again.

    I prefer to consider marketing an art – you make the right messages which reach the right audience and turn yourself into the ‘go to’ person for that sector or niche.

    Whether its online or offline doesn’t matter – if you use captivating adverts and behave in the right way with newsletters/events then you are positioning yourself as the ‘go to person’ – so marketing is a combination of process, message and implementation by whatever vehicle you choose – the art is in the composition of the message and not many do it that well, including myself I hasten to add.

    They do say the weaker the product the stronger the marketing campaign has to be – go figure..

    1. “The weaker the product the stronger the marketing campaign has to be;” have to admit I’ve never heard that before Peter but there’s probably some truth in that.

      Actually, advertisements don’t work in every industry. Health care, for instance, doesn’t use any of that stuff for general purposes. For pharmaceuticals possibly, maybe even supplies, but for everything else you’ll find that there’s a blind eye to almost all of it, some because there’s someone between the decision maker and the advertiser filtering the message, some because every day working in a hospital is a day of fighting fires, and when you’re fire fighting you don’t stop to take time to look at anything that doesn’t specifically pertain to your immediate needs.

      Outside of health care, since I do other things… it’s possible that finding that right ad can generate at least some interest, get people remembering who you are. But it can also be expensive and scary in its own right.

  7. Cold-calling has to be a state of mind. It takes a certain personality to treat every phone call like it’s your first.
    Personally, I’d stay away from sales only coz I’m not cut out for that. LinkedIn, meeting people in events, twitter, etc…would be more of my kind of marketing my business 🙂

    1. Alicia, I’m not cut out for it either, but these days I’m trying to accelerate my income and this seems to be the main way to try to get there.

  8. If that’s real marketing it’s no wonder I suck at it Mitch. 😀

    As far as phone calls go, I’m not one to use the phone to promote myself or anything like that. For me the phone is for knocking back people who call me trying to sell me something 😉

    1. I figured as much Sire, but if you had a business that offered services more than product it suddenly becomes a necessary evil. I certainly don’t like it one bit.

  9. Hi Mitch,
    I am happy to visit your website and your post is very informative.You well explained what is real marketing.Real marketing is a bit uncomfortable but more attractive.

  10. Hi Mitch,
    I think real marketing is the real business.In present world we can achieve alot from real marketing.You well explained real marketing and I gain alot of good information from this post.

  11. Somebody brought up live chat that people now have on some of the websites in order to provide better and faster service. I guess that’s as close as it gets to the old marketing (or real as you call it and I agree) nowadays.

    1. I’m not so sure Bella. If one could reach people via live chat that would be one thing, but I doubt anyone wants to be contacted and immediately be on someone else’s video; I certainly don’t. But it’s not a bad way to communicate with someone once you’ve established a relationship; that’s what I’m working on.

  12. It is never fun to have to make telephone calls, at least I don’t think so. I have done it many times because it can be a very effective tool.

    Once you get by the gatekeeper and reach someone with authority you often have a better chance of convincing them than if you used other tools.

    But you have to learn how to keep dialing and not be knocked down by the rejection that comes with it.

    1. Jack, one thing I’ve learned is to ask for the extension of the person I want to talk to first. That’s actually confirming that I have the person’s name correct, since hospitals change this position often, and gives me a beat before getting to whomever I get, which is often the gatekeeper. Asking them their name helps sometimes as well. But I do still work on that rejection thing.

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