The Tao of Marketing, Part II: Three Business Philosophies
February 25, 2015
This is Part II of Van West Media’s series of blog posts “The Tao of Marketing.” If you’re just joining us, be sure to start with Part I.
I’d like to discuss three business philosophies– three possible attitudes to a customer, three mental priorities that directly impact the success (or failure) of a business enterprise.
These three attitudes or priorities are production, sales, and marketing. To the degree to which your business is production – or sales-oriented, it’s forfeiting on the marketing, and as mentioned in Part I, lack of a properly focused marketing effort is what undermines the best effort of business owners and managers to keep their ventures successful.
Even though most businesses would insist that they are marketing-oriented, it’s usually not the case.
First, let’s take a look at production-focused business. It’s a noble business paradigm, inherited from small crafts shop of the XVIIIth and XIXth centuries. Production philosophy prides itself in putting quality first: “build the best product possible, and the customer will come.”
For example: If Van West Media was a production-oriented agency (we could be because we do strive to achieve the highest attainable quality of all our products and services), we would simply focus on making great websites and web applications (and possibly on creating great online content). We wouldn’t care much about promoting ourselves – and I wouldn’t be writing this blog post. The quality of our work would speak for itself, and we’d be famous for it.
Production-type of businesses don’t care if the customer says, “no,” because the product is so good that another customer will step in and buy it.
It’s an interesting approach, but not for the modern age. It lacks the essential part of any healthy system: fast feedback. In our overpopulated world, there is abundance of competition. Superior quality is not recognized until after it has been experienced for a prolonged period of time. By the time the customer begins to think warmly of the high-quality product or service he purchased from the production-oriented company and is ready to buy again, that company is out of business, and the former owner now works for his competitor, who delivers at a lower quality, but knows how to sell.
This brings us to the second possible attitude: focus on sales.
Whoever came up with this first, had the right idea: a customer has many products or services to choose from, and the final choice and commitment to make a purchase is typically emotional rather than rational. If we can influence the emotions of a prospective buyer, we can trigger a “buying reflex” with sheer emotional persuasion and make profit. Sales orientation is all about overcoming the customer’s inherent resistance to buy a product while motivating the customer to say “yes”… even if he doesn’t really need the product.
A sales-oriented business relies on a strong sales team, thus building and maintaining such a team becomes the business’ top priority. This is really effective. Classic, old-school advertising is all based on this, and so is telemarketing. Selling is a difficult and noble art. Selling makes the world go round. Progress would stop without sales. So as soon as you feel the impulse to hire Van West Media – ACT ON IT. Hire Van West Media to make all your online dreams COME TRUE .
(That’s me selling you the sales attitude. Notice I’m not appealing to your rational left-brain hemisphere, but creating an emotional response in the right one – I even go as far as resorting the the most vicious sales tactic: humor. That is really a punch below the belt.)
Seriously though, you should make Van West Media your sole web services provider, because when Van West Media works for you, you’re a superstar. (That was a double-punch combo. Learned it from Jordan Belfort.)
And before I wrap this up, our sales techniques certainly works for us, so when you hire us, we’ll make these techniques work for you, too. We’ll make you rich, and you’ll move to the South of France. That’s it. Hire us.
Okay, enough of that.
There is something not quite right with the aforementioned sales model. It’s archaic and not sustainable for long-term strategy. Sure, the customer made a buy, but they will have buyer’s remorse, and many customers will never be back again.
Now, let’s take a look at the third, most promising attitude a business can have toward a customer: marketing approach.
Some time ago I had the privilege to collaborate with a skilled, mid-level entrepreneur (I’ll refer to him here as Mr. Miyagi – not his real name). Mr. Miyagi loved to ask everyone who worked for him the same question: “Who’s your boss? Who pays your salary?” A rookie employee would answer, “Well… why – you, Mr. Miyagi!” – to which Mr. Miyagi chuckled and replied, “No, not me. I’m just managing the cash flow. The customer is your boss who pays your salary. Make the customer happy.”
That is marketing philosophy in a nutshell.
Satisfaction of customers’ needs and wants is the priority and the rationale for everything a marketing-oriented company does.
For example, as I mentioned in the first blog post from this series, Van West Media prides itself on being a marketing-oriented shop. We find our clients through focused marketing efforts, serve as our clients’ go-to people, and craft marketing campaigns and ongoing strategies for our clients that bring them new customers and help fulfill their customer needs. To be effective, we must understand not only the needs of our customers, but the in-depth needs of our customers’ customers.
Marketing is the healthiest business philosophy and the Golden Rule in business. The goal is to epitomize value and quality in the eyes of customers.
Marketing integrates and absorbs both production and sales-oriented approaches, assigning them to their proper places in strategic hierarchy. Quality – the key concept of production philosophy – is defined as something that helps our clients serve their clients in the most successful and effective manner. We implement effective online sales techniques for our clients to help them gauge their customers’ needs, and sell products and services that truly satisfy.
We rely on our clients’ feedback to give them high-quality websites and web applications, mobile apps – or our ultimate service: an overall digital marketing strategy that elevates their businesses above others in their field.
Here’s the marketing model:
1. Identify needs and wants of the target markets, chosen based on our resources and speculated ability to satisfy these needs and wants (adjust the choice as needed).
2. Focus the research, production, and sales effort on certain segments of the target market (satisfying not all, but the most important selected needs and wants).
3. Create products and services of value that meet prospective customers’ needs, test them and modify, if necessary.
4. Succeed in business though customer satisfaction, and request customer feedback.
5. Repeat as many times as possible, widening (or in some cases, tightening) the scope.
Ready to take advantage of skilled, talented, result-oriented marketing experts of Van West Media? Let us know how we can help!
Stand by for The Tao of Marketing, Part III: The Battle for Marketing… coming soon!