I majored in Marketing in college and never took one advertising class. Then I worked in sales for over 15 years and never reported to anyone in the Marketing Department. And no on in the Marketing Department ever closed a deal.
Many business owners think you have to be creative to work in Marketing. Interestingly, the highest percentage of my Marketing college courses were based in statistical analysis with considerable quantitative measurements (i.e. lots of math!).
After 20+ years of working in what most people would call "Marketing" I can tell you what marketing is not:
- Marketing is not sales calls. The objective of a sales call is to convince a buyer to give you money for what you provide. Marketing is what supports you on your call - brochures, name recognition and a decent product or service to sell.
- Marketing is not free stuff with your logo on it. Promotional products provide name recognition, are fun to hand out and everyone is glad to take them from you - this doesn't mean they like your product or that they will ever buy anything from you.
- Marketing is not a project you finish. It's a long term, systematic, intentional effort. Don't confuse true marketing with short-term campaigns that focus on certain product offerings.
- Marketing is not just for creative types. Consistency is more important than creativity in marketing.
- Marketing is not what you do when you aren't busy. I've heard business owners say that they never have time to do "marketing" and that they will start doing it when business slows down. This is precisely the wrong time because marketing is a long-term process. If marketing is done correctly and consistently, you can prevent the peaks and valleys in your business cycle.