Like copywriting, from the outside, marketing can seem obscure. Those who aren’t in the industry never quite see the bigger picture and, for this reason, we’re often confused with MadMen-style advertising people or seen as the arts and crafts division of the sales team.
But don’t worry. Team Articulate is here to demystify, illuminate and prove once and for all that marketing really does serve a purpose. So let’s dive straight in. Here’s a quick peek at what a marketer does and doesn’t do:
Although everyone claims to have a hazy idea of what marketing means, most of their assertions are false:
- We aren’t all door-to-door salespeople or cold callers. Yes, there are those in the industry who still make a living this way, but they’re not the majority. Today, marketing is all about the inbound methodology – pulling consumers towards a product or service rather than pushing it upon them.
- Marketing and advertising aren’t the same thing. While marketing can involve paid advertising campaigns such as PPC, we spend more time writing great content, shouting about it on social media and coming up with fresh ways to supply your customers with the information they need to make an informed purchase.
- Marketing isn’t a waste of time or money. You have to be a real cynic to believe marketing has no place in business. Those who fail to see ROI in their marketing campaigns simply aren’t going about things in the right way. Marketing takes dedication and direction and we ensure your business has bucketfuls of both.
Marketing guru, Seth Godin, summarises it all a little more poetically:
‘Our job is to make change. Our job is to connect to people, to interact with them in a way that leaves them better than we found them, more able to get where they’d like to go.’
See? We really are here to help.
So what does a marketer do?
Now that we’ve established that marketers aren’t here to force-feed your customers a sales pitch, let’s clarify what a marketer does on a day-to-day basis. Marketing covers a broad range of seemingly unrelated activities, but the magic of our job is knowing how they all fit into place.
Really, it all depends on which sector of marketing you find yourself in. At Articulate, we focus on digital marketing. Amongst other things we:
- Design and optimise websites
- Write engaging copy
- Improve SEO and lead capture
- Build audiences on social media
- Build email campaigns
- Perfect branding, tone of voice and personas
- Track and analyse website ROI and growth
- Run advertising campaigns (occasionally)
As you can see, there’s a lot more to marketing than clever wordplay and gimmicks. Our job is to discover which areas of your business are most attractive to potential customers. Think of us as digital matchmakers – we take all the natural beauty of your business, accentuate the best features, and connect you with like-minded prospects.
Of course, a lot of work goes into a marketing makeover behind the scenes. The internet is the world’s largest cocktail party and we want all the right people to see and hear from you. We achieve this by learning everything there is to know about your company. If we don’t understand the nuances of your business, neither will your audience.
We work for both client and customer
Traditional advertising campaigns no longer hold weight with a modern audience. It’s too interruptive to be helpful and too easy to ignore. Buyers place more trust in their own research as well as personal and online recommendations. Just think about how you make major decisions – like the vast majority of your customers, you do tons of research online before contacting a salesperson.
As marketers we’ve learned to adapt, dropping the murky façade and becoming open, transparent and eager to understand. At least, that’s the Articulate recipe for success. Marketers are the bridge between client and customer, which means we need to work for both in equal measure. We leave our egos at the door and focus on creating brands, content, and campaigns that inform and excite.
Inbound marketing is all about communicating benefits, not features. To be credible, we have to talk about people’s needs and problems in their own language, not bang on about our products using obscure jargon. This is the only way to nurture a life-long relationship between your business and its evangelists, and it's turning customers into evangelists which will grow your business. To paraphrase Brian Tracy, a leading motivational speaker:
'Successful people are always looking for opportunities to help others. Unsuccessful people are always asking, what’s in it for me?'
How does marketing work with sales?
Sales and marketing are two sides of the same coin - one fails without the other, and both are equally as important. As marketers, we're born to integrate with a sales team and help them turn warm leads into lifelong customers.
With this said, however, many businesses operate with an air of disconnect between their sales and marketing teams, and it's often the case that one department doesn't know what the other one is doing.
We call this poor business. At Articulate, our marketers are our sales team, and this complete merge between the two departments means that employees build relationships with leads long before they become customers. This way, everyone knows everything they need to about their prospects.
Creating a buzz around your business
At the risk of sounding like a WWF campaign poster, the world needs marketers. We’re pollinators, just like bees: we gather the best elements of your brand, sprinkle them where your customers hang out, and use our knowledge and experience to attract new business. You need us to help your business blossom, so, whatever you do, don’t let us die out.
[This content was updated in May 2019]