We focus a lot on strategies, tools, and techniques in marketing. But, sometimes, what makes the biggest difference is not the details, it’s your mindset.

Many business owners, despite saying it’s important, have an ambivalent attitude towards marketing: It’s a “nice to have, but let’s not pour too much money into it” department or set of functions that basically boils down to advertising. That’s the exact wrong approach to marketing. Today’s environment just requires more. Increased competition, very specific customer demands, a host of DIY offerings, etc. require that all business owners, regardless of industry, move beyond the idea that marketing is just advertising or that it involves just one facet of their companies. To build and operate a truly successful business requires moving marketing from a “nice to have…” department to a number one priority. It’s what we call developing a marketing mindset, and it will help you and your customers.

Ambivalence around marketing reflects a fundamental misunderstanding of what marketing is. Yes, it has something to do with advertising. Yes, it has something to do with increasing sales and leads. Yes, it’s about improving relationships between customers and the brand. But, what’s intriguing about marketing is that it does all of these things and shares many of the responsibilities that other departments do, like customer service and sales. That’s the reason why it cannot operate in a bubble: it has to be integrated with everything else your company is doing because it operates across silos.

Fundamentally, a marketing mindset recognizes that marketing is not simply a cost or support function but rather a primary, revenue-generating function that drives the growth and strategic path of every company. Simply put, it means committing to support marketing as an integral function to your business — important, accountable, and measurable — not leaving it as a “nice to have” or “we’ll get to it someday” function.

When entrepreneurs ask me for marketing help, they usually want me to help with a tactic: a search engine marketing (SEM) campaign or basic lead capture.  That stuff is important, but focusing on tactics as the first, last, and only aspect of marketing is terribly inefficient. Developing an overall marketing mindset first that then guides activities is far more efficient.

Here are the questions to ask to ask when developing your marketing mindset:

  1. Do you have marketing metrics in place and do you track and review them on a regular basis?
  2. How well do you understand your customers and why they buy from you?
  3. Does your marketing and sales team communicate a consistent message?
  4. Are you willing to take calculated chances and risks in order to grow?
  5. Are you doing all you can to support your sales team?
  6. Do you have the right team in place?

You have a million marketing tools at your disposal. Don’t get caught up in which ones to choose until you’re in the right marketing mindset. We can help you get there.