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If you are in marketing, as I have been for over a decade…I apologise for the following statement, but I believe it needs to be said.

Marketing is broken!

There, I’ve said it! Sorry if this has shocked you, or upset your values, but I am a huge believer in using common words to say uncommon things.

Here is the reason I believe it to be broken.

To many non-marketers, it is one of the most frustrating processes in business, and one of the most draining on time or funds. Am I right? As marketers, if we were honest we would probably agree that ironically most marketers can be terrible at marketing, the marketing discipline.

I believe marketing to be broke, as when most people hear the word ‘Marketing’ they think of adverts and campaigns. Most of those people outside of marketing see it as a dark art, where you must be a sorcerer to have success.

Yet great marketing is simple, and one statement tells you everything about what marketing is. 

‘Getting the right message to the right people at the right time’.

I promise you, it is that simple. 

And here is where the discrepancy lies. Where most people think marketing begins, is in fact just the activation stage. The Go To Market piece.  Facebook and Instagram Ads, Websites, or billboard campaigns, that is just all activation.

The most successful campaigns start well before the advertising or promotions that we see. They start by fully understanding the brand, product or service, in detail. Successful marketing is in building and understanding the right proposition. Understanding the right things to say, to the people you want to engage with, at a time that they want to hear it.

Great marketing is in understanding the proposition.

The proposition is the promise of the value to be delivered, communicated, and acknowledged. It is the value you provide your customer and can apply to an entire organisation, or parts thereof, i.e. products or services.

The act of successful marketing is in the proposition’s understanding. Knowing the proposition provides clarity, not just to you, but to your audience, internally and externally.

Over the past decade as a marketer, I have always focused my efforts on the proposition of marketing and this is why I have always had success. From a new product in consultancy gaining £350k of bookings in 10 days, to a £1m rebrand of an educational company. All my projects have followed the same simplistic process in focus on the proposition, not the activation methods. From the birth of brands, products or services, to the growth and to scaling of what you already do, use this framework and it will support your ambition:

  1. Purpose – Why, it is what you do. Knowing your purpose provides the narrative for your customer to engage. 
  2. People – Who is your target audience? Get specific. Who is your ideal client? What type of language do they use? 
  3. Position – Where do you stand in the market? And how will people find you and access your brand, product or service? Where do they go now? What pre-existing user journeys can capitalise on? 
  4. Proposition – What is the value you create. How does it reduce customers’ burdens? Who are your competitors?  
  5. Planning – How do you get everything ready for activation? What do you need to do to go live? 

Completing these 5 phases will help you understand your proposition and provide a better market activation. Although at first you may find it seems introverted to spend time on this rather than just creating and pushing advertorials or creating twitter cards, it defines the process of what you want to achieve and allows you to find the best ways to ‘market’ your wares.

To extract the most information for each phase, there are 4 plays per phase that I have designed over the past 12 years. You can find those plays in the Proposition Playbook which you can find here. And you can also get the tools I use to extract the information in the proposition Workbook

My Purpose is to show the genuine proposition of marketing. Helping people achieve the success they dream of.