I here people talk disparagingly about people telling you anything you want to hear to get you to buy. I think these people are not marketers, they are hawkers.
I understand why there is confusion, too. People don't generally have a good understanding of marketing. They know they need something that looks like marketing but they just don't seem to fully understand what that is or how to go about creating it.
I cannot count the number of books there are about how to write a marketing plan. The Google Search acid test reveals 29.4 million possibilities. Most are checklists and step-by-step templates. Hey, I'm in the same boat. I have a bunch of these books lining my library, most from my early years. I'd like the easy way to the gold, too!
The trouble is. every time I tried to follow the template I wound up defaulting to a proxy for a plan, not the plan for my product or service. What I mean is that when we start to do the paint-by-number approach we soon jump to some clever thing someone else is doing and then adopt that as our plan. "Hey Zappo's is cutting a fat hog selling shoes on the web, let's sell our water pumps there, too!" Okay, maybe not that crazy, but the point is, we often want to adopt the tactics of some successful firm with the hope it will work well for us. Think: GOT MILK? How many times was that copied? Got Beer? Got Religion? Got Junk?
Having taught Marketing Management at four different universities to nearly a thousand students. and having led scores of clients through the process, I believe marketing is a competency, not a plan. If a firm truly wants to create sustainable competitive advantage then it ought to build that competency into the members of the firm ... all of them ... because marketing must involve everyone.
I post this because I just put up a video describing an 8-week course to become marketing competent. I am eager to get under way with my MBA students in another month. I am truly convinced firms who adopt a marketing mindset win and win big!
If you want to see the Road Nao video for the course, go to LEARNING TOOL BOX at the this page. Good marketing to you!