Tiffany Quinn and her German Shepherd dog in the kitchen, working from home, writing her blog about marketing

The Fluffy Stuff

“The only purpose of marketing is to generate leads and opportunities.”

Honestly, if I had a fiver for every time somebody referred to marketing as ‘the fluffy stuff’ over the last few years I’d have the price of a new Stella McCartney bag.  I really want to understand what this means for me as a marketing person in business for myself. So, I thought, if something is fluffy, it’s soft, nice to touch, cute, like a kitten maybe or a cushion. It’s tactile – a sensory experience. It’s the opposite of necessary, it’s an optional extra, it’s ‘a nice to have’. So I’ve been trying to get some facts around why people think marketing is fluffy:

People who say this are experts in another area, not in marketing. Despite their high level of qualification and experience in a different field, they don’t know what they don’t know.

People who say this believe that marketing is just a fancy/expensive word for ‘getting the word out’. As ‘getting the word out’ is not measurable, it’s ‘fluffy’.

They think that marketing is about creating a ‘feel good factor’ which is of course entirely qualitative, ergo ‘fluffy’.

Similarly ‘increasing presence’ – unquantifiable and therefore ‘fluffy’. You get the picture.

People who say this often are only cognisant of one element of the marketing system. So when they think of marketing they think of, say, nice graphics, or print adverts, or Kim Kardashian’s bum on Instagram. They don’t know that marketing is a process, a system, a confluence of strategic activities that converge to achieve one goal.

People who say this don’t know what that ‘one goal’ is.

The only goal – I’ll repeat that – the ONLY goal of marketing is to generate opportunities that can then be nurtured along a sales journey. Generating opportunities for the organisation is so concrete, so measurable, so necessary – it’s the polar opposite of fluffy. If the marketing activities are not generating their own metrics and being continually audited for their value, it can be very difficult for marketing teams to hold their heads up high and justify their existence. 

If you want to know more about measurable marketing – activities that that can be assessed in terms of Return On Investment – drop me a note

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