Is Marketing A Science, or Art, or Perhaps A Bit of Both?


Marketing Isn't A Science?

The way you learn it in marketing school, marketing is a science. How could it not be, with all that jargon that puts everything into neat compartments? Unique Selling Proposition. Positioning. Niches. The four Ps. The Marketing Mix. All those rules of advertising and copywriting. Close fast and early.

So if marketing is a science, how come some people do it better than others?

Scientific method says, in essence, that if two researchers do the same experiment in the same way, they should get the same result. When that happens a couple of times, then the first person who did it is said to be scientifically correct. Does that happen in marketing?

Of course not.

But we all have the same tools. Market research. Public relations. Publications, such as brochures and newsletters. Seminars and speeches. Advertising. Direct mail and telemarketing. Even networking.

We all know the same things to do. Publicity. Newsletters and brochures. Niche marketing. Client surveys. And so on.

Yet, all results are not equal. Some firms emerge as giants, and others, including those that started in business at the same time as the giants, either go out of business or are still two-professional firms.

Why? What are the variables that make a difference in the same thing?

Or then, too, maybe marketing isn't a science. Maybe it's an art.

Maybe one firm, in looking at its markets and its market research, understands better what it sees than does its competitors. Maybe one firm, more than others, is better able to relate the needs of the marketplace to what it does in its own practice.

Or the public relations director of one firm is more imaginative than his or her colleagues in other firms, or better understands what the media want and the process of supplying that want, or is more truly conversant in the language of the firm's profession -- and so gets more publicity for his firm than his or her counterparts get for theirs.

Or the marketing director or partner of one firm has a broader view of potential markets than can be defined in simplistic niche marketing. Or one firm understands better than others how to use seminars more effectively as business tools. Or the partners of a firm are more organized in pursuing contacts with bankers or lawyers or accountants who are in a position to recommend business, and are better trained and enabled in converting prospects into clients.

Ah, that's the art of it. Not the jargon. Not the words.

True, even art has formal structures, and basics that must be learned. But in the final analysis, it's the art that wins, not the formal structure and the jargon.

If you want to succeed in marketing, then, don't hire the scientist. Hire the artist.

This article was reposted with permission from Bruce W. Marcos, via the Marcus Letter.

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