“Marketing is anything that helps or hinders sales or use of products and services.”

These words are from Terri Langhans, whom I heard speak at an ASAE conference a while back. This is her definition of what “marketing” is, and I think it’s dead on.

Marketing is not a function limited to the marketing department, the membership department, or some marketing program. Marketing is everything we do as an organization that helps or hinders our members and customers. Where does this apply? Everywhere. Some simple examples:

  • Does your online presence help or hinder sales or use of products? Is it easy, difficult, or impossible for your members and customers to join, renew, register for events, and buy products from you?
  • When someone calls your organization, are they serviced quickly and appropriately by pleasant staff? Or are they passed off with “I don’t handle those questions, you’ll have to contact another department”?
  • Does your database and your data help you to better serve your customers, and better communicate with them? Or does it get in the way of providing outstanding service?

Simply, marketing is everything you do. So you need to be sure you’ve got systems and processes in place to manage all of these “touchpoints.”

So how are you and your organization doing with your “marketing”?