It is surprising how much of the business world is about marketing.

To prove my point, I went to the websites of some of the top consulting companies and looked at what they are writing about. Here’s a sample:

On the Bain & Company website, they feature nine articles, of which three are marketing related:

  • Secrets of marketing leaders (Infographic)

  • The Math, the Magic and the Customer

  • Loyalty insights

On the McKinsey website, they feature three trending topics, one of which is “The new consumer” – an entire section on how consumer shopping trends are changing.

Accenture , on its homepage, has four “feature” sections, two of which are about digital marketing topics:

  • “Winning hearts, minds and wallets with digital trust” – an article about customer relations.

  • “Screenager ++” – an article about how digital consumers use multiple mobile devices.

So clearly marketing is a major topic of interest for big companies. But why do so many small companies neglect marketing? Is marketing only relevant to big companies?

I don’t believe so.

Whenever you have a business that sells something to a customer, you need to think marketing. You can’t go straight from producing, to selling. There is always a step in-between.

The real issue why small companies neglect their marketing is because it is a choice. Think about it: you don’t really choose whether you want a bookkeeper, or an auditor, or a salesperson, or an ops manager. These functions happen automatically if you run a company. The choice is largely made for you.

Not so with marketing. Initially you don’t have to formally engage it, partly because it happens on its own, through that magical thing called “word-of mouth”. But it is not a long term solution to leave your customer relations in the hands of others.

Fact is, the very best small companies – the ones showing strong, sustainable growth – move beyond a pure focus on operations (an internal focus) to an external focus on the customer, through marketing. For these small companies marketing becomes a form of management. Not that different from how big companies think!

Make a choice. Do marketing.

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