I recently sat with a client to review their 2011 marketing plans. I heard a lot about print, a lot about social, a lot about outdoor and event marketing. All of what I heard was marketing, surely, but with one goal - demand fulfillment. The assumption: there is an audience our there that already demands our product - we merely need to remind them that we exist. Never forget, however, that marketing is more than just demand fulfillment - it's demand recognition, and demand creation as well. It's the theory of the firm, as I like to say. If you have not recognized a demand for your product, then you either have to create that demand, or recognize another need/pain/pleasure point you can address. Expending energy fulfilling a demand that does not (and potentially cannot) exist, isn't marketing - it's merely shoveling messages into a funnel. Some of them will trickle down to the right people, and fool you into thinking your marketing was successful.
What if your funnel were moved, however? Do you have the processes, the strategy and the vision in place to recognize that the funnel you thought was over here, is now over there? That is the tricky bit. Economies turn alternately sweet and sour. Employment fluctuates. Demand, however, never goes away. It just dresses in different clothes.
I hope you are in great demand in 2011. All the best, and thank you for reading.