NZIM The Daily Drucker: From Selling to Marketing

Despite the emphasis on marketing and the marketing approach, marketing is still rhetoric rather than reality in far too many businesses. “Consumerism” proves this. For what consumerism demands of business is that it actually market. It demands that business start out with the needs, the realities, the values of the customer. It demands that business defines its goal as the satisfaction of customer needs. It demands that business base its reward on its contribution to the customer. That after years of marketing rhetoric consumerism could become powerful popular movement proves that not much marketing has been practised. Consumerism is the “shame of marketing”. Indeed, selling and marketing are antithetical rather than synonymous or even complementary.
There will always, one can assume, be need for some selling. But the aim of marketing is to make selling superfluous. The aim of marketing is to know and understand the customer so well that the product or service fits her and sells itself. Ideally, marketing should result in customer who is ready to buy. We may be long way from this ideal. But consumerism is clear indication that the right motto for business management should increasingly be, “From selling to marketing”.

Action Point: Are your institution’s products and services meeting the actual needs of your customers? If not, does this explain your marketing difficulties?

• Extracted from Peter Drucker’s book The Daily Drucker published in 2004.

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