Marketing is Everything

Marketing Is Everything and Everything Is Marketing

Regis McKenna 1991.

That quote was about the changes in technology in the early nineties that meant that you could reach more of your audience in increasingly different ways.

That’s never been truer now, this is what I call the paradox of marketing.

It has never been easier to reach your customers, however, but so can everybody else, this means your message has to stand out.

I often say that marketing is about getting customers to know you, to like you, and then to trust you on their sales journey.

What is Marketing?

There are many definitions of marketing, but one that I like is ‘marketing is the wide range of activities that ensures that you continue to meet the needs of your customers’.

However, that isn’t what most people think marketing is.

If you ask most small business owners about marketing, they say marketing is ads, and promotions then they start the struggle, they might use the terms publicity or public relations, but they do not have a clear definition of what marketing is.

What most people consider to be marketing is purely the outbound aspect of marketing, which is your advertisements, your promotions, any publicity that you may gain and any public relations exercises that you’re doing, but outbound marketing should also include sales.

Inbound marketing is an area of marketing that is often missed completely by small businesses.

When I have had conversations with garage owners, it is obvious that as a sector we are not as strong on market research, positioning of the product or price.

Market Research

Market research is vital because if you go back to the definition of marketing; a wide range of activities to ensure you continue to meet the meet needs of your customers, how do you know the needs of your customers if you haven’t conducted your market research?

Who are your customers?

Market research should include:

  1. Finding out who your ideal customer is
  2. Your ideal customer’s needs (their problems)

Part of your inbound marketing activities is designing solutions that meet the needs of your ideal customer. (We tend to think, it’s obvious).

They need some form of garage service. (Not servicing the car, but one of the garage services you offer)

What market research do you need to do if they just need a MOT?

But there are different types of customers who are willing to travel further for a specialised service.

Are you attracting them?

Although the MOT is a necessary service that you provide, those customers that seek you out as a specialist and not a generalist perceive it differently.

Are your customers anybody in need of an MOT?

It is important to know who your customer is, and who is your ideal customer, and then look at ways of designing solutions that meet their specific needs.

The positioning of your product, are you a generalist or a specialist?

If you are a specialist, you are probably going to position your product towards a more specialist audience. Therefore, you can attract a higher price.

Whereas if you’re a generalist, it tends to be who’s the cheapest, or nearest.

Those two things are more important, the more generalist you are.

The harder it is to compete, or to raise your prices because there’s always someone willing to be cheaper and someone nearer.

There’s got to be the cheapest Garage in every town. There’s only one cheapest garage, but someone also has to be the most expensive.

Which one do you want to be? Or do you want to be somewhere comfortably in the middle? It’s your choice, but it is all about your market research.

The Marketing Mix

The four P’s of the marketing mix

Position (Place)

Your marketing should consider your product, your position, your price, and how you are going to promote it.

If marketing is everything and everything is marketing, we should always be marketing.
Everything we do is marketing.
The idea of this training topic is to be more considered when we do any marketing activity.

If we are always marketing, how does that work?

Customer Engagement is Key

When we engage with customers there are four things we must always do:

  1. Listen
  2. Communicate effectively
  3. Be Purposeful
  4. Be Agile


The first one is probably the most important.

We should always be listening to our customers because the easiest way to find out the needs of our customers is to listen to them and to speak to them.

You could carry out surveys, but they are expensive and biased.

We meet our customers almost every day. 

So why don’t we listen to what they’re saying and find out what their needs are?

If they have a problem and we can design a solution that meets that need for that customer, we’d be foolish not to act on it.

We may not act on every problem and every solution, but if we start to spot a trend locally or even larger nationally, that our customers are communicating to us because we are listening because we are receptive to these ideas.

We are doing market research, inbound market research on our customers simply by listening to them, sounds obvious, but are we collating that information, are we analysing the data?

Communicate Effectively

We should always be communicating our solutions to our customers.

How do they know what our services are? If we don’t tell them?

Garages are probably one of the worst business sectors for advertising and communicating with customers. Even if we are paying for ads on social media, garage businesses, tend to list their services.

Spending ££££’s on the various social media platforms, telling customers we are a garage and we do garage stuff. Great.

But it probably isn’t helping.

It would be much better to be communicating our solutions to our customers with a story.

The key is consistency.

When we realise a customer has a specific problem, we shouldn’t be afraid to tell them we have a solution, it’s not a hard sell.

We are just informing our customers. That we have a solution for that specific problem and asking if they would like us to do it for them.


There’s no point in marketing for marketing’s sake.

There’s no point trying to generate publicity just for the sake of it.

Though, I’d argue. There’s no such thing as bad publicity.

What we should be is purposeful. What is the desired outcome of that marketing activity?

It sounds a little bit complicated, but it isn’t.

If you have a Facebook post, there must be a call to action against it.

What is the call to action going to result in?

Where does that customer end up having read your great story?

Are they going to end up on a Landing page on your website?

Or calling you?

We must be purposeful in our marketing message.

We must know what the intended outcome of that marketing is.

That can be more sales. It can be increased awareness.

There is nothing better for increasing engagement on social media than a picture of the garage dog.


We must always be listening. We must always be communicating.

We must always be purposeful, and we must always be agile.

We must be agile to respond to the needs of our customers by designing and communicating the solutions that we have for those customers.

We must be agile enough to respond to what is working and respond to what isn’t working.

There is no point throwing good money after bad on advertising campaigns or promotional material that offers little or no return on the investment, in both time and money.

You must have a marketing campaign, for the marketing to be purposeful.

You must measure the effectiveness of your marketing, then you must always be agile enough to react to what works and what doesn’t.


Remember, marketing is not just outbound, the ads, the promotions, the publicity, the public relations, and the sales.

Only 25% (Promotion) is outbound.

The other 75% of the marketing mix is inbound marketing.

Do your market research, so that you know your product, your positioning, and your price.

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