Last year I started writing about the concept that everything is marketing now. I even wrote a poem about it. As I’ve been hinging out of social media work and into the broader scope of marketing, I have realized one thing: we must expand our definition of marketing. That’s the only way you’re going to make it.

Marketing is no longer merely a series of tactics. It’s no longer a department for a few employees. It’s no longer the responsibility of a handful of people who have “marketing” on their business cards. It’s for everyone in your company because everything your company does tells a story.

Stories We Tell

For instance: if your customer service reps can’t resolve a simple issue because it’s against policy, you are telling the customer that your policy is more important than their business. Is that a story you want to tell?

If you sell a high quality product but the packaging looks terrible and cheap because you hired someone who was cheap (and terrible) to design it, you’re telling every buyer that you’re willing to cut corners for the sake of saving some money. Is that a story you want to tell?

Have you considered the stories your company tells in the multitude of areas that fall outside the jurisdiction of your marketing department?

These Stories Matter

You may be tempted to say that these seemingly non-marketing stories don’t matter much. You might be inclined to think most people don’t think like this and those who do are too picky or too snooty or expect too much from you. And perhaps they do, but these people also have power. Your customer has more power than she’s ever had. Not all of them of course, but plenty of do…and what makes it more interesting (or scary depending on your perspective) is that you can’t tell who does and who doesn’t have very easily.

The power comes from the reach of their relationships. You should assume that there are no one-on-one interactions with customers anymore. Everything has the potential to be shared. Assume it will be. It will save you some headaches and you may even decide (as I hope you will) that it’s an opportunity waiting on you.

It will also change the way you work because you’ll realize that everything your company does has a marketing implication from the way you develop your products and the experience your service provides to the way you treat your employees. The world is smaller now. It’s time to expand your definition of marketing.

7 Factors For Expanding Your Definition of Marketing

In the coming weeks I’m going to be unpacking this idea. There are seven elements that go into understanding that everything is marketing now. Here are the categories:

  1. Customers
  2. Employees
  3. Products/Services
  4. Experiences
  5. Interactions
  6. Insights
  7. Tactics

With a proper perspective of these seven categories, you will expand your definition of marketing and see where adjustments need to be made within the things you call marketing now and all the areas you probably don’t call marketing currently. It will change your marketing. It will change your business. It will be good.

Photo credit: “a new life” by Paul Moody via Flickr. Creative Commons license.