The definition of Marketing, provided by the American Marketing Association via Wikipedia is “Marketing is the activity,set of institutions,and processes for creating, communicating,delivering and exchanging offerings that have value for customers,clients,partners and society at large”.
Let us look at the components of this definition to better understand Marketing and what it means to professional practices.
First it is an activity,a set of institutions and processes. It is a system that we use to put institutions and processes in place.Much like a surgeon has a set way of having his instruments laid out for an operation ,marketing is an activity provides a plan and for our efforts to tell people who we are, what we do, and how we can help them with whatever their needs and problems are. In order to be able to do this we need to design processes in our practices that build this foundation. This is done in a general way and a more specific way.
In a general way we do advertising and promotion in a variety of ways. We may write articles of interest to the public at large on our specific practice, such as dentistry,psychology, audiology or many other professional practices. We may buy advertising in local publications, do direct mail promotions, and a variety of other forms of promotion.
In a specific way the quality of our practice development and our client experiences is another specific and very effective tool. The very best marketing source is referrals from other happy clients. These are the most heartfelt and genuine items ,based on our interactions with current and future clients.They also demonstrate our ability to communicate, deliver and exchange value with our client base.
As a system Marketing has two major components: Strategy and Tactics which support the strategic plan we lay out. And it is so important that we understand our strategy, why we are doing things a certain way, and how we can execute the plan .
In order to market our practices we must develop a strategy that includes all of the items in the definition above and provides the results to ourselves, our clients and society at large. That in essence is what the purpose of Marketing is.