Marketing is not an act, it's a habit
Since graduating in media and specialising in marketing, I have attended a few interviews with SMMEs, not finding what promises to please me both professionally and personally.
There is an assumption that marketing is about creating one project that will immediately increase the company's profits. Having this idea in the 20th and 19th century would possibly not have been far out as competition among businesses was not as vigorous as it is today. The business landscape has evolved over time and so too have marketers.
Today, however, marketing cannot only be an advert, nor can it just be a single PR project. It definitely cannot just be the SMS competition that you heard on the radio earlier this morning, nor is it your sales team doing their fieldwork on a particular day. Marketing is the thread that sows all of these different fabrics together in a way that speaks one message to the consumer repeatedly, on radio, television, magazines, Facebook, twitter and even on more direct means of messaging (i.e. SMS, MMS, direct mail etc). All such contrivances are used strategically in a quest to be a top-of-mind brand to the company's target audience - this means being the preferred product to purchase for product sellers and the preferred service to render for service providers. The key is in creatively using a variety of media to send one message or idea.
Decades of effort pay off
In the premium motor industry, BMW means power and precision, which is why even the advertisements of the so recently launched M4 (one with the machine) are in line with this. Due to such branding and marketing, it is no surprise that in the United States the sales of the brand exceed those of its closest competitors - Audi and Mercedes-Benz.
It took BMW AG almost 100 years (since 1916) of marketing and branding efforts, from W.O.M. marketing in earlier days to recent complex marketing strategies that make the brand known even to my 10-year-old little sister. It is without any doubt that the brand has become a top-of-mind premium car brand to millions of people around the world. It is their well crafted, continuous, and consistent marketing efforts that make one wonder why so many people still do not know that the high-end Rolls-Royce brand has been under ownership of BMW AG since 2003.
It is, needless to say, that the company has managed to turn its fans into customers and its customers into fans. So the next time you think marketing is a single overnight project; think consistency, think brand cohesion.
About Mbongeleni Hlomuka
Mbongeleni B. Hlomuka is a marketing specialist who offers an extra-mile approach to branding. He completed a three-year media diploma specialising in marketing and is now a freelance marketer. Available on: http://mbongelenihlomuka.wix.com/online-resume