A lot of brands are confused when it comes to marketing.

Marketing is simply persuading someone to take action. And, it can take on a wide variety of forms.

It’s not just paid advertising.

In fact, paid advertising should maybe be the last thing you do to promote your brand after you exhaust the use of every free marketing tool available to you.

We marketers are lucky because advertising is just one of the many arrows in our quiver.

If you’re smiling, clearly and kindly talking, actively listening and helpful when you’re answering a customer call you’re marketing.

Blogging is marketing. Writing copy and adding a picture to your post on your Website is marketing. Completing your LinkedIn profile is marketing. Creating a super product or service that fulfills a need is marketing (often the best form of marketing).

When you asked someone out for a date or to marry you, you’re marketing.

If your 16 year old kid is asking you for the keys to your car, s/he’s marketing.

We’re all marketers and in marketing to some degree whether professionally, personally or both.

When people say, “I don’t do marketing,” they really mean they don’t do paid advertising.

If they have a product/service name, business name, logo, Website, business cards, customer service team sales force, yadda, yadda they do marketing.

However, where the “marketing magic” truly takes place is when it all comes together to create a unique and meaningful brand experience and that’s what I learned years ago working in marketing at McDonald’s Corporation.

I was blessed to have several marketing mentors who taught and guided me and the very best was Paul Shrage McDonald’s CMO. Not only was he a great marketer (see his Advertising Hall of Fame bio), but he was a superb leader, approachable and available, a true gentleman and kind man.

Right after I was hired and during my initial week-long training, Paul said something profound to us young marketing mavens. He said, to always remember that, “Marketing isn’t everything, but everything is marketing” which should lead a brand to offering a unique and meaningful brand experience.

I adopted Paul’s mantra over 30 years ago and still use it to this day.

As you work on your Q4 2020 and/or 2021 “marketing plan,” look to improve the “marketing” of every department, product, service, team member, process, customer journey interaction and more and you will meet with great success.

And, if you need a little extra help please reach out to me.

Thank you Paul. I remain a grateful friend and fan.