5 Questions to Challenge Your Thinking about Marketing

“How do you differentiate between marketing, public relations, and advertising?”

Knowing that answer allows us to think bigger and reach higher. But you might be surprised by how small some think. 

In the previous article, we examined how Human Resources is often an overlooked component in an organization’s disruptive success. In this article, I’m asking you to think bigger and reach higher in marketing by asking important questions.

Let me tell you a short and true story.

Some years ago, I was Department Chair in a Communication Studies department of a small college. As part of a search committee for a new marketing position, we were interviewing our top candidate. I posed the question above, thinking I would start with an easy question.  I was surprised by his answer.

“I don’t see any difference.”

“Really?” I thought to myself. “College faculty are supposed to be thinking at the highest theoretical level.” Unfortunately, he wasn’t even thinking on the foundational level.

But what is even more frustrating is that I’ve heard many marketing professionals who cannot accurately define marketing. While claiming they can help a business improve their profits through marketing, they usually mean they are advertisers. Some tell you where to place advertising while others write copy.  Rarely do I find a marketer who is insightful in connecting with current and potential clients to generate additional business. 

Isn’t that thinking too small?

Marketing is understanding the target market, the greater trends in the market and how to best get their client’s products and services in front of their target market.


Take the challenge and answer these 5 questions below. Some of those questions may appear obvious and ones that we think we have already answered. But in a changing world, we are wise to re-examine those questions at least yearly.

1. How is my Target Market changing?

The world is changing rapidly and radically. That means the target market we have today may change considerably in the next 12 months.

Are you tracking those changes?

2. How are their problems changing?

We are all getting older. People are retiring and others are entering the workforce. Seasons change and that changes what we need and want. Global change demands that we adapt to climate, politics, social issues and a host of other concerns.

Are you considering those changes in your marketing?

3. How much are you willing to change?

We all know that we have to change but many only change if they absolutely have to. Those that resist change often struggle to keep up with change.

Are you hurting your business because you are not willing to disrupt your own approach?


4. How do your customers communicate?

Communication is connecting, not just speaking. It is hearing, understanding and negotiating a shared meaning. If your marketing is primarily speaking, you are missing critical information.

What percentage is listening in your marketing strategy? 

5. What are their expectations?

The Millennials and the Z-Generation that follows are thinking independently. Unlike the previous generations, they are not willing to accept the status quo or obey what others demand.  Their mindset has affected the entire market as we have come to demand much more. We no longer just accept what corporate, government or the church demands.

Have you recently surveyed the expectations of your audience?

(c) 2018


Dr_Murfield-400x400Loren Murfield, Ph.D. I work with clients to think bigger and reach higher. Frequently, clients tell me, “Wow, I hadn’t thought about it like that before.” I love seeing them raise their standards and step up their performance, and do what they previously  considered “impossible.” At that point, I help them write their legacy book. Contact me today to begin creating your legacy and then leaving it for generations to come.

Check out a brand new revision of my first book, “Chevettes to Corvettes: Unleashing the Ultimate Small Business.”

Book Cover . 3

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