Rory Sutherland, Vice-Chairman of Ogilvy, puts it best when he says ‘marketing is the lens of the customer in your organisation’. That means to say marketing is an attitude as much as it is an activity, and it is far broader than just promotion and advertising – it’s everything your customer can see, touch or interact within your business. 

Three stages

Mark Ritson, Professor of Marketing, puts marketing into three buckets, each of which deserves time and attention. 

These buckets are: market orientation, strategy, and tactics. Here, we’ll explain each, giving you a reference point on how to build out your own marketing activities. 


Market Orientation

Market orientation is the first thing you should do before even having a product. Simply put, in this stage you’re looking to understand the pains, needs and desires of the market you have chosen. 

To find out these needs, pains and wants, you can ask people, observe what they say on social media, or more formally do things such as bring together a focus group to ask questions. 

Essentially, you are looking to get to a place where you’re able to identify all those ‘don’t you hate it when…’ or ‘I would love it if…’ moments your potential customers have. 

Market orientation is always the bit people miss or skip over, but by having an understanding of what the market wants, you’re able to create a product and use language to advertise it that matter to the customer, rather than just mattering to you.


Now you have an understanding of what the market wants, you’re able to start developing a strategy to match. Simply put, this strategy dictates things like the audience you are targeting, tone of voice, key messages, what your brand will sound like and other elements which will stay consistent over the course of time, even if your tactics change. 

Here, target audience is perhaps the most important as if you are saying your audience is ‘everyone’, what you’re actually saying is your audience is ‘no one’ because your message will be so broad, it won’t resonate with anyone. 

One tool that is worth considering is developing a ‘persona’. Here, you create a fictional version of your target audience, almost as if they’re in the room there with you. The advantage here is you are then able to go back to the persona with every decision you make and ask the question ‘will this thing I am doing benefit <persona name>?’

For more on creating personas, there is a great resource here:

Once you have created your persona, everything else quite simply begins to fall out of this version of your target audience, including tone of voice, the messages that will resonate and more. 


This is the bit everyone rushes to, but will ultimately fall flat if you haven’t done the groundwork upfront in the orientation and strategy stages. 

The simplest way to evaluate this upfront is the 4Ps, although there is many nuances once you get cracking. 

First, product – finally we’re defining what we sell. The product is a solution to the problems discovered in the orientation stage. 

Second, price. Here, you’re looking for the right price for the market. With enough understanding of the problem you are solving and the financial position of your customers, price should fall out fairly quickly, too. 

Third, place. Where do you want your product to be consumed? Are you online only, in person, on the move? All these things will contribute to how customer will interact with your company. 

Finally, promotion. At this stage, it’s worth stopping to dedicate a little time to this section. 


First, it’s better to stop thinking about marketing as digital marketing vs old fashioned marketing. If you’re solving the needs of the customer – you’re marketing. 

Promotion is the process of advertising or communicating what your product or service is about to the customer. It’s also the bit where everyone says ‘my cousin has told me to start on Facebook, so I think we should do that’. 

When you’re planning on doing your promotion, try splitting up your activity into five stages: 

  • Awareness – Making someone aware of your product
  • Consideration – Making someone who is potentially interested in your product, move to purchase
  • Purchase – Making the purchase process as easy as possible
  • Retention – Keeping the customers you have, rather than having to keep on finding new ones
  • Advocacy – Turning your current customers into your biggest fans

This is useful because when you’re looking to start your activity, it’s important to not just do stuff, it’s important to do it with purpose. The above five steps provide the ‘with purpose’ bit. 

There is a multitude of ways to promote your business, and no ‘right’ answer on the mix of channels that make up your strategy. The only answer that is right is whatever suits your audience. However, by doing the orientation and strategy stages, you’re far more likely to know exactly what these channels are. 


Finally, there has to be a word put in the direction of measurement. 

It’s no good chucking £100 at something and hoping it will work. Instead, take a moment to consider what you would like out of any of your marketing activities, and then plan how you can measure the success of this. 

Ultimately, it’s all about understanding what works in terms of hitting the goals you set, and doing more of that, and doing less of what doesn’t.

Events coming up…

DateTimeFormatSpeakerSubjectGet yo' space
Every Friday12 Noon - 12.45NetworkingTMM CommunityOnline networking with the most lovely marketers you'll ever meetSign up
04/08/202015.00 - 16.00WebinarKris Tait, MD of Croud USAHow to not fall into a performance marketing rutSign up
11/08/202008.30 - 09.30WebinarSarah Roberts, Head of Digital Communications at Cambridge University Hospitals NHS TrustPersonal lessons on comms from COVID whilst working at a hospitalSign up
17/08/202009.30 - 13.30WorkshopJon Torrens, Communications CoachHow to present yourself like a proSign up
18/08/202015.00 - 16.00WebinarMary Owusu, Head of SEO & Analytics at GuruBoundWhy your SEO isn’t working. How to use analytics to discover hidden SEO opportunities to boost your site’s trafficSign up
25/08/202008.30 - 09.30WebinarHannah Anderson, Co-Founder of Social ChainHow social has changed, and how to adaptSign up
01/09/202008.30 - 09.30WebinarJordan Harry, Founder of StudyFast10 habits to improve your brain health, and how to remember themSign up
08/09/202008.30 - 09.30WebinarLee Wilcox, Founder of Electric House & On the ToolsTBA!Sign up
15/09/202008.30 - 09.30WebinarHelen Tupper, Co-Founder of AmazingIf & Marketing Week ColumnistSquiggly CareersSign up
22/09/202015.00 - 16.00WebinarApril Dunford, Author of Obviously AwesomePositioning JujitsuSign up
29/09/202008.30 - 09.30WebinarLouis Grenier, Podcaster in Chief at Everybody Hates MarketersHow to stand the f**k outSign up
06/10/202008.30 - 09.30WebinarHannah Thorpe, Director of Growth Strategy at FoundLanding pages & a live auditSign up
13/10/202008.30 - 09.30WebinarKirstie Smith, Founder of Social Circle 20 new advancements to implement into your social media strategy Sign up

How we set up Zoom for Marketing Meetup Webinars

Zoom has become one of The Marketing Meetup’s most important bits of software.

And while we’ve all no doubt set up many a Zoom meeting for the purposes of quizzes and more, learning about how to do it for webinars wasn’t all that easy. So, we thought we’d create a (not short) video, on what the background operation of setting a Zoom webinar looks like. 

How to prove the value of marketing – Daniel Gilbert, Founder & CEO of Brainlabs

This session is relevant because as marketers, it’s not good enough to do something and expect the budget to keep on flowing when you haven’t proven the value of it. This session is important because as marketers, we often do a bad job in marketing ourselves and communicating our role in a company. This session is important, because we have one of the world’s most unique thinkers on marketing in our company for an hour, so by the end, I hope you would have learned something new, had your perspective shifted,

A Marketing Masterclass: Son of a Tailor

Part of the reason I love running The Marketing Meetup is that I love seeing great marketing in action. As Rand Fishkin puts it, ‘marketing done well can be a noble act’, because it matches a ‘need’ to a solution, which ultimately improves someone’s life.
So when a company absolutely markets the sh*t out of me in a compelling way, I can’t help but feel like I want to 1) sit back and clap, and 2) learn as much as I can from them.

"This is the greatest email I've ever received"

You're a marketer, so we know the promise of 'the latest news straight to your inbox' isn't going to cut it.

So, join our newsletter if you would like to become a better marketer by:

- Hearing about our weekly webinars with some of the world's greatest marketing minds

- Get marketing resource lists and writing in digestible formats.

- Smile and have a nice time. This isn't just a normal newsletter.

Thanks! You're in the club :)