What does ‘marketing’ mean to you? It’s one of those words that often means different things to different people and it’s so easy to get bamboozled with all sorts of phrases, buzzwords and jargon.

Well, fear not. Given the basic foundation of any language is its alphabet, I’ve developed a simple alphabet to help you master the language of marketing.

It starts with a straightforward definition that I like: ‘Marketing: Finding, attracting and keeping the customers that you want while maximising your profits’.

Simply combine the right letters in the alphabet to get to grips with yours.

Accept this definition of marketing as a starting point – and get EVERYONE involved in it.

Best customers – who are yours? What does ‘best’ look like for your business? What are you doing to win more?

Choose ‘em or lose ‘em – have a clear focus on attracting the customers you want.

Don’t be afraid to get rid of the customers you don’t need …

Ensure everyone in your business knows this!

Forget SWOTs, think BWOTs – how are you ‘Better Than’ your competitors? How do you demonstrate that (tip: not by adverts, brochures and sales presentations – it’s what you do, not what you say!)

Goals and targets – be clear what they are and ensure everyone understands them.

Have a clear plan for achieving them.

Include and Involve everyone – everyone should be involved in at least one element of finding, attracting and keeping customers. If they’re not, what ARE they doing?

Just make sure everyone understands this – it’s critical!

Keep marketing on the agenda – remind people of its importance, highlight your successes and keep them involved.

Loyalty – don’t waste your marketing efforts by ignoring your existing customers – marketing is also about keeping customers (see our definition!)

Monitor and Measure all your marketing activity – where are your leads and opportunities coming from (particularly from your best customers)?

No – it’s OK to say it to the customers you don’t want to work with.

Opt out of the activity that isn’t working for you – review what’s working and isn’t

Proactivity is key – don’t be Passive and just let it all happen around you.

Quiz your customers – what attracted them to you? Keep doing this!

Referrals are incredibly powerful – what are you doing to proactively develop these?

Same as’ sucks – differentiate yourself in your chosen markets.

Think in 3D! That means being ‘Dramatically and Demonstrably Different.

Understand that your ‘dramatic difference’ must be something that customers want, recognise and are prepared to pay (more) for.

Value your customers’ opinions – ask for them!

Word of mouth – maximise it by doing things that get people talking about you (good things, please!)

Xamine what’s working and isn’t and take action!

You are a role model – it’s not what you say, it’s what you do that counts! What do your people see you doing (or not)?

Zzz – Don’t sleep on the job – you are always marketing!

This is clearly the alphabet according to Andy Hanselman!  I’d love to hear about your interpretation of the letters. Please let me know what you think at andy@andyhanselman.com.