This is Week 16 of a 52-week project/experiment in DIY marketing. Armed with nothing but a copy of the 2009 Grow Your Business Marketing Plan + Calendar and my bare wits, I'm applying the skills you need to grow a business in real time, day by day, and reporting on them week by week. I'll provide a topline of my experience here every Monday; see my companion blog, A Virgo's Guide to Marketing, for the full story, additional links and other marketing-related goodness.
It was a jam-packed week of travel and planning for it that had me thinking a lot about about marketing—my definition of it, how it worked and what it was really about.
Back in January, a professor from my alma mater invited me to sit on a panel about social networking as part of the university's annual Entrepreneur Celebration. Cornell has made a big commitment to fostering and supporting entrepreneurship both at the university level, where there's now an entrepreneurial track, and amongst alumni, via the Cornell Entrepreneur Network. (I've attended numerous events and spoken at a couple, and they've been fantastic for building my own business network in L.A.)
I hate to say it, but in the sometimes-grind of keeping one's marketing machine running, it can be easy to lose sight of the "why" behind it. Meeting some incredible entrepreneurs during my couple of days here and, on the way out here, reading the awesomely inspiring story of what one entrepreneur is doing to change the world, really reinvigorated me. At its most basic, marketing is about telling the stories that connect people to products and services and other people; done right, it can be a tool for helping to change the world.
To read more about this week's lessons, please join me at the Virgo Guide to Marketing.