Do Marketers Need to Learn to Haggle?

There's something special about visiting a market. 

There's something special about visiting a market. There's always a particular childlike wonder that fills the air. And as the Christmas markets pop up around me, I visited my first of the season over the weekend. Thinking away to myself, “Markets are so exciting”, my tongue tripped over the word ‘market’. And I wondered upon its origins….

Even though I consider the word 'market' every day, I have somehow managed to disconnect the modern business concept from these simple mobile marketplaces -- the original market. So, in an endeavour to reconnect these ideas, and hoping to haggle with some new ideas on what it means to 'market', I brought out the dictionary. And it made me consider new perspectives, to say the least.

Let’s look at what dictionary definitions can teach us about what it means to ‘market’ something.

Definition(s) of the Market:

1) An open place or a covered building where buyers and sellers convene for the sale of goods; a marketplace

Haggle with this idea: Traditionally, sellers gather together. How does one, then, differentiate itself from another? What makes you unique?

2) A meeting of people for selling and buying

Haggle with this idea: It is just as much about the buyers as the sellers. A market is an exchange. In what ways do you allow your buyers to haggle with you? Are you listening to what they consider valuable?

3) Trade or traffic, especially as regards a particular commodity

Haggle with this idea: Traffic is never level. Know both your audience and your commodity well enough in order to monitor, predict, and control.

4) To buy or sell in a market; deal

Haggle with this idea: Deal or no deal? What are you offering that's valuable, that settles the deal?

5) 'In the market for', ready to buy; interested in buying

Haggle with this idea: How are you capturing warm leads, who are already interested?

6) 'On the market', for sale; available

Haggle with this idea: Have you set yourself up in the market square, completely equipped to sell? Are all your resources available, on show, and prepared?

7) Marketing: the total of activities involved in the transfer of goods from the producer or seller to the consumer or buyer, including advertising, shipping, storing, and selling.

Haggle with this idea: Is your 'marketing plan' inclusive of all these elements, or have you pushed some aside and deemed them as belonging to other areas of business?

I don't know about you, but for me that's a lot to think about! Even though I “know” that these ideas exist within marketing – that they are the origins, roots, and foundations – it helps to see them in a refreshing light.

It's also a challenge to be accountable to every aspect of marketing instead of always focussing on one or two elements. Let's just say I got much more than I bargained for at my first market of the Christmas season!


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