For over a decade, I’ve watched many business owners, managers, and young startups think they know marketing and can deliver good outcomes that would equal the level of success if they had partnered with a AAA class marketing company. A startup that self-manages its social media channel is a great example. Young companies who cannot afford a big budget and prefer to execute on their own struggle to get their lead customers via their social media. Why? The answer is simple: marketing isn’t easy as they think it is. Usually, the individuals involved haven’t done any of the work or study necessary to help them achieve their desired outcomes. Often they have no experience at all. Mastering marketing is no different from any other role. It takes years of study, execution, and experience.

white labeled bottle lot during daytime close-up photography

The cosmetics business is a multibillion-dollar behemoth that is frequently propelled by dynamic trends and well-executed marketing campaigns. While many shops have embraced this tactic hardly, Aesop demonstrates how it should be executed.

The following are the biggest 5 reasons why and how people think they understand marketing but are totally wrong:

1. Business marketing isn’t the same as it was 10 years ago

Marketing refers to activities a company undertakes to promote the buying or selling of a product or service. Most people know this but the definition is continually updated. According to the American Marketing Association, marketing is the activity, set of institutions, and processes for creating, communicating, delivering, and exchanging offerings that have value for customers, clients, partners, and society at large. –

These definitions are essentially the same; however, the AMA definition has a clearer scope and description than the first definition. Human communication has fundamentally changed, especially after the iPhone came to market. Since communication is the foundation of marketing, you can’t simply stick to what you know from your past knowledge, especially information you may have learned in school.


2. Many business owners, entrepreneurs, and managers don’t take the time to understand the latest business marketing

They are extremely busy people, but this excuse doesn’t work when a key pillar of business is being ignored. It doesn’t make sense to keep using outdated marketing knowledge to manage necessary marketing tasks. To do so is to get stuck on the idea that Brand is Marketing or Advertising is Marketing and that is enough to succeed. It isn’t.

Email marketing is outdated but many brands still put a lot of their efforts. Why?

3. Markert experiences a gap in time and location

This can be the biggest obstacle to effective market engagement. Marketing is the perception of what you have experienced, where, and when. Business markets weren’t connected globally before the internet. Every market (country) was domestically dominant through the use of local communication channels. But look at online marketing now! There is no border, and everyone can connect to each other with astounding ease.

Imagine a person who developed their business career in the 80’s 90’s when online marketing activities didn’t exist. Could they discuss marketing activities with Millennials or Generation Z with the same level of understanding? In addition, think of a person who has experienced only local market conditions with little diversity. Can they grasp how to market more widely?

man standing on road infront of high-rise buildi

What if you were raised in a big metropolitan city where is full of competition?

4. Social media is the biggest problem

Almost everyone uses social media, both privately and commercially. There, stories abound of countless successes, which convince people that they can succeed using the same method(s). The online edited version of success makes execution seem easy and reasonable. Indeed, many stories are distilled down to the barest of details and include little content craft. But the people seeking the success they read about on social media don’t have the same expertise in media or content crafting as the people they want to emulate. Also, they aren’t famous. It’s just a wrong perception many people have with far too much confidence.

5. Many people get caught up in marketing fads

If you are curious about marketing, you’re not going back to school again. You’re going to pick up the latest, best-selling marketing book or simply ask someone who has more marketing background for tips. Unfortunately, most of these books are just repurposed philosophies turned into clickbait catchphrases and sold as sensationalized tips to fix whatever ails you. And tips won’t make you a marketing expert in 1 minute.

Do “growth sales strategy”, “emotional storytelling”, or “the best SEO marketing” ring any bells? These concepts are marketing that someone wants to sell to you; when you buy in you become trapped in a vicious cycle. These notions provide a woefully incomplete picture of marketing and diminish its strategic core and the potential positive impact on your business.

Though there are more reasons people underestimate marketing, these 5 are the most impactful I have seen across all generations from East to West from small scale to large.