The two jobs I had before Leading Results were in a school cafeteria and a lock-down psychiatric facility for teenagers. To me, those things didn’t need marketing – everyone has to go to school, and everyone at school has to eat, and there was actually a waiting list for the psych ward.
Of course, marketing wasn’t something I thought about much at all. I knew that companies wanted me to buy their things and therefore found ways to entice me to do so. I also knew I was annoyed by Facebook posts about toilet paper that said “Why are there commercials for this? Are there people not buying toilet paper?” because obviously they don't advertise toilet paper itself but rather a brand of toilet paper.
Then I started working at Leading Results and learned there are two kinds of marketing – business to consumer (B2C) and business to business (B2B). I'm the target of B2C marketing, and the school cafeteria and psychiatric ward would be the target of B2B marketing.
How else did my school district choose a food supplier? How else did other psychiatric facilities know that mine had available beds? So that makes sense, now that I know more about marketing.
And yet marketing-related things still frequently surprise me, because I suppose I haven’t fully grasped that everything in life requires marketing.
Like electricity. Electricity was, in my estimation, a strictly business to consumer marketing relationship. I buy electricity so I can go home, turn the lights on, cook dinner, and watch TV after work. Businesses buy electricity so they can have working lights and computers for their employees.
But do you know who else buys electricity? Electric companies.
If, for example, an electric company in Florida doesn’t have enough electricity for their consumers, they can buy electricity from another electric company.
And it gets even more interesting from there – say that the Florida company buys electricity from a South Carolina company. They pay, of course, for the electricity they purchased but then, if the electricity has to flow through Georgia to get to Florida, Florida has to pay the Georgia electric company for the use of their power lines.
Not to mention that if Florida anticipates that something will make them lose electricity, like a storm, they can contract with another company to be prepared to create extra electricity for them to buy. But if the storm doesn’t happen, the Florida company still pays for the electricity they contracted for, even though the other company never created the electricity in the first place!
Next I’m going to find out that someone out there is marketing air … oh wait… that was the dude in the Lorax movie.