Marketing is the second leg of the consulting triumvirate along with strategy and organization. Marketing is really about the climate your business finds itself in and how you communicate the business' value within it. Marketing your product or service is based on the three questions asked by all consumers:
1. Why should I care?
"Why should i care?" is the value statement or your value proposition/dramatic difference, what makes you better than Joe's Company, or what makes you more than a commodity. Although perhaps you ARE a commodity and you just sell for less money than anyone else. That's dramatic!
One of the best value propositions I ever saw was from a company the sold diabetes supplies. They asked consumers to get their diabetes supplies for free from them, while they wrangled the fee from the insurers. They made their money in the difference between their supply costs and what the insurers would pay. Thus their value proposition was: "Pay $80.00 and wait to get reimbursed from your insurance company or come to us and pay nothing." Pretty powerful difference. A real "Why you should care!"
"What's in it for me?" is what is the value to me? How does the consumer... Save money, get a better product, or get a more targeted product, i.e., a "green" mousetrap as green issues matter to them. Most marketing messages are combinations of the three, though one tends to dominate, whichever that is.
"Why should I believe you?" is trust. It's brand. It's a relationship. It's all that goes into why a business is connected to the consumer. It's coke on a hot day and McDonalds when you travel because you can trust it to be the same quality wherever you are.