The problem with marketing as told to me by my seatmate on a coast to coast flight was “Oh, you’re in marketing; that’s all smoke and mirrors, anyway isn’t it? You know, what you guys do is get people to buy stuff they don’t need; probably don’t want and you convince them to make a purchase”.
This statement, coming from someone who retired about 8 years ago and sold his residential oil delivery business seemed immovable so I wasn’t about to get into a long conversation with him.
However, and to some extent, he had a point because the problem with most marketing is that it not only feels inauthentic to the customer, but it relies on old tactics that do the opposite of what we intend it to do. First, most marketing interrupts, instead of inspiring and secondly it disconnects people instead of delighting
Let me explain in four quick paragraphs how I think we can all become more resourceful marketers and start breaking the stereotype of what people think we are.
In just a few short years, marketing technology has grown far more sophisticated than ever and with this greater sophistication, consumers have become even more skeptical and cynical than ever.
- Pretend you have a marketing budget of zero dollars. What would you do today to reach five new customers who just might be thrilled to hear from you? If you know, why aren’t you doing it every day?
- Why are you looking at what your completion is doing? Do you think the answer is over your shoulder or in your rear view mirror? Think about why you want to grow your business. Think about WHY you’re in business. (NO, money is not the correct answer!) What is your intention? What is your mission? Write it down.
- Your customers need empathy. They are not a homogenous group. Think about just one person who could benefit from buying your product. Write down six things completely about this person completely unrelated to your business (I.e. where do they work; are they married; what do they do for fun? etc)? What did you learn about them? How did this change your marketing strategy? If it didn’t, write down six other things pertaining to their LIFESTYLE. Give this exercise to your staff and see what you get back! You might be very surprised!!
- Do you know what good marketing is? What does it look, sound and feel like. What are some examples of good marketing that you can think of that made YOU connect with them. WHY and HOW did they connect with you? What did they do differently? Why did you buy their product? If you didn’t buy their product don’t use it as an example…and it can’t just be about price. Ask your staff to do this exercise too. Get them to sharpen their marketing saw.
You don’t have to listen to me or other marketing gurus or techno babble monkeys, or cookie cutting marketing formulas they sell you or any other thing that is purported to be the next best “system” or “magic bullet.
But you will have to do one thing: Choose
In today’s marketing world, we all get to choose how we tell our story.
How will you tell yours?