Marketing Is

What Is Marketing

… your title.

… the story you tell.

… the price of your widget or service.

… the way you interact with your target.

… the words you use on your mailer.

… the look of the clerk’s face when it’s the next person’s turn to check out.

… the sign you have on your door.

… the design of the receptionist area.

… how it feels to be close to your brand.

… how you greet the first customer of the day and the last.

We can keep going indefinitely.


Stay Positive & Marketing Is Everything, Everything Is Marketing

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How Much Change Do You Seek To Make?

The Change You Seek To Make

For a minute, give yourself the freedom of marketing something that might not work. That even down the long haul, maybe you would succeed, maybe not. Imagine the change you want to make, not whether or not you think you could. Clear?

Now fill in the blanks of either of these statements on behalf of your brand/business:

For people who believe _____, we give you a way to get there _____ (faster/cheaper/more reliably, etc.)

For people who believe ____, we want you to believe ____ instead.

The point of this exercise is to realize how much of a change you’re trying to make. Which statement holds more passion for you? Are you looking to change worldviews or get someone to switch a widget they already use?

It’s worth remembering that all the obvious changes have already been made and selling a different colored silly putty won’t get you far.

But it’s as difficult to get someone who is selfish to become selfless and it’s mighty hard to get a group of people who have had the same ideals for a thousand years to consider altering them.

However, there is a sweet spot in the middle. It’s your job to find it.


Stay Positive & Spare Some Change

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In Case You’re Wrong

Backup Plans

It’s a fact that most marketing plans could use a lot of work.

Not to mention, the only guarantee about a plan is that it won’t work out as planned.

So we must craft scenarios; not simply for the worst case, but for all the cases.

What will you do if you’re wrong about what you think your target wants?

What will you do if you’re wrong about growing your business beyond state lines?

What if your target isn’t listening where you thought they were?

What if it’s going to cost twice as much to reach your audience as you calculated?

So much of making a marketing or business plan (or any plan, for that matter) work is answering all the questions. Even the hard ones.


Stay Positive & Especially The Hard Ones

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What’s Their Status

Target's Status

Really, though, what’s the status of the people you’re trying to change?

Are they trying to maintain their status? Are they trying to move up in status? Move down?

Everything one purchases is either to reaffirm they’re in the right place, to elevate where they stand or it’s to help them down a rung.

Many times, a business markets products that are all over the place in terms of influence on status. They try to upsell someone who wants to move down in their status and they ignore the person trying to move up.

It’s worth noting that the status they have is typically held in a small circle. People don’t go with the larger flow, they go with the flow of a very small tribe of people just like them.

Learn about the group, learn about their status and you’ll learn how to deliver the right message to the right people.


Stay Positive & Status Check

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The Other Side Of The Coin

Both Sides of The Coin

It’s one thing to list who your target is, but it’s another to list who your target isn’t.

It’s one thing to list why someone should choose your product or service, but it’s another to list why they choose someone else.

It’s one thing to list the worldviews of those you want to impact, but it’s another to list the worldviews of those you don’t.

A coin is only valuable if we look at both sides.


Stay Positive & Paint The Whole Picture

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Your Greatest Asset

Imagining Your Target

On the path to more effective marketing, your greatest asset is your imagination.

To imagine the life of someone else. What they woke up struggling with. What they think their friends think of them. Why they chose to wear the shoes they wear. What their parents told them when they were younger.

The closer we can get to the target, their worldview and how they feel, the more we can talk with, not at them. The closer we get, the less we market and the more we converse and connect.

Who are you trying to reach?


Stay Positive & Who Are They Really?

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What’s Positioning Anyway

Empathetic Positioning

Crowded brain.

That’s what we’re dealing with.

Everywhere we go there are ads, brands shouting, noise between our ears.

That’s why positioning must exist. What positioning is is shaping an idea so that it can be placed next to something familiar that people already understand and agree with.

It’s not your job to persuade someone that your brand is something in particular. Your job is to get someone to think of you when they think of something in particular.

It’s an association, not a domination.

By pointing out something they already know and believe, you can begin to build a story that fits in an available slot, nudged up by something they’re already comfortable with in their worldview.

For amateur marketers, you fill a spot with talk about a product or service as faster, better, fresher, safer, stronger. But that’s not what people really want. They want something deeper, a feeling.

The answer, of course, is complicated, but when you lean into empathy, the realities of what you’re marketing and what your target is looking for become clearer.

It’s worth remember that you are not your target. Your target is someone else who sees the world differently.

Here’s a quick test to learn more about positioning: If you organized a blind test of what you offer with what others like you offer, why would someone still choose you?

As good as it feels to hear, it’s not because you’re better. It’s deeper than that.


Stay Positive & What Does “Better” Really Mean?

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