Marketing. Doesn’t the very word make you feel slightly… icky?
Like you’re a shiny-suited liar who needs a bleach shower?
When you mention the word “marketing” to people, especially if they’re not business owners, their faces often wrinkle in faint disgust and they recoil slightly from you, as if you were unclean.
Maybe it’s because what we business owners are trying to do, when you get right down to it, is modify people’s behaviour.
Persuade them to do something you want them to do.
And that’s a power that can be used for good or evil.
It doesn’t help that H. G. Wells said, “Advertising is legalised lying.”
Or that Will Rogers said, “Advertising is the art of convincing people to spend money they don’t have for something they don’t need.”
Ideas like that stick like chewing gum in hair.
Well, you won’t get away with lying these days — and the best marketers would never dream of trying to get people to part with money for something they don’t need.
Aside from the morality of it (as if that wasn’t enough), trying to hoodwink people is far too much like hard work.
Here’s a new concept for you to adopt and love and cherish and live:
Marketing is not a dirty word.
And here’s why: marketing simply means finding out what people want and need, and giving it to them. It’s solving a deep-rooted problem for them. Scratching a terrible itch. Fulfilling a long-held desire.
What’s bad about that?
In fact, I’d go so far as to say if you have the answer to someone’s quiet, desperate prayers and you don’t market it to them, you’re doing something terrible.
You’re prolonging their agony by refusing to sell.
If you have a great product that genuinely helps people or adds value to their lives, you have a duty to sell it to them.
Put your truth out there.
Good marketing tells the truth and it makes people feel.
Good marketing doesn’t make you or your customers feel icky, it leaves people with a warm happy glow, knowing they’ve got what they want and need and everyone’s happy.
This is ultimately about confidence. Having the confidence in your product, your business, and yourself.
Trust your ability to give your ideal customers and clients what they need, find out exactly who they are and what makes them tick, then show them what they need to know to make a decision.
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About the Author
Please do share any articles from this site in part or in full — as long as you leave all links intact, give credit to the author, and include a link to this website and the following bio. Vicky is a gin-quaffing, pole-dancing, trapeze-swinging copywriter who writes about the perils and joys of writing, velociraptor training, and running a small business. She writes this stuff on her websites vickyfraser.com and cookiesforbreakfast.co.uk. She’s the author of one book (with two more in utero) and teaches small business owners how to write copy that sells, and how to be more fecking interesting. You can follow her on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, and LinkedIn.
PS One of my clients, Keith, told me this story once:
“To be honest I did feel a little bit funny about trying to market/sell to parents of kids with disabilities as it was almost as if I was benefitting from their misfortune (it is hard to explain). The feedback from the school we have sold to and from other sources is that the kids really benefit from the sensory experience.”
I understand. Most of us want to help. But here’s the crucial thing: Keith was not benefiting from anybody’s misfortune — the misfortune would be there regardless.
Here’s what I replied to him:
“Marketing and selling is all about helping people! It’s not icky. It isn’t. It took me a while to get my head around this. You are offering something fantastic that improves these kids’ lives. If you don’t market to them specifically to help their parents improve their experiences, what does that say? I’d say you will be doing them a disservice if you don’t market to them.
“If you really struggle with this, why not donate a portion of your profits to a charity for kids with disabilities? Or donate hammocks to charities?
“Nobody expects anybody to do something for nothing. How can you help anyone if your business goes under?”
Now go out there and help people 🙂