Many of us enter the marketing field because we find it interesting and exciting. Most of us have a real passion for it. But marketers, whether new or seasoned, should always remember some basic truths about marketing.
Your target customer is receptive to your pitch a mere fraction of the time.
The reality is that most of your marketing efforts are arriving at the customers’ senses when they are not ready for them. This is why people tend to view marketing and advertising in a negative light. Most of the marketing they are involuntarily exposed to is at best irrelevant to them (they are not ready to buy) and, at worst disruptive and annoying (it interferes with what they are doing).
The best marketers realize this and save their strongest pitches for when the prospect is ready. The rest of the time, these marketers try to be helpful in their communications, for example, by providing useful information, offering objective advice, serving as a resource, or at the very least, being pleasant and/or entertaining. These marketers recognize they are interacting with people—as opposed to “targets”—who, at certain times only, become consumers of their product or service. When the customer is ready to consume, these marketers have instilled the relationship and goodwill that will now pay dividends. This is why marketing often is described as being a mix of art and science.
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Marketing metrics are great, but your fundamental job is to create a customer.
With all of the metrics/KPIs that modern marketing gives us, it is too easy to forget the big picture: Marketing’s core job is to create customers. Increasing impressions or click-throughs may be of tactical importance in a specific campaign, but the real objective is to create a customer. Good marketing means never losing sight of that goal. A useful criterion for marketers to bear in mind here is, what will the c-suite care about? Driving more eyeballs to a web page may be a useful thing to track within your day-to-day marketing efforts, but it neither is, nor should be, the point of your efforts. We discuss the siren song of marketing KPIs in more detail here.
People forget most of what you say, but remember how you made them feel.
All too often, marketers fall prey to the functional and rational aspects of their product or service and forget the importance, the dominance actually, of the emotional. We know from psychology, neuroscience and behavioral economics that customers (both B2C and B2B) make purchase decisions largely based on emotion and use rational/functional information to justify their decision. Yet many marketers too often focus on the competitive product features in their messaging to the exclusion of the emotional. You are not selling to the machine world in The Matrix, but to people. Smart marketers will think through what they want their customers to feel and work on instilling that feeling through their messaging, creative and follow-up.