I don’t know who is more exasperated, entrepreneurs flummoxed by marketers or me, upset that another entrepreneur has been flummoxed by marketers!

People, language is for communication and marketing terms, abused as they are, fall somewhere within the scope of language.  To communicate you need to learn the terms.  To practice marketing or to hire a marketer you need to grasp some basics. Please.

Marketing Help Rule 1.

(<> means “not equal to”)

Blogging <> PR <> Brand <> SEO <> Logo <> Advertising <> Tagline <> Messaging <> FaceBook <> Positioning <> Twitter <>Lead Gen <> [Enter mktg term here]

Marketing Help Rule 2.

Trust me, you don’t need all the marketing tactics listed in Rule 1.

Marketing Help Rule 3.

The right marketing tactics for you, right now depend on WHO your prospective customers are and WHAT stage your company is in.

Marketing Help Rule 4.

All Marketers have a core competency (or two).  Regardless, (almost) all Marketers will sell (almost) all marketing services.

Marketing Help Rule 5.

You need marketing to grow your business.  And more likely than not, you need or will soon need help marketing.  Admit it.

For a moment, forget everything you know or think you know or have heard about marketing.  Start with a clean slate.

Now imagine you are a new customer of a particular product or service.  You just finished buying.  You are a bit giddy:

  • You’re eager to get started.
  • You’re excited at the prospect of reaping serious value.
  • You’re determined to at least get your money’s worth.
  • You have a small fear in the back of you mind that you spent too much or made the wrong choice.
  • You both want to show it off and hide it from view until you’ve proved it’s worth.

Now like a bad movie flashback, go back to this morning right before your alarm clock sounded.  Better yet, go back to the moment BEFORE you realized you had a NEED that you MIGHT eventually purchase SOMETHING from SOMEONE to RESOLVE the need.  Your experience from this moment –pre-realization –to the moment of sale is marketing.

Your maybe want to tell me it’s sales.  But no, the seller sells.  The buyer experiences marketing.  Whether you agree or not, analyze all the marketing advice you’ve received in this context.  Think about all the people telling you that you must use social media marketing.  Think about magazines, news, commercials, blogs.  Think about your logo and your clever slogan.  Think about “your brand must be consistent!”  Think about your color palette.   Did any of these things affect your path from pre-realization to purchase (as far as you know)?  No, yes, maybe?

Ruminate on this concept:

Ms. pre-realization will eventually buy from me because:

  • I’m a good person
  • I try hard
  • My technology is the best
  • I don’t oversell
  • I’m ethical
  • General Haig interviewed me on some TV show on a plane somewhere, sometime.  I think.
  • I tweet

Marketing feels daunting because you are being shown a dozen yellow brick roads that weave off gloriously into the colorful horizon.  That and the promise that the chosen path is flowering with ROI poppies.  Walk forward in your customer’s shoes from before purchase; from pre-realization.  How do you get to you?