Marketing Isn’t Always a Good Idea

“Much of what passes for marketing these days is a waste of time and money that has nothing to do with building a good solid business,” veteran entrepreneur Norm Brodsky says. By “marketing” he is referring to using advertising, signage, design, packaging, brochures, stationery, business cards, and so on to manufacture (read that “manipulate”) an image of your company for the purpose of making customers and prospective customers more interested in buying whatever you sell,htan from anyone else. A slick brochure or presentation lacks soul in Brodsky’s view, and indicates to your customers that you are just like everyone else. Norm is right. He gets it.

The name of the game is differentiation. Why should I buy from you if you look just like everyone else who could afford a decent printer? At a recent financial services reality check conference, Brett Christensen said, “98% of that stuff goes in the trash!”Personally, I would prefer homemade marketing materials that reinforce that your business is like a family, and will treat you as a member of my family. Your marketing collateral should “reflect who we are, not some marketer’s idea of who we should be,” he says.  Seth Godin shares, “My fear is that the endless search for ‘wow’ further coarsens our culture at the same time it encourages marketers to get ever more shallow.”

To deepen your brand, your marketing and your culture, learn what the difference is between doing business with you and someone else. Differentiation is what sets you apart (not to be redundant, repeatedly). Top marketers are building a fan base, rather than pandering to the “drive-by culture,” according to Godin. Fans give permission, fans return tomorrow, spread the word to others that can also take action. Fans buy in movements, waves and droves. Customers come and go, but an active fan base can’t be replaced. What are you doing to attract fans to your company culture?

More information on building your fan base.

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