Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Marketing to Appeal Versus Marketing to Become Appealing

This is just a thought. Why do we market or advertise?

A straight, to-the-point, bottom-line answer would be to attract as many people as possible to buy, buy-into, or join what we have to offer. The benefits for us primarily drive the effort we put into it. Sometimes what we offer is of greater benefit to others, or of those we want to attract. But bottom-line, our survival depends on attracting those who can help us sustain what we do.

This sounds pretty obvious. But what sometimes happens is that marketing can become a magic solution for poor business practices. I don't mean nefarious practices (e.g. Enron) or even businesses' going out of business. I mean not noticing the real problems in our business procedures, in our personal satisfaction, or in the barriers that exist between our customers and us. Then trying to act on perceived problems by constantly trying to attract new clients or customers, hoping that will solve our decreasing return.

That may be part of the solution, but what if the problem has more to do with the relationships we already have that are in poor condition. Marketing can not solve that. In fact, marketing may cause the opposite reaction: it can come off as insincere.

Sometimes we just need to step back for a moment and ask some harder questions.
  • What is really the problem I am trying to solve? It may not be that obvious.
  • Am I looking for a change? And if so, what am I looking for?
  • Are my customers, clients, stakeholders, or members valuing our relationship? If so, in what way? If not, what's wrong?

Do yourself a favor. Before taking that marketing magic pill, find out some answers. That may determine what you really need to do. And it may not have anything to do with marketing.


  1. Anonymous10:01 AM

    I agree with your point that small business owners sometimes tend to jump into marketing or advertising their company before assessing what their needs are first.

  2. It's tempting to bypass all that. The pressure to get results can be too overwhelming at times.


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