Marketing is not a party

I spent Fourth of July weekend at a friend’s house in upstate NY. It was really beautiful. Green. Peaceful. On Saturday it rained and so I found myself sitting at the kitchen table writing.

My friend was prepping for a party Sunday for friends and had prepared a ton of food. She wanted the afternoon to be casual and so folks were going to arrive whenever they wanted and her plan was to barbecue to order when they arrived. It’s a nice idea for a party, but it’s not a good idea for marketing. Marketing should not be a casual affair.

Marketing is a very A to B activity, with a specific series of steps that need to be made in a knowledgeable, organized fashion to get you to your goal.

Marketing can’t make the sale. Sales depend on things like product and pricing. But marketing can make the sale easier, by making your audience more positively disposed to what you are selling.

Marketing really, at its core, can accomplish three things: Create awareness  →  Influence attitudes and beliefs  →  Change behavior.  And the goal is to move your target along this path toward the sale.

Awareness and attitudes need to change before behavior. If you are a new product or service, the bulk of your marketing energy needs to be spent letting folks know you exist. If people know you exist, then you can spend your energy influencing them to want what you are offering. As long as what you are offering makes you distinct and aligns with their goals.

The key to getting this right is understanding where your audience is at and then creating marketing messages that move them closer to where you want them to be. Not always easy but important if you want your marketing to be successful.

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