Marketing Myths Unmasked

by Sonja van den Bosch

Marketing Myths Unmasked

If you wear a mask long enough you begin to forget who you are beneath it.

As we are forced to put on our masks, let me unmask 3 common marketing myths for you, that I come across over and over again.

Marketing myth 1: Marketing is about selling more of your products and services.

Contrary to popular believe, marketing is not about selling more of your products or services and it is definitely not about manipulation. Marketing in its purest form is about creating the best possible experience for your ideal customers, adding value to their lives or helping them solve a problem. Inherently this leads to selling more of your products or services if they are useful to your customers.

Marketing is about understanding the needs, wants and values of your ideal customers and then translating this into a service offering that creates a win-win situation, both for your customers and your business.

To do this you have to be able to look at the world from your customers’ perspective, which is always different from your own perspective. It takes curiosity, an open mind and willingness to listen and constant learning. Very simply said, It comes down to asking really good questions and then asking even better questions and being completely open to whatever answers come up, without having a predetermined outcome in mind. The best marketers in the world have really mastered this skill of asking really good questions, deep listening and out of boundaries exploring.

A business that is purely focused on selling and making money, will churn through clients and will constantly have to get new people through the door, while the backdoor is wide open. It is a soulless business and will simply not stand the test of time. It’s a short-term play and it’s not sustainable.

Great marketing is about truly making customers better off by understanding and satisfying their most important life-affirming needs, even needs that people may not consciously recognise. It is about providing real value rather than engaging in self-serving hucksterism.

Marketing myth 2: Marketing is about communicating as much as possible with your customers.

Marketing is about positively impacting everyone your business touches from your customers to your staff to your suppliers, your partners and the wider community. Every contact moment with your business is a moment of truth where people will either give you thumbs up or a thumbs down.

With our clients, I always emphasise that staff members are firstly your most important customers and secondly your best marketing tool, once they are completely on board. Too often companies rush to get their messages out to the marketplace, without forgetting to run it past their staff or even better get them to contribute. Different perspectives give you so much more depth and colour and I often experience that the best marketing ideas come from outside the marketing department. It again comes back to asking questions, listening and being open to learn more. 

Also, if your staff are really focused on truly listening to your customers and creating the best possible experience for them, you are already 10 steps ahead of most of your competitors. It’s not about what you say, but how you make people feel that will leave a lasting impression. 

Technology and automation have made it extremely easy to increase the number of contact moments with customers without a lot of extra effort. Although there is definitely some benefit in it, it seems that companies are often more excited about the process than the real impact they have on their customers. We seem to get bombarded with more and more messages, via a variety of different channels, often completely irrelevant. It’s such a waste of energy and it can really harm how your company is being perceived. Less is more and it is more about the quality than the quantity.

Great marketing is about creating relevant contact moments that add value and are meaningful. It is about developing & deepening the relationship with customers, staff and everyone else your business touches rather than the volume of contact moments, that might look good on your marketing dashboard. 

Marketing myth 3: Marketing is about showing off and telling half-truths.

I’ve always been a huge advocate of truthful marketing. Say what you do and do what you say, has always been my mantra in every marketing exercise I’ve undertaken in my life.

Of course marketing is there to add something extra to an already great product or service. It’s the beautiful wrapping around the product or service. However attractive wrapping without substance inside is still empty and creates disappointment.

Too often I see marketing being used to overpromise and then subsequently to underdeliver. This simply doesn’t work, especially not in the long run, and creates a lot of pain both for customers as for the business. It keeps you on the treadmill of constantly having to find new customers, only for them to then be disappointed again. It keeps you in the fighting fires mentality, instead of building something sustainable.

Great marketing is about being 100% truthful, without pretending or trying to be better than you are. This is the only way to create enduring connections that are based on mutual trust. It is about respecting yourself and your customers instead of doing things that are out of alignment.

In summary, when marketing is done truthfully, focuses on developing long-term win-win relationships and delivers real customer value, it will work…today, tomorrow and far into the future. It will help create the best possible future for your business.

Want to learn more? Or find out how you can implement this in your business, feel free to get in touch.

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THOUGHTS FROM THE HEART

Inspirational marketing is about being true to yourself, being aligned with your core values and doing something you truly believe in and are passionate about. It is about creating meaningful relationships with everyone you encounter. It is about thoughts from the heart.

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