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My Secret to Fabulous Marketing!

Updated: Jun 17

Even I can find myself feeling overwhelmed with all the fancy marketing options and trends available these days. As tempting as it is to focus on into the ins and outs of every new marketing trick or hack and spend time and energy scoring likes and engagement...it's really important to keep one simple thing in mind.


Let's go back to basics. What is marketing? If it's all about managing profitable customer relationships*, as my University textbook states, then the secret is "relationships" and if we get that right, the profits should follow.


In my marketing career, I have noticed two distinct approaches people take when going about their business. I have seen two 'types' of marketers. Have you ever met a marketing person who is pushy and demanding? Ever purchased or rented a new home? Did you come across real estate agents who left a bad taste in your mouth? Can you remember any who stood out for all the right reasons?


The first group are direct and demanding in their approach. These people have a goal or vision for themselves or their business. They focus on tasks and want to see results at any cost. They focus on their own goals and fail to see the goals and objectives of others. If someone else stands in the way of their vision, they are happy to 'move on' from that relationship because results are the ultimate goal.


Then there are those who go about their business being friendly, kind, generous and spend time cultivating relationships. They are flexible in their approach, put themselves in the other person's shoes to see their objectives as well as their own.


I see the second group of marketers achieving better results. They are able to not only gain support from others in the short term, but they are able to gain support and achieve results for the long term too; even when the going gets tough (or their budget tightens!). These people's clients/supporters stand by them because of the relationship that had been built. I can think of so many examples of this, but here's the very first example I can think of and it is largely what I built my approach to marketing on...


If I cast my mind back, waaaaay back to when I was in customer service when I was studying at University (gulp, 20 years ago). At the tender age of 18, I attended staff training where I was taught to focus on customer service and to not be concerned with sales. I was surprised such a large retail company would not care about results. Was this a crazy approach? Looking back, they actually had it right. They knew if staff focused on customer service and meeting the need of the customer, results would follow. As a staff member, I had 'permission' to spend time talking to a customer to establish their needs, creating report, trust, to find what they were looking for. My favourite customers were always people with an overly small or large foot. I learnt that these people struggled their who lives to find shoes that fit. I loved helping these customers with their shoe dilemma. I would go out into the storeroom, find every single shoe that would fit their foot and would bring it out to them. Often it was old stock that had been sitting out the back for several seasons. Without fail, the customer would be thrilled with having so many options (which was actually a tiny fraction of the available shoes sold in the store). Their happiness in having so many options made it all worth it for me. I also noticed these 'difficult' customers would buy more shoes than any other customer I ever had. Over the years, this retail giant has changed ownership a few times. Sadly, their new strategy must have changed because they cut back on customer service staff and as such, their sales have plummeted.


The secret to fabulous marketing is simply to focus on creating great relationships. The key here is to put other people first. Stop focusing on what other people can do for you (and your sales), and focus on how you can serve people. What do your customers need? What can you offer them to fulfil that need?


As a side note, I also think this is the secret to life. I think you will find, helping someone is its own reward, however, you reap what you sow when you invest in others and they in turn, invest in you.


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*Principles of Marketing, Page 1. Armstrong, Adam, Denize, Volkov & Kotler



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