Marketing has a marketing problem

Here’s what the email I got the other day said:

"…always assumed you were a blowhard who didn’t know his ass from his elbow, because you present yourself as a marketing guru and I find that those who say they are marketing gurus seldom know anything about marketing."


Name a cellist. Did you say, "Yo Yo Ma"? Of course you did. There are other cellists that might be as good in some ways, but you don’t know who they are. Could it be because Mr. Ma knows something about marketing?

Name a religion. Did you say Shaker? Of course not. Could it be because the major religions of the world are organized to spread, while the very structure of the Shaker religion ensured its demise?

Think of the people you know–in every endeavor, in every line of work. What business discipline would they most benefit from? Would it be the ability to do a spreadsheet or manage inventory? Perhaps they’d do better in their careers or with their passions if they were better at conforming to human resource regulations… I don’t think so. It all comes down to spreading ideas. If you can get your art or your political cause or your restaurant’s ideas to spread, you win.

Somewhere along the way, people were sold that marketing [equals] advertising. Somewhere along the way, people were trained that marketers are liars (oops). And now we wonder why people are so clueless about what marketing really is. Maybe it’s because marketing has a marketing problem.

Marketing is not about trickery or even insincerity. It’s about spreading ideas that you believe in, sharing ideas you’re passionate about… and doing it with authenticity. Marketing is about treating prospects and customers with respect, and realizing that it’s easier to grow the amount of business you do with happy people than it is to find new strangers to accost.

Think about that the next time you hang up on a tele***keter.