Great marketing becomes a cultural conversation. Your business, your efforts, your outlook, your messages, your energy ought to be creating a desirable culture for people. This is a great responsibility. It turns out that culture is up to you. What do you want to identify as? What do you want to project to your customers and prospects? What feelings do you want to transmute to them? What do you want them to believe is true? What do you want them to stand for? What do you want them to stand against? What values will you show them?
Culture is not easy. Culture is not cheap. Culture is responsibility. Culture is brand. Culture is collective values. Culture is continuous investment. Culture is what you want your legacy to be. As Seth Godin says, “Culture is people like us doing things like this.” As an Entrepreneur or even as an individual contributor, you have the privilege to set the cultural tone. And you must. Either you set it or someone else will set it for you, and you may not like the tone they set for you.
As a leader, it is your responsibility to set the cultural tone. Even if you don’t view yourself as a leader, it is still your responsibility to set the cultural tone. We all contribute to the culture. Our contribution should be as positive as possible. For the greater good, yes, but for ourselves and for what we stand for. We should defend a positive culture we’ve worked hard to create. We should expel those who seek to destroy it or undermine it. People rain on our parade when they don’t have one of their own. Since it is our creation, there’s no need to tolerate the people who want to tear it down. They don’t understand our values, our meaning, the things we do that make us.
Good marketing polarizes people.
Remember that your culture should polarize people, and that is a good thing. You attract those who believe in your message and repel those who don’t. Those who don’t get it won’t believe you and will never buy in to your messages. Don’t worry about them. Don’t focus on them. Focus on those who get it, on those who want to be there, creating and contributing and collaborating with you. These are your people. These are the ones you make your difference for. These are the ones you create for. This is your culture. You create it and you curate it and you nurture it. If you abdicate this responsibility, you will not end up with a desirable culture. You will end up with a culture no one wants to be a part of. Your new marketing culture and its responsibility falls on you. Take this as seriously as you take your business. Remember: you seek to change people in a positive fashion. You’re helping them to get results that they cannot get on their own. They’ve come to you because they know, like and trust you, and they believe in you enough to entrust you and your business with their money. They are making an investment in you. What will become of that investment? How will they feel about you six months after they have made that investment? How you make your customers feel is a large part of the value you create in their minds. How you make them feel is a point of differentiation. Your marketing is the vehicle for change for them to come to know, like and trust you, and to view you as a friend and trusted advisor. The customer’s journey from Point A to Point B ought to be filled with positive emotions, helping to move them from where they currently are to where they want to be. It is our chief job as marketers, salespeople and entrepreneurs to guide them along this path, encouraging them along the way, coaching them to their next level of success, injecting belief in them, even when they don’t see it in themselves.
You are coaching people and you may not know it.
This is where coaching comes in. As an entrepreneur and chief salesperson, you are coaching people whether you know it or not. You are coaching people through training. You are coaching people through blog posts. You are coaching people through social posts. You are coaching people through courses. You are coaching people through ebooks. You are coaching people through video. This cohort of people has come to you to solve their problem. Your solution or training or education is the marketing that brings them in. The best marketing today is training. All training is marketing, in fact. Training leads to other courses, other training, other purchases. Further, training helps develop new revenue ideas for your market. Just because you’re training them on one aspect doesn’t mean they don’t need it in another aspect of your expertise you may not think to train them on. People need more help than you think or they admit. If they’re asking for it, there’s your sign.
Listen for, “You know what would be great is if you were to…”
We don’t do enough listening. There should be people who’s full-time jobs are to listen to prospects and customers. Actually, there are. They are called sales and marketing people. And We do not do enough active listening. In fact, the best — the very best — salespeople are awesome listeners. They employ empathy with their pitches. They talk about problems. They lead with customer problems. And they don’t talk about their stuff, their own stuff they are there to sell, until the problem has been agitated. Great salespeople and marketers tell the full story.
Why are you here? You are here to make change happen.
As Seth Godin says, salespeople, marketers and entrepreneurs are there to make change happen. We are not satisfied with the status quo. We are here to move people from point A to point B. Prospects come to us with problems. Our marketing is the vehicle they get in to be moved emotionally to their Promised Land. They are here to get help from us to affect this positive change in their lives. They desire to be moved or else they wouldn’t pay attention to our marketing. Will we help move them? Will we be their guide along the path of positive change?
Are we creating marketing that we can point to and proud of?
Are you creating marketing so good that people would pay for it?