10 Quotes About Marketing and How They Relate to YOUR Business
You’ve probably seen plenty of blog posts with quotes about marketing. They have titles like “25 Marketing Quotes to Inspire You,” “50 Brilliant Marketing Quotes,” or “100 Fantastic Marketing Quotes from Experts.” There’s nothing wrong with those posts. In fact, a common blog prompt is “XX quotes about marketing,” because people like quotes – especially graphic ones.
A lot of times those posts are aimed at marketers and yes, they can be inspiring. But you’re not a marketer. You’re the owner of a small or medium business (SMB), and you may not see how those quotes relate to you and to the challenges of marketing your business.
So, here we have 10 inspiring, brilliant, fantastic marketing quotes from experts – and what they really mean when it comes to marketing your business:
1. “Hope is not a strategy.” – Joel Book, Salesforce
First and foremost, when it comes to any kind of marketing, it’s critical to have a strategy. That means setting goals, choosing tactics and creating the content. How will you know if your efforts have succeeded if you haven’t set SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Timely) goals?
“Doing better,” is not a SMART goal. “Increasing tractor sales by 10% by December 2017” is a SMART goal – especially if you’ve done your research and found that 10% a year is the industry benchmark.
Once you set a goal, make a plan for exactly how you’re going to achieve it. That’s your strategy: A plan of action to attain your goal.
2. “Everyone is not your customer.” – Seth Godin
The old, traditional way of marketing cast a wide net via television, newspapers, magazines, and billboards (among other mediums) to broadcast a message. That meant you were pushing out a message that reached a large, but varied audience. Say you sell aglets (those tiny plastic or metal tubes at the end of shoelaces). When you broadcast your message the old way, you reached people who use shoelaces, but you also reached people who use zippers. Or Velcro. They’re not your customers.
Today’s marketing model uses relevant, interesting, and helpful content to reach the right customers for you, at the right time, and in the right place. You determine who your ideal customer is and where they are – on the web, Facebook, Instagram etc. Then you create content that pulls those customers to you, so that when you generate leads, they’re the people most likely to buy from you. That’s inbound marketing, baby. It generates more leads for business at a lower cost.
3. “Content is anything that adds value to the reader’s life.” – Avinash Kaushik
Let’s change that slightly to “the reader’s, listener’s or viewer’s life,” because content includes written material – ebooks, white papers, blogs, email, etc. – as well as audio, images, video and more. Content is that relevant, interesting, and helpful information we described above. It’s what draws the customer to you and helps him or her make a better buying decision. As Joe Chernov of InsightSquared puts it, “Good marketing makes the company look smart. Great marketing makes the customer feel smart.” (That one’s a freebie. You’re welcome.)
4. “Even the most careful and expensive marketing plans cannot sell people a book they don’t want to read.” – Michael Korda
This is a continuation of quotes 2 & 3. It’s all about finding the people who want what you sell and dedicating your content, your money, and your marketing to them. If you sell history books, putting your products out in front of romance novel enthusiasts might not be the best use of your marketing budget. Creating content about your books and getting that in front of history buffs is likely to reap a substantially better ROI. Remember, it’s not about pushing and selling; it’s about pulling and nurturing leads into sales.
5. “Nobody cares about your products except for you. Create interesting content.” – David Meerman Scott
This is a sad truth. Nobody cares about your company or your product. What they care about is their needs and how they can solve their problems. You need to educate them and then provide information that can show them how you can solve those problems. You’ve heard the phrase “Show me, don’t tell me”? That’s what inbound marketing and content marketing is all about: showing potential customers what you can do for them, not just saying you have a great product.
Which brings us to:
6. “Marketing is telling the world you’re a rock star. Content marketing is showing the world you are one.” – Robert Rose
Just to recap: You have to show potential customers what you can do for them, not just tell them what you can do for them.
7. “Even when you are marketing to your entire audience or customer base, you are still speaking to a single human at a given time.” – Ann Handley
As we’ve said, inbound marketing is all about reaching the right audience. This requires research about who your audience is and who your ideal customer is. Once you’ve determined that, you create buyer personas – that is, a profile of a specific audience via mini biographies about an individual within that audience. HubSpot defines a buyer persona as “a semi-fictional representation of your ideal customer based on market research and real data about your existing customers.”
Your persona has a name, a picture and not just demographic information, but information about their hopes and challenges. Your job is to help them meet those challenges. And all of your content is geared to that one person who represents that sector of your potential customer base.
Content marketing and inbound marketing are ways to reach them through relevant, personalized information. You may send out 100 emails, but each of those emails should sound like you’re talking to the single individual receiving it. It’s about “Dear Joe,” not “Dear Consumer.”
8. “Don’t build links. Build relationships.” – Rand Fishkin
This is a further extension of #6. Links are great. When someone links to your content they are either saying “I like this!” or they’re saying, “I may not agree with this, but I’m putting it out there for discussion.” Links to your website build Google mojo and help you rank higher, so that’s good.
But links are kind of like “Likes” on Facebook. They’re nice, but they’re not really indicative of something that’s far more important: engagement. People who engage with you – for instance, make a comment – are more interested in your company than people who just link or like. When you respond to people who engage with your content, you’re on the way to building a relationship – and people like to do business with people they have relationships with. That continued relationship is also a sign of trust. And trust is a building block of your business.
As architect Arthur Gensler wrote in Forbes, one of the main benefits of trust in business is with clients: “If they know you are honest and direct with them, they usually are willing to work through challenges with you, and they won’t hesitate to be a referral source when things go well.”
9. “Marketing is a race without a finishing line.” – Philip Kotler
This is especially true when it comes to inbound marketing. One of the beauties of inbound is that you have an opportunity to make changes to strengthen your campaigns on the fly. A/B test, change a word in a headline, write a post in a different way: It’s a constant effort to find what works best and gets the best results. Write, post, tweak. Rinse and repeat.
Jon Buscall of Moondog Marketing says “Content marketing is a commitment, not a campaign.” And he’s right. There’s no set it and forget it if you want great results.
10. “Marketing without data is like driving with your eyes closed.” – Dan Zarrella
Remember about 1,000 words ago (I know, time flies when you’re having fun!) when we said you can’t know if your marketing has succeeded if you don’t have goals? Well, this is the other side of that coin. You can’t determine if you’ve met your goals if you don’t measure your results.
Forget about Big Data, concentrate on small data – the data you need to measure the success of your small or medium company’s marketing efforts. What you should measure is a topic for another day, but suffice to say you have analytics at your fingertips with Facebook, Twitter, and Google Analytics, among others, that cover at least the basics. And the basics are enough to help you measure your results and help you determine what you need to do to “do better” – using SMART goals and strategy, of course.