Marketing Promises

It is a funny thing how marketing is something every business needs but you don’t really want it to be seen. Marketing is like the fuel in your car. It gives you the energy needed to move forward but who wants to focus on the gasoline?

Local car deals allow their marketing to show so much that most of us react by hitting the mute button. Marketing shouldn't be in the forefront and it certainly shouldn't be annoying. So what is the essence of this thing called marketing? 

The essence of any marketing activity is the idea of fulfilling a promise. 

Promises through Stories
Businesses big and small need to tell stories that connect with customers. They need to be effective at delivering key messages, benefit information and influencing buying decisions. But marketing isn’t something you want showing because it is a part of a delivery system.

Think of a train. Is your experience of taking a ride on a train about the seats or the speed you travel? Is it about getting WIFI connection or being able to read in silence? Well, yes, yes and yes.  What the train ride isn’t about is the mechanics of it all. You don’t really care about the engine, the coal or how it works to transport you from point A to B. 

 Marketing should be the 
ride not the engine

The people you are trying to reach are not thinking about you. They have needs, problems and issues. They are open to someone telling them a story that fits precisely with their need. They have locks that need keys- use whatever metaphor you like but it is the marketer’s responsibility to explain what unspoken need you can fix. They may learn about you on a blog post, from a friend or through a professional acquaintance.

Your marketing isn’t showing if you are doing what Wayne Gretzky used to describe about playing hockey---

Skate where the puck is going.

Here are three needs and promises to illustrate this marketing concept. 
I need my oil changed. I want it done quickly. I don’t want to be pushed into buying a lot of other stuff. I want an expert who can handle the problem quickly.  Jiffy Lube solves this problem and was first to do so. Their promise is quick oil changes and for more than 15 years they have kept that promise to me.

I don’t feel well after doctors have left their office.  It is the weekend. It isn’t easy to get to see my doctor. What do I do? Urgent Care solves this problem. It meets a unique and special need in the health care market. It isn’t a hospital, a specialist or an emergency room. Yet, it does a little of those things that happens there. 

Your marketing budget is drained and you need to create a fantastic video about your cooking classes that you do in consumers home. You can’t afford to hire a professional but you need something to use on social media to get the word out. Animoto is an easy to use online software video service allowing you to tell a story with your pictures, videos and music that feels like it cost $10,000 when it only cost $20/month. Here is an example of an Animoto video in case you are unfamiliar with what they offer.

An example of Animoto Video from Fanfare, a Wilmington, North Carolina Caterer -

Note: When I am not getting my oil changed at Jiffy Lube, visiting Urgent Care or using Animoto, I attempt to unravel the mysteries of marketing. Thanks for coming along for the train ride. Would you mind sharing my blog post with one friend interested in marketing? Use these cool simple tools below to post to Linkedin, Facebook, Twitter or other social media. 

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