Marketing and advertising. These terms are often used interchangeably, but have different meanings. Merriam-Webster defines marketing as “the process… of promoting (and) selling… a product or service.” Dictionary.com defines advertising as “the act… of calling public attention to one’s product… especially by paid announcements…” While advertising is typically thought of as a campaign, specifically developed to induce the viewing public to purchase the advertised product, marketing can be though of as much more than a single sales promotion.
Marketing can be so much more.
Marketing is not advertising. Marketing should be thought of as the sum total of everything we do: the product we make, the service that we offer, the life we live. Marketing is the way that we interact with other people, what we notice about them and how we respond to that knowledge. Everything that you do, everything you say, everything you produce: it’s all marketing.
So, what do we do with this marketing? Do we seek to push onto our clients something that they don’t need, or do we sell something that we know isn’t the best that we can do? If we choose to go down this road, this is also marketing, albeit in a detrimental, negative way.
What if we decide to go in the opposite direction? What if we build a company, build a life and build a career that we could really be proud of? What if your clients knew everything about your and your business, the good and the bad, and they still wanted to work with you? Success using these methods, that would be an incredibly potent form of marketing!
Ultimately, we have a choice to make. We can choose negative marketing, yelling and screaming, networking our way over other, spamming and lying. Or we can choose the positive route, weaving a story, developing relationships, building a network that really has a purpose.
We can choose to do something that matters.
We live in an amazing time. Everyone with internet access can choose to be their own media channel. Everyone has the ability to be a TV station, a radio station, their own broadcast channel.
Remember this fact when you are “marketing.” Everything you do has the potential to be broadcast to the world, whether by you or by the people that come in (personal or digital) contact with you. Be sure that you are giving them something worth broadcasting to the masses.
You are always marketing for all the world to see: marketing yourself, your values and your business. Whether you are conscious of it or not, everything that you do is marketing. Take advantage of every possible avenue to promote your business. It’s all marketing.
And your marketing matters; every bit of it.
* This post was inspired by a TED talk given by author, entrepreneur, marketer and public speaker Seth Godin. For more info on him and his work, simply Google “Seth”.
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