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asked & answered: "What do most people get wrong about marketing?"

Saw this one in a Facebook group (you can see the group name in the screenshot; they're pretty cool) this afternoon:

The question makes a nice tie-in for my blog post earlier today (no, I didn't know this group post was going to pop up, and I started working on that blog post two days ago anyway). I was tempted to plug the post, just because I think more blog traffic will probably result in more leads (I don't for a moment suppose that everybody who reads my blog will want to hire my services, but given the blog content, it seems likely that the group of people who would be interested in my posts is likely to contain a higher-than-average ratio of people who might want to hire a comms consultant), BUT I restrained myself and said this, instead:

They think that announcing what's available = an ad, OR they think that marketing consists of convincing people to buy things whether those people want the things or not.

And conceptually - not in terms of how any individual ad is structured, but in terms of how we imagine the practice of marketing goods or services - that is true.

Just telling people what you have won't get them to purchase - for one thing, most people do not make a purchase the first time they see your "stuff," regardless of what that stuff is.

On the other hand, there is no responsible business model that includes habitually convincing people to buy anything against their better judgment.

Stick to the people who would plausibly benefit from the thing you have to sell, and focus on communicating effectively to those people why the thing you have is helpful to their situation, whatever that is.

These are the ONLY two things you have to do to be effective in marketing –– but, also, you have to do BOTH of these things pretty well to be effective in marketing over the long haul.

It's that easy, and that hard.

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