Every marketer needs a pick-me-up once in a while, especially around the holidays.
From juggling each and every marketing initiative to balancing our personal lives, we can be hard-pressed to find the time to motivate ourselves and keep our engines running. But the genesis of our best work comes from the moments when we feel inspired, so it’s important to take the time to recharge our marketing batteries.
Surprisingly, valuable marketing lessons are all around us. We can learn by watching, interacting with, and listening to others who have weathered the roads before us and apply it to our everyday marketing practices.
Take a break from the grind and get back to what matters. Here are five quotes that have inspired me to become a better marketer:
1. “Content is the atomic particle of all digital marketing.”
Rebecca Lieb is a strategic advisor, research analyst, keynote speaker, author, and columnist. Her areas of expertise include digital marketing and media. and her clients range from start-ups to non-profits to Fortune 100 brands. So when words of wisdom escape her, I perk an ear.
Think about the definition of an atom: the basic unit of a chemical element. Without atoms, all the objects that we bump into, touch, or squeeze would be nonexistent. Just like atoms, content is essential to marketing and without it, there would be no email, social media, paid media, or other core marketing channels. Content is the basic unit of all marketing initiatives that not only builds brand awareness and engagement but also influences individuals to take the next step of their purchase journey.
As an information-hungry society, we consume massive amounts of content every day. Without an effective content marketing strategy, your buyers are not going to stick around. Your potential and existing customers could easily find a piece that speaks to them and gives them what they need from someone else, including your competitors. Take Rebecca’s sound advice to heart and make sure your content is front and center.
2. “Mass marketing is turning into a mass of niches.”
In his book, The Long Tail: Why the Future of Business is Selling Less of More, author and entrepreneur Chris Anderson uses this quote to convey how marketers are quickly moving away from mass marketing techniques towards personalized marketing communications.
One example Chris gives is that buyers have more purchasing options in every aspect of their lives than ever before. From buying a car to purchasing a pair of shoes online, your buyers are offered tailored selections. Companies that don’t offer personalized choices and continue to run mass marketing campaigns will fall behind. As your buyers have come to expect personalization, it means that you need to incorporate it into every aspect of your marketing strategy, from your emails to your website. You’ll need to segment your audiences and personalize your content to provide the most relevant experience in each communication.
It is possible to over-segment when you’re trying to account for every single buyer, which can result in overwhelming results. Develop marketing personas to identify the people who are most likely to buy. For example, if some of your customers come from are in the healthcare industry, you might want to create segments based on the organizations that are most interested in the solutions you offer, but not into too many small niches that they become cumbersome to manage. With the right segmentation, you can communicate to your target audiences with personalized, relevant messages at scale.
3. “When you start with what’s at stake for the buyer, you earn the right to their attention.”
As marketers, we know that the buyer’s journey can be full of twists and turns, which are often unpredictable and sometimes out of our control. In Gartner analyst Jake Sorofman’s blog “Customer Experience Starts with Empathy,” published March 18, 2015, he calls attention to the fact that your buyers have many things on the line, including their jobs and reputation. By stepping back and understanding things from their point of view, you can earn their respect and business.
Understand each buyer’s unique challenges and pain points so you can speak directly to what is affecting them the most. For example, if you’re marketing for a university, many students might have challenges acquiring financial assistance, but every student’s financial situation will be unique. Applying this concept to every marketer, your buyers could have generalized challenges, but each one will have slightly different pain points. Instead of only promoting general solutions, you need to illustrate how your company has helped ease pain points in specific areas. This could be conveyed through customer testimonials or case studies, showing how your product or service helped others overcome their obstacles.
A focus on your buyers shouldn’t end after they purchase from you, either. Give your customers every opportunity to be successful through training videos, educational articles, or a feedback form asking what their main concerns and expectations are.
4. “When people talk, listen completely. Most people never listen.”
This is a quote from American novelist, Ernest Hemingway, that we should take to heart. Often, marketers have the gift of gab and we communicate to our buyers by speaking to their purchase behaviors. But if we don’t fully understand what their needs are, we could miss the mark. We not only have to be great at striking up a conversation but also be excellent listeners as well.
Actively listening involves both listening and responding to improve mutual understanding. We practice this all the time in our everyday conversations. And when someone incorrectly summarizes what we’ve said or jumps to an unrelated subject, we know they’re not listening. In marketing, we can use this same skill to help us to engage in dialogs with our buyers. For instance, if someone browsing your website downloads an asset on a specific topic, you’ll want to send them related information based on that interest. But if you use their contact information to blast marketing communications of all sorts, they’ll know you weren’t listening.
Take the time to listen to your buyers and track their demographics, behaviors, and actions to respond with the most relevant messages. And by using a marketing automation platform, you can automate this process by sending triggered communications and placing them in relevant nurture tracks.
5. “Of all of our inventions for mass communication, pictures still speak the most universally understood language.”
This quote comes from Walt Disney, the pioneer of the American animation industry, who demonstrated it fully across the Disney empire. Visual content is a powerful form of communication that appeals to emotions, creates intimacy, and engages your audience.
A valuable message should be impactful and digestible, and visuals have both these characteristics. They can express a message quickly and convey a call-to-action. In fact, according to KISSMetrics, content with relevant images gets 94% more views than content without relevant images.
For marketers, visuals can be particularly handy when connecting with their audience at scale. Visuals that translate well globally usually have the five universally recognized facial expressions: joy, surprise, sadness, anger, disgust, and fear. Or they have images that are universally accepted to have a similar meaning. A word to the wise marketer: when using visuals in global communications, work with your team to review and ensure there are no miscommunications as some visual cues could have different meanings globally.
I hope these five quotes have inspired you to get ready to conquer the road ahead. Share these with your team and implement these into your everyday marketing activities. You’ll be happy you did.
What are some other quotes that you live by? Share them in the comments below, along with how they apply to marketing!