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September 02, 2020

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5 min read

What’s Your Impact as a Marketer?

We make choices every day of our lives: whether to hit the snooze button or get up with the alarm, what we’ll buy at the store. We’re regularly influenced by other people as part of our decision making; a friend’s recommendation, work mates depending on us or Clients needing us at a specific meeting or time as simple examples.

Our customers are influenced by the choices we make as Marketers. Marketing has a bad rap as being all about persuasion—or manipulation, as some people see it. Marketers are often seen as unethical or underhanded. There absolutely are some marketing programs designed to sell at all costs. But, the majority of marketing programs run by marketing people are simply trying to find the most effective way to communicate, trusting that consumers can make the right choice for their own needs.

When we’re guided by our values, as people and as brand representatives, we would not work very long in an organization who support putting “lipstick on a pig”, so to speak. The world is transparent enough that an aggressive sale or bait and switch approach would be short lived and result in huge fallout.

It can be tough to keep this at the forefront of our minds, though. It’s especially tough when there’s pressure to get clicks or convert leads or drive more sales. What we need to think about is our impact—our legacy—with our customers when we touch them with our campaigns.

1.   Are You Building the Right Thing?

The first question to ask is whether what we’re working on reflects what our customers need or expect from us.

When we know what our customers look to us for, we can make sure we’re building on that. And when we’re building on the right things, we’re more likely to have a lasting, positive impact on our customers.

We’re not leading anyone astray, because we’re building on something that exists in our brands: our values. If our customers turn to us for a product that will get the job done, we’re not dressing it up or inventing anything. In fact, we’re saying something our customers already know to be true!

If we’re leading people astray or we feel like we’re making stuff up, then there’s a good chance we’ve lost sight of our brand values. Taking the time to question ourselves can help us keep them in view.

2.   What Do We Inspire?

The next question to ask ourselves as Marketers is about what we hope to inspire in our customers. What do we want them to do?

“Buy the thing”—but more than that. What’s our message? What do we want to build withthem?

Tim Horton’s, as I’ve pointed out before, wants to build community. That’s the brand value. Tim’s wants to be part of your community, and they need your help in building that. When you swing by and grab a double-double, you’re helping to support so many people in your community. There’s the people who work there, the kids who play on Timbits sports teams, the kids who go to summer camps.

Apple wants its customers to help them build the future. They provide innovative products that help people do what matters to them with more ease. Apple made iPods so we can take our music anywhere, iPhones so we can stay in touch, and iPads so we can take work everywhere. They’ve invested in software like GarageBand and iMovie that let people be creative.

So, Apple gives us the tools to envision our future—so we can make that future happen.

This is the question for us as Marketers, then—what are we trying to inspire our customers to do? What do we value that we also want them to value? Maybe we want to inspire confidence in young women by giving them skincare products that keep them healthy and glowing. Or maybe we’re inspiring older women to love the skin they’re in! We’re not selling beauty so much as we’re supporting confidence and health—an ethos of valuing yourself, of believing you deserve to be taken care of!

Of course, we could also try to sell fear and panic. Beauty brands are often criticized for making people feel “inadequate,” so we can sell them “a solution.” I’ve never felt that, at least not once I actually understood what my customers needed and wanted from my brands. They weren’t buying fear at all. They were buying the tools they needed to support confidence they already had, to fulfill what they already knew to be true. They were worth any “extra” cost; they (and their skin) deserved great care.

3.   Let Your Values Center You

This journey to inspiration, to mutual truth-telling between customers and brands, is led by our values. When we know our values, we don’t need to “get creative” about delivering some “bad news” with a positive twist. We don’t need to worry that we’re twisting the truth or telling lies.

Our customers are intelligent people who make tons of decisions every day. Our job is to deliver value-driven messages that reflect our customers’ own views. And that leads us to mutual inspiration in our relations with each other and the world around us!

And—like everything—it starts with the why!

--Margo

Meet Margo…brand visioning & marketing

Margo Jay is a Master Brand Strategist with a career leading globally recognized brands; developing and launching a proven model that maximizes competitive sales potential and consumer appeal. She has built the model to help companies of all sizes. Her Client roster includes entrepreneurs through to Fortune 100 brands: NHL teams, Global QSR brands, CPG brands, Broadcast brands, Agencies, Non Profit brands, Hard goods…this model and process provides competitive advantage in any category.

Complete clarity. Ownable distinct selling proposition. Shared values. Brand Clarity. Brand Focus. Brand Inspiration. Brand Obsession. Unlocking brand potential is what she does.

And it all starts with why!

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