7 and a Half Quotes That Aren’t Supposed to be About Marketing

quotes about marketing

By Kerry Gorgone, {grow} Contributing Columnist

There’s so much marketing wisdom to draw on, much of it from unlikely sources. But you’ll never find it unless you look up from the usual blogs and media outlets and scan the horizon for something new. Here are some quotes that, at first blush, have nothing to do with marketing. But after some pondering, I found marketing insight in each.

That hook is what gets you in, but what’s below that is what keeps you there.

Taylor Hanson speaking about the everlasting appeal of Hanson’s classic pop hit “MMMbop” 20 years later. Source: http://www.vulture.com/2016/03/hanson-on-20-years-of-mmmbop.html

Marketing lesson: Reinforce your eye-catching link or title with content that delivers on its promise. A hook draws people into your site, but it’s up to your content to keep them there. Back up your catchy hook with valuable information and insight: tools, how-to articles, industry research, advice, and more.

Live long and prosper.

Mr. Spock’s salutation in Star Trek TV episodes and movies.

Marketing lesson: Creating evergreen content can provide you with feedback and engagement over a long period of time. Look for perennial topics that people will want information about for years to come. Even if you move one group of prospects through the funnel, there’s always another group of people who will need you in the future (although they may not realize it yet). Create content that will still be helpful and relevant when future prospects come around to the idea that they might need what you have to offer.

Lukewarm is no good.

“If you are interested in something, no matter what it is, go at it at full speed ahead. Embrace it with both arms, hug it, love it and above all become passionate about it. Lukewarm is no good. Hot is no good either. White hot and passionate is the only thing to be.”

Roald Dahl, My Uncle Oswald

Marketing lesson: If you feel “meh” about your brand’s products or services, that attitude will come across in your content. Find a company you’re excited to be part of. If you don’t feel “white hot” about your current company but can’t make a change right now, look for one aspect of what your organization does that you can feel good about. Look for client or customer success stories in which your company helped people to achieve their goals. Lukewarm marketing doesn’t work, because no one’s shopping for “meh.”

Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow. The important thing is to not stop questioning.

Albert Einstein’s approach to scientific advancement applies equally as well to marketing.

Marketing lesson: Review analytics regularly to see how your marketing programs are performing, then apply that insight to what you’re doing right now, tweaking campaigns and channels as necessary to achieve optimum results. But even if something works, never stop questioning. Why did this campaign work? Why did your target audience respond? How are your target audience’s attitudes and preferences changing, and what should you do to stay connected with them? In marketing, as in science, you can’t afford to idly hope: you need to question and analyze.

Failure is another stepping stone to greatness.

Oprah Winfrey knows business, this much is true.

Marketing lesson: In marketing, as in other facets of business, failure is inevitable, but we can’t let it stop us. If a channel or campaign doesn’t work for your brand, examine where you went wrong.

Maybe you were cross-posting between LinkedIn and Facebook, only to realize that your audiences on each platform are looking for very different things. Or maybe you went all in on a new platform without researching whether your audience was using it.

Learn from your mistakes, and use the insight you gain to make future campaigns successful.

You must expect great things of yourself before you can do them.

Michael Jordan, one of the greatest basketball players of all time, expected great things from himself.

Marketing lesson: If all you want to do is maintain the status quo and renew your marketing budget for next year, you’ll never be the driving force that brings your company unprecedented growth. Set your sights higher than ever before. Even if you don’t achieve your pie-in-the-sky goal, you can still leave last year’s KPIs in the dust.

You can’t please everyone, and you can’t make everyone like you.

Coming from journalist Katie Couric, this is almost comical, because nearly everyone likes her. That’s a big part of her network appeal!

Marketing lesson: We can’t please everyone, but we’re also not trying to. Who is your target audience really? (Saying “everyone” isn’t allowed.) What kinds of people can you best help? What do they care about? What hobbies do they have that are completely unrelated to your product or service?

Marketing strategist Jason Falls knows the value of conversational research or social listening for discovering valuable insights into your audience. You can’t make everyone like you, but you aren’t trying to. You just need to align yourself with the things your target audience cares about and let them self-select to you.

If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.

Ancient Chinese military strategist Sun Tzu in The Art of War. (I only counted this one as a ½ quote, because it’s only about marketing if you consistently work to apply it.)

Marketing Lesson: Gain as much knowledge about your competition as you can. More broadly, don’t be afraid to look outside marketing for lessons in strategy.

Christopher Penn has written extensively on how ancient cultures and military strategy bear on his marketing strategy. In a recent interview on the MarketingProfs podcast, he explained: “When we talk about the martial arts and the exotic kata with cool looking weapons and stuff what we’re really talking about are ways of thinking about how to win. If you can borrow that and port it to other disciplines, we can be very successful in ways that our competitors don’t have access to.”

Expand your horizons: new perspectives can change the way you think about marketing.

Wherever you draw inspiration from, use sources outside of marketing to change the way you approach challenges and opportunities. The more unique your perspective, the bigger an impact it can have on your company’s bottom line.

And here’s a bonus quote: Don’t get your facts from just one source. – Thomas Flaherty (my eighth-grade social studies teacher)

kerry gorgone

Kerry O’Shea Gorgone is a writer, lawyer, speaker and educator. She’s also Director of Product Strategy, Training, at MarketingProfs. Kerry hosts the weekly Marketing Smarts podcast. Find Kerry on Twitter.

Illustration courtesy Google license-free images

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