One of the things people find most daunting about marketing is the idea that they are trying to represent a brand, and the voice of that brand, to a target market that could range from a very small, niche group to, well…everyone!
Working out how to communicate what you're selling, and to whom, is challenging - but there is one key aspect of the entire process that people who are new to marketing seem to totally misunderstand.
Here's the secret;
you aren't selling a brand to a market.
You really aren't.
When you are marketing, what you're aiming to do is make a connection. You want to connect to another person (ideally a lot of them, but for the sake of simplifying my point, let's keep this one-to-one!)
You want to pick that one person out of the crowd who is looking - whether they know it or not - for the exact thing that you're selling or promoting. You want that one person to be a friend, and to drop into the conversation "that thing you need? I just happen to have one!" and for them to gratefully reply "fantastic! Here's my money, send me your thing!"
This may sound overly simple - but it really isn't. Think about it; when you buy a product, any product, or service, whether you do that face to face with a sales person in a shop, or online, you are a single individual making that purchase - and you're dealing with a single individual who processes that sale; either a sales clerk who scans the product through the till, or someone sitting in front of a screen and processing your order, a person boxing it up and putting a label on the box.
A person designed that product. A person wrote that service description. A human being put it in a box and ticked it off a list. A real, human person, who had lunch that day, wants a cup of tea, and has a family somewhere.
And that's who you're buying from, and selling to, in every instance.
Whether you run a small business from your spare room or work in a team of two hundred people for a global brand, the key thing to remember is always the same. You're a human, and you're working with people, for people, selling and promoting what you do to other people, some of whom really want or need the thing you're selling.
But why does this even matter?
Because when you're selling anything, it's far easier to do it if you connect to people. If you think of 'the market' as a huge entity that you have to battle for, it won't work. If you think of it as a bunch of nice people who would benefit from the thing you're offering, it's going to go a lot better. And if you think of it as you being a nice person who genuinely likes the thing you're offering, having a chat with a friend that you know needs the thing, it's really very simple indeed.
And that's where marketing gets social. You're not selling - you're talking. Talking about a thing you know people want, to people who you know want the thing, and you can either be a brand, faceless and nameless, or you could be Jane, talking to Dave, or me, talking to you right now, connecting.
It doesn't matter how big the brand is, or how famous the product - every single transaction is between two people, whatever level that's at - and so is every conversation. They might be famous people, important people, successful people, intimidating people - but they're people. So talk to them, and to everyone, as if you're one too - and I promise your marketing will connect in a way you've never believed it could.
It doesn't matter what you're selling, how big or small, product or service - you're just a person, connecting with another person. Never let that go.
You're not selling a brand - you are it. Be your brand, and let your brand be human.