By: Molly Maloney, SOCIAL MEDIA MANAGER
Forget about the textbook definition of marketing and let’s talk about what makes your business great.
Have you ever noticed that almost every relationship, personal and professional, generally begins with the same three questions? “Who are you?”, “Where are you from?”, and “What do you do?”. I know, you are what 2-3 sentences deep into this and are starting to wonder what in the world this has to do with marketing, but stay with me. As a Social Media Manager/Marketer/Communicator, I feel compelled to share what marketing truly is, rather than rattle off some textbook definition. In order to do that, I have to tell you a story.
Rewind to a few months ago, so say about April.
It was one of the first sunny weekends of Spring and it just so happened that some of my old classmates had planned to reunite for a winery tour in Southern Illinois. As we were catching up, my friend Jaci said to me, “So you’re now a Social Media Manager, that’s a real 21st-century job. What exactly do you do?” As I sat there trying to gather a response, buzzwords were all I could think about. I start rattling off my job description. “Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube, Email Marketing…” on and on. I realized this didn’t really describe what I do. It’s just a bunch of tools I use. So finally I say, “I work with some really cool businesses to help them build their brand and reputation on social media.” Looking back I really just broke the surface.
Not another boring definition.
After having this conversation with my friend, I have really started to change my communication approach when it comes to marketing your business.
Etc? Really? Do you really feel like you understand marketing after reading Merriam-Webster’s Definition? I feel like it’s telling me marketing is just making ads and having products in stock. I mean if that’s the case, all the businesses I work with have already met these goals and should be billionaires by now. But, that’s just not the case.
There’s a lot more to marketing than pushing products through commercials, websites, Facebook, and sending direct mailers. You first identify and build your brand before you can start adding these pieces to the puzzle.
What does my brand have to do with marketing?
As we begin our relationship, I ask you all kinds of questions… Kind of like a date. I’ve stalked your online presence from afar, and now I want to get to know you (CREEPY, I know). This date is like every other relationship. I ask those same questions; who you are, where you’re from, what you do, and what’s your story? This teaches me about your personality, business, and what adds the sparkle to your eye. This allows me to help you establish your brand, not change who you are, or sell something you’re not. Like Jonas always says, “We don’t make businesses great, we make great businesses known.”
An example of a great business and awesome brand is Lundberg Medical Imaging. Terri Lundberg is one of my business idols. She’s fun, inspirational, business savvy, quirky, and a fitness guru. She has built a culture around this. When you visit Lundberg Medical Imaging you feel all those adjectives I just described. You can expect exceptional service every time. When you visit Terri’s Facebook Page, you get the same feeling. When you see a Betty commercial on TV, you see that personality shine through Betty. When you see Terri and her team at an event, you feel it too. This is what we communicate and this is what builds a community of relationships. Not just that Lundberg has the lowest cost medical imaging in town because they are so much more than that.
This is Successful Marketing.
Marketing is more than an Ad. You are more than a price or sale. You are an awesome business, changing your community. I interact with hundreds, if not thousands of people daily on social media and the best tip I can give has nothing to do with a sale. You can’t build relationships with that. It’s communicating who you are and what you do. It evokes feelings and people want to connect with that.