Many people think marketing and values are incompatible. I happen to disagree. Values are at the heart of marketing - your marketing. Here are the list of marketing values that I do my very best to live by. They may fit you as well.
Part I - The Approach to Marketing
Honesty and Integrity
Much of marketing and selling is seen as dishonest or, at best, "stretching the truth." Good marketing has integrity. It offers products or services that provide real value and that are actually delivered as promised (or exceed the promise). This is the foundation of all marketing.
Straightforward and Clear Communication
Much of marketing is convoluted and confusing. It doesn't have to be. To market oneself effectively, one needs to communicate simply and with clarity: "These are the clients we work with; these are the areas where they have problems; this is the solution we provide; this is how it works and this is what it costs."
Education, not Persuasion
All good marketing educates, rather than persuades or pushes. It gives a prospect the information they need to make an informed decision. When someone encounters good marketing, they feel elevated, not debased.
Do no Harm
The service you market should provide a real benefit, not only to the person who buys those services but to the community and to the planet. For instance, you could be great at marketing cigarettes, but that would miss the point entirely. You should never have to justify your marketing. It will speak for itself and will communicate true value.
Part II - The Mindset of Marketing
High Intention and Focus
Most people market themselves in a haphazard, unfocused way. Successful marketing takes real intention (what do I want to produce and why? What is my plan? What are my obstacles and how will I overcome them?) This kind of clarity of intention and focus can produce extraordinary results.
Expansiveness, not Constrictiveness
Where you come from about your marketing activities is just as important as what you do (if not more). When you are being expansive, full of possibility and enthusiasm, you will be much more successful than if you are being constricted, limited and and cautious. Good marketing is fun and people can get great benefit just from being exposed to high-integrity marketing.
Marketing as a Contribution
Ultimately, the purpose of any business is not to make money but to make a contribution, to make a difference. The tragedy is that many small businesses are unable to attract enough clients to be a viable business and to make their contribution real in the world. Through effective marketing, this no longer has to be the case.
A Bias for Action
To get marketing to produce results, it takes more than words, values and promises. It takes action. But action is hard! It takes planning and a one-step-at-a-time approach to tackling the "Marketing Elephant." This makes the process manageable and helps people get marketing wins right away.
I hope this summary gives a better idea of what I think marketing is about, and how you can approach it with dignity, and an understanding that marketing is not an evil to be tolerated but an art to be cultivated.
The More Clients Bottom Line: Take the time to think through the values that are important to you in your business and your marketing. Then work at applying these values in everything you do, from networking to the content of your web site, from selling to client service.
What are the values you practice in your business and marketing? Please share on the More Clients Blog.