Friday, April 6, 2012

Mark Potter: I Do

Because we just can't get enough of our good friend Mark Potter, here's another one of his insightful messages included in a recent issue of CANVAS Notes.

A member of the CANVAS team took a huge step this past weekend.  Our marketing manager popped the question and much to his relief she accepted.  They are very much in love and have been together for a couple of years now and I am sure will have a long and happy marriage.

I think it is interesting to note that these young adults went through a process that took some time, confirmed their feelings, and cemented their affection.  They realized that beyond their initial attraction there needed to be substance in order to truly connect.

I also find it interesting that most organizations in the modern world think of marketing as some sort of sales support tool or promotional arm that needs to be validated immediately.  What they don’t realize is that marketing is about creating long-term, sustainable relationships with specific groups of clients. 

In other words, in order for a market to accept your hand in business, then process and time must be prevalent.

Marketing is very much like dating.  First, you need to be where they are.  You can’t be sitting at home playing Xbox if you would like to meet someone.  Subsequently, you cannot be spending all of your time and money on print conferences if you want to truly engage a market of your own.

You need to create an initial attraction and that can only occur with excellent design and style.  Just remember, you cannot keep their attention without first grabbing their attention.  And, trust me a cold call won’t inspire anyone.

If you are lucky enough to get their attention with the flash of a smile, a corny line, or a spanking new pair of shoes, then that is when the hard part starts.  There must be substance and substance is rooted in them not you.  In other words, they want to know if you run in the same circles, know the same people, are genuinely interested in what they are saying, and can you make them laugh. 

How much are you truly part of the markets that you aim to serve?  Are you where they are?  Do you truly understand them?  Can you converse with them? Do you really care?  If you can say yes to all of these and make them laugh then chances are that you have invested the time that is needed for a real relationship.  If you have this kind of connection with a market then you too might be ready for the big commitment.

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