Marketing ISN’T I.T.

Someone was talking to me this morning about marketing, and he made the comment that his clients often say “I can’t do that marketing stuff. I’m not I.T. (information technology) savvy.”

I laughed out aloud, because that’s what all the guys n gals I work with think. That marketing is “IT” or ‘computer stuff’…

Every time I get introduced to a customer or a partner or a vendor, I’m always introduced as “Eran, our IT guru” (or words to that effect.)

Pretty frustrating, considering I am NOT an IT guru (although compared to all the folks I work with, I probably am…) 😉

But more importantly, because they obviously misunderstand what marketing is, they misunderstand what it can do for their lives.

You see, although a lot of my marketing work is run from computer systems, it’s NOT the final story when it comes to marketing, and in fact, 10-15 years ago, most marketers had little to do with computers.

One of the problems with viewing marketing as an IT or computer-related discipline is that it stops people embracing the opportunities marketing offers them, because they’re not confident with using computers.

They think, because they only know the basics of using MS Word, email & surfing the web, that they can’t do anything more complex than that, when nothing could be further from the truth.

Think about it – do you own and know how to use a smart phone (iphone, android, etc.)?

If the answer is yes (and it probably is), then you’re “IT Savvy” by the standards of MOST people 10 years ago!

And do you know how you got there?

Simple. You learned a new skill. You practised it. You experimented with it. You got better!

And just because they’re easier to use than previous IT systems doesn’t mean squat! All things IT improve over time.

It still required YOU to learn a new skill, which you managed to do.

So, if you can learn an “IT skill” like using a smart phone, you can also learn a lot of the (basic) computing skills required to be able to start marketing.

Like anything in life, we have to learn new skills, and it’s been my experience that it’s fear of trying new things & fear of failing while you learn to become competent at new things that stops MOST people from gaining confidence in doing something new, something outside their comfort zone.

Whatever your job or business is, you had to learn new skills to become competent at it, right?

Of course you did…

So, why would learning a few more skills (as relates to marketing) kill you?

If you can drive a word processor application like Microsoft Word, you can do a LOT of marketing.

You can create the content for websites, blog posts, scripts for youtube videos, ad campaigns on Google, email marketing sequences, etc.

Of course, probably the biggest question going through your head is “Why would I want to learn marketing?”

To answer that question, I need to take you back to May, 1905 in Chicago – the office of the Lord & Thomas advertising agency.

Albert Lasker – a junior partner in the firm – intercepted a note to A.L. Thomas, the head of the firm.

In that handwritten note, he read this short message:

I am in the saloon downstairs. I can tell you what advertising is. I know you don’t know. It will mean much to me to have you know what it is and it will mean much to you. If you wish to know what advertising is, send the word “yes” down by the bell boy. Signed – John E. Kennedy

Interestingly enough, Albert had been looking for the answer to that question for quite some years, and had not found an answer that satisfied him.

John E Kennedy photoHe had Kennedy quickly brought up to his office, and that’s when ol’ Albert heard the answer he had been looking for for nearly a decade:

“Advertising is salesmanship in print”

Turns out Kennedy was spot on! Although I guess in our modern age, it might be more accurate to describe advertising as salesmanship in print, video, radio, etc…

Regardless of the semantics of 109 years difference in technology, the concept still holds true now, and will do for probably another 1000 years.

So, if you are involved in sales in ANY form within your job or business, then you can’t afford to not know more about marketing, since it is an extension of what you already have to do in your job.

EVERY business person is looking for an advantage over their competitors – a way to get ahead of them in the race to sales success, and knowing some marketing basics is a key skill you SHOULD have and SHOULD become better at over time.

It will help you sell better than you do now. It certainly did in my case (a story for another day).

It will help you sell more efficiently than you do now.

It will help you sell to a wider audience than you have access to now (just think about the POWER of a simple Google or Facebook ad that you can create in 5-10 mins and have it displaying anywhere in the world in less than half an hour. That POWER was unimaginable 15 years ago, but now it’s common place and very low cost compared to the old ways of advertising and marketing outside your local market catchment area.)

AND, it will make you more money than you are making now.

A LOT more if you do it right!

So, now you have something to think about.

Do you want more sales, easier, cheaper and more efficiently than before… OR do you want to let a fear of the unknown (especially IT/computer-related skills) stop you achieving your goals?

Your choice, but I hope you choose wisely.

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