As a professional marketer in a digital, highly measurable world, it’s easy to get caught up in the hype of the different marketing platforms and services available.
But someone in the Akimbo Creatives Workshop wrote something recently that was a great reminder of what these things are – tools and levers that enable us to share our work, vision, and knowledge with others.
They’re merely distribution mechanisms enabling marketers to help others make the change they desire.
Ross Simmonds posed a question on LinkedIn last week asking marketers what marketing IS and what it’s NOT:
Maybe they’re drinking something in Canada that’s causing people to pause and reflect on the true elements of marketing – both Ross and my Akimbo colleague are from Canada.
Regardless, both got me thinking about marketing and what it is at its core.
I’m generally pretty active in marketing-related groups and communities such as the Facebook groups Employer Brand Forum and The Daily Carnage.
Many discussion topics revolve around marketing platforms and tools.
Everyone in marketing seems to be looking for a shortcut, and they’re hoping MarTech (or RecruitTech) can bail them out.
There’s no question that technology is the great equalizer in the modern professional world.
Technology, to some degree, can mask a lack of knowledge or experience. You can have some quick wins and can get by for a while.
It can level the playing field among the very experienced and the newly-minted professionals.
But sooner or later, if you don’t understand what marketing truly is, these tools will begin to lose their effectiveness.
People are already tuning out most marketers’ messages.
The more prevalent poor marketing becomes, the more difficult it becomes for everyone in the profession to enable those we seek to serve to create the change they desire.
However, marketing technology is simply a tool—a lever to pull to create efficiencies.
It’s not what marketing is.
Marketing is being human. Marketing is communication. Marketing helps solve peoples’ problems.
Marketing is understanding what motivates, drives, and imbues the desires and wants of other humans.
Marketing is understanding human psychology, including influence and decision-making. Not to be manipulative, but to know how to better connect at a human level.
That’s why storytelling is so powerful. It follows a pattern we’re hardwired to understand. It follows a pattern of how our lives play out.
We all have stories, and if we were to break them down and tell them in a storytelling manner, they would fit the pattern, regardless of how insignificant or routine they seem.
As each of our marketing careers progress, it is vitally important that we all anchor our view of marketing around the humans we wish to work with and see tools and MarTech for what they are.