OK. So, put on your handy, portable, wrist-band  lie-detector, available from MakerShed, for just $44.95, if you’re interested.

Now… Be honest. As marketers, we really want to have it both ways. We want the world to believe we are the miracle makers that can put lipstick on the pig and make it smile.  However, our delicate marketer souls cringe when the hard-hearted world actually believes us, and we are then dubbed the sneakiest and lowest of tricksters, who make a living out of lying. It is a nasty little Catch-22 of our own fiendish marketing design.

So, here’s the remedy for our little conundrum – absolute honesty.  You heard me. I’m coming clean. I am now going to spill the 5 Absolute Truths in Advertising, and I challenge any other marketers out there to stop me. Someone’s gotta do it.

  1. A Pig, Is A Pig, Is A Pig.
    Marketing cannot create a sustainable need or desire for a product where none is naturally occurring.
    Neither can marketing say a product does something it really does not. Marketing code for this is “relevant brands” and “product differentiation”.  Layman terms are “snake oil salesmanship only works once then you had better plan on moving to the next town.”
  2. There is No Magic Bullet.
    Marketing does not operate in a vacuum. Many companies are actually on the hunt right this moment for the agency partner that has that “Campaign That Will Change History” with their [LOGO HERE] on it.   The only problem is the “Campaign That Will Change History” has a few other key elements going for it. They are: the product itself (its availability, customer service, reliability, features, benefits, etc.,) the market, the competitors, the sales follow-up, the customer loyalty and repeat/add-on business …you get the idea.
  3. Love Conquers All.
    Go ahead. Laugh. Marketing has the ability to build empathy and even affection for a brand that is empathetic and affectionate to its customers. Good marketing recognizes and communicates where the needs and desires of the customer intersects with the offerings of the brand. It is that simple.
  4. No Pain, No Gain.
    Marketing is not a one-shot deal.
    The reason for this is so simple: It doesn’t matter who or what your customer is, they are suffering from ADD. You don’t know precisely when they are going to be in the market for your product, and they absolutely cannot be trusted to remember you for more than a nano-second (a tell-tale sign of ADD). You must reach them frequently, repeatedly, and where they live. That takes time, money, or both.
  5. Garbage in, Garbage Out.  A marketing campaign cannot rise above bad assumptions (about the customer, the competitors, the market, etc.). Of course, even if the assumptions are good, they cannot rise above bad creative or strategy either.

Thus, the truth about marketing is simply this: Get your facts straight. Have a S.M.A.R.T. ( strategic, measurable, actionable, realistic, timely) plan. Invest in marketing and media that match your facts.  No glamour. No fancy promises. Just solid marketing sense. It works. Try it.