I’ve been working in marketing in some form since 1996. What began as a crash course in promotional marketing as a photographer evolved and grew into a long career in B2B and B2C marketing. From architecture, pharma, tech, food, and even pet care, countless hours have been spent in strategic meetings with clients and partners discussing our “audience” and how to best market to that “consumer”, “brand”, or “target audience”. As marketers and business people, we have a tendency to over-analyze. Even when we think we are lasered in and we talk about the personas, we are disconnecting ourselves from the easier answer; we are over-complicating things.
I believe personas and target audiences are important. I also can speak to unique challenges when marketing as a B2B business provider versus direct to consumer as a B2C. However, I firmly believe that we need to remember that no matter what we are marketing and to whom – brand or consumer – we need to peel back the layers and remember that at the core, who we are marketing to is quite simple.
We are marketing to people. People like us.
The challenge lays not in who, but what. Are we marketing a product or service? A solution, distraction, education, or entertainment? Figure that out and then we just need to remember that all people are driven and motivated either intrinsically or extrinsically. There is no magic around basic motivational behavioral psychology.
Determine what you are marketing and how it serves the intrinsic and/or extrinsic needs of yourself and others and then tell THAT story. Step back and stop overthinking, and stop wasting hours on meetings that over-complicate the process.
Michelle J. Martin is an Engagement Strategist, Writer, Photographer, Foodie, and lover of all things Mid-Century Modern. She is currently traveling the world, taking a year-long break from her marketing blog.