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10 Key Concepts Your Marketing Needs To Address

For many people, the concept of marketing is really still couched in too much jargon and mystery.

I’ve found that as I have been going around talking with arts and entertainment professionals, professional services firms, and sports executives, that they all have a different estimation of what marketing can or should do.

Here’s the simple way of explaining marketing: marketing is everything that you do. From the message that you share, to the programs you provide, to the way people interact with you while visiting.

Everything is marketing.

That said, there 10 key concepts that in one shape or another are always on my mind when I am talking marketing.

So I wanted to share them with you to help you refocus.

1. Differentiation: 

Simple, you don’t want to be one of many, you want to be one of one.

There’s only one Revenue Architect in the world. That’s by design.

That’s differentiation.

Don’t neglect it.

2. Discounts:

Discounts destroy brands.

Look at retail in America.

Or, look at the way that sports teams are killing themselves to offer cheaper and cheaper tickets once they have overpriced their inventory.

Its gotten to the point where most industries can almost never charge full price.

Compare that will Apple.

When was the last time you saw a discount come directly from Apple?

3. Mass advertisements:

Just don’t work that well any longer.

You can throw a ton of money at a bad product or a bad idea and have the only accomplishment be you’ve spent a lot of money.

Instead, focus on the product and telling the story of a great product.

4. Customer Focus: 

You have to focus on your customer.

Give them something to rave about.

Don’t just try to anticipate what your customers want. Try to surprise and delight them.

5. Stories:

Stories are the core of today’s brands and today’s marketing.

The best story wins.

Look at the Grateful Dead. They weren’t the most popular act in music history, but they were the most successful at selling tickets.


Because they told a better story about being amongst a community of likeminded hippies and that their shows would take you on a journey and give you an experience.

6. New:

You don’t always need a new product or a new service, but you do need to always think about what’s new about what you are working on or dealing with.

People notice the new.

Why do you think Apple rolls out a new iPhone every year? For the attention.

The same applies for any number of things that we encounter.

We are attracted to the new.

7. Attention:

Is precious.

You can’t waste it and no one owes you their attention.

So when you have it, add value. Focus on the person you are talking with or talking to.

8. First impressions: 

Matter now more than ever.

The challenge for all of us is that the first impression doesn’t always come the first time we connect with someone. It may be 10 or 12 times down the road.

But when we do get the chance at the first impression, we better make it count.

9. Authenticity:

Did you hear the story of Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton’s “I’m With Her” slogan.

Bernie was going to record a commercial and at the end they wanted him to say, “I’m with her.”

He said he wouldn’t do it, it made him sound corny and the slogan was inauthentic.

Even if the story is made up, we can believe that the story happened because of our impression of both candidates, unless you are a hardcore Clinton supporter. And, even then…?

That’s authenticity. Be yourself. Your true self.

10. Community:

Brands don’t exist in vacuums any longer.

So you have to strive to make a community around your brand.

That way people will share and talk about what you are doing and what you are up to.

Community counts more than ever.

If you don’t believe me, attend a Pearl Jam show and find out where the Wishlist Foundation is holding their pre-party.

You’ll find a packed venue with a silent auction, new and old friends singing songs, and a feeling of shared experience.

That’s community and you can’t buy that kind of devotion.

Try to create that in your own brand.