What are you afraid of?

There is some absurd statistic that says people are way more afraid of public speaking than they are of death. Well, that’s true for me because I know where I’m going when I die. Frankly, it’s a lot nicer than where I am now. The point is that they’re afraid.

I never counted myself in this group because public speaking didn’t seem to bother me. Until I began thinking about it in marketing for my novels. And I’m SCARED. Paralyzed. Can’t breathe, can’t think, can’t speak.

I. Can’t. Speak.

What do I have to say that people would care to hear? What experiences to I have that would benefit others? Why, oh why, would anyone sit in front of me and give up their precious time to listen to something I say? Am I credible? Am I interesting? Funny? If nothing else, humor is a good way to keep people from throwing things at me.

Today’s confession and truth come together. I am confessing the truth to this ridiculous fear.

Confession: As for me, I look to the Lord for help. I wait confidently for God to save me, and my God will certainly hear me. Micah 7:7

The truth is that when I read these words from the Bible, I do gain confidence. But not in myself. I will remain confident in God. He will save me. He will hear me. He will deliver me. Will I be funny? Interesting or credible? I don’t know. But it’s not about me. It’s about Him.

What is your fear, and what is your confession of truth?

Marketing with Emotion

Feelings, nothing more than feelings…

Okay, stop singing to the tune in your head and think about the last big item you bought. Was it a computer? A car? A house?

Here’s another one: Have you donated to a certain charity recently? What made you choose it and the dollar amount to donate?

One more to think about: Have you read any junk mail letters that made you pull out your credit card for something you absolutely don’t need? (It happened to me with the VitaMix machine. My husband stepped in before I could make the call. Drat!)

Whether you bought the item or not, do you remember what exactly caught your attention? Chances are, your decision was based largely on emotion. It’s a common practice in marketing to sell to the buyer’s heart, not to his head. We buy based on desire and justify the purchase later. Case in point: I loved how the VitaMix made me feel healthier and smarter for not wasting foods. Plus, it allowed me to make soup, ice cream, dips, smoothies, and on and on.

See the emotion and the justification? The copywriter for this ad went for my desire to live a healthy lifestyle, and my justification to spend $500 was that it would actually save us money (by not wasting foods) AND we’d have a wide range of menu options. Clever.

When you write ad copy or promotional material, make sure you’re not acting in an unethical manner by manipulating your readers’ emotions. Evaluate your product, idea, or service. Is it a legitimate need? Can it improve lives? Are you putting an unrealistic and unnecessary price point on it just to rake in cash?

What emotions can you target to trigger a sale and still sleep at night? Try some of these:

  • Love
  • Generosity
  • Compassion
  • Healthy living
  • Knowledge
  • Good stewardship

Just remember to offer a quality product so your buyer can justify the decision to invest in you.

What is Marketing, anyway?

Marketing. Public Relations. Promotions. Sales. While all these roles are similar and may be used together, they each have a function. What’s the difference? A good question, and one I think about often.

In my own experience, Public Relations is how people view you, your product, your service, or your idea. Much of Public Relations deals with the media and getting the public familiar with you.

Promotions is the practice of getting your product into the hands of consumers. Sales teams often use promotional tactics.

Marketing is the ability to see a need and to create a product or service to meet that need. It is sometimes the practice of creating a need, then creating the product to fill it. A good example: gaming systems. My son didn’t know he NEEDED an X-Box 360 Live until he saw the endless hours of amazing fun it provides and all his friends were online with it. (Laugh. If you’re a parent with one of these in your home, you know how fruitless it is to argue about gaming systems. Choose your battles, people.)

Okay, now that you know my petty thoughts on the matter, what do others have to say about these definitions?

Free Management Library says this about Marketing: “Marketing is the wide range of activities involved in making sure that you’re continuing to meet the needs of your customers and getting value in return. Marketing is usually focused on one product or service. Thus, a marketing plan for one product might be very different than that for another product. Marketing activities include “inbound marketing,” such as market research to find out, for example, what groups of potential customers exist, what their needs are, which of those needs you can meet, how you should meet them, etc. Inbound marketing also includes analyzing the competition, positioning your new product or service (finding your market niche), and pricing your products and services. “Outbound marketing” includes promoting a product through continued advertising, promotions, public relations and sales.”

A very thorough definition, and it shows how several aspects in this field are related. Here’s another one from LearnMarketing.net:

“The Chartered Institute of Marketing define marketing as ‘The management process responsible for identifying , anticipating and satisfying customer requirements profitably’

Check out both of these sites for more detailed definitions. Next time, we’ll look at getting your prospect to notice you using one of the most popular – and misunderstood – methods in marketing.

Marketing apples

Apples. Plump, red, juicy. Bite into the best one, and you’ve got a sweet mouthful of crisp and tasty life. True wisdom is like biting into that apple.

Wisdom in today’s culture of immediate gratification seems hard to come by. Even moreso is understandable, easily applied bits of wisdom. Apples of gold, those bits are, and highly valuable.

Marketing is a pursuit that never dies, no matter the state of the economy. There will always be things to buy, services to help others, ideas to stimulate the masses. What is your product, service, or idea? How have you put yourself out for the world to see and hear? Well-spoken words, or words you’d like to take back? No worries. This is a field of constant change, learning as we go, determining what works and what needs adjustment.

Marketing is a pursuit of immediate gratification, but the best marketing efforts are lasting, like wisdom. Listen to, believe, obey the world in your attempts to reach your audience, and perhaps you’ll be satisfied for a moment. Listen to the still, small voice that beckons within, and your satisfaction will be eternal. That’s theĀ  difference in the types of wisdom you’ll find out there, and my goal here is to bring encouragement and lasting wisdom that you can easily apply to your marketing efforts.

Apples of gold in settings of silver. Sweet, crisp, and tasty life.

Come back often, and ask lots of questions. If I don’t have the answer, we’ll find it. We’ll go on a journey together to create well-spoken words and to make your marketing efforts last with real wisdom.