Marketing is About Being Real, not Being Glossy

By Stuart Ayling

I’ve been working as a marketing practitioner for 20 years. I hold a Marketing Degree, have had numerous Marketing Manager roles, and have provided marketing consultancy services for many years.

Over that time I’ve heard heaps of people say (or imply) that marketing is fake. That it is about tricking people into buying or doing something they don’t really want or need. That marketing is insincere.

Have you ever thought that?

The scary thing is I meet plenty of business owners – from small operators to partners in large firms – that are still thinking that way. Even though the only way they can grow their business is to undertake some form of marketing, promotion, or selling.

They look down their nose at ‘˜marketing’ seeing it as something they would rather not do.

And a recent article from website usability guru Gerry McGovern includes this statement…

“This is a really difficult message for marketers and communicators to hear, but we need to hear it and really, really listen. Those of us who think the essence of our jobs is to make our websites exciting don’t have much of a future in the web industry.”

Gerry is implying that marketing people focus on the fluffy stuff. The glossy side. Looking to change things just for the sake of it.

OK… I admit some marketers do do that. They are shallow. They look for the excitement in doing something new. Not necessarily something that is needed.

And old-style marketers often focus on telling prospects what they should do -“ the pushy advertising model -“ rather than attracting clients by helping them make a decision.

However, if you want to be successful in your business -“ no matter what your industry or how many customers you have -“ you must look at marketing as an integral cog in your business machine.

(wow, it just struck me how 19th century that common cog-in-the-wheel analogy sounds)

Your marketing program should be driven by a sound strategic approach based on achieving your business objectives. It should consist of a series of related events that are:

  • Timed for maximum impact on your prospects.
  • Add value for your clients-to-be.
  • That are easily managed within the constraints of your resources (time and money).

Your marketing must address issues important for your prospects – from their perspective.

Make marketing work for you

Get over your feelings of marketing and use it as the business development tool it really is. Make it work for you.

Stuart Ayling runs Marketing Nous, an Australasian marketing consultancy that specialises in marketing for service businesses. He helps clients to improve their marketing tactics, attract more clients, and increase revenue. For additional marketing resources, including Stuart’s popular monthly newsletter, visit his web site at

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