Why Marketing is a Little Bit Like Dating – And Yes, It Can Be Scary

I once had a client tell me that he wanted to match every penny he spent on his marketing to every penny that came in the door for sales. Wow! I like it, however, it isn’t always that easy. It got me to thinking a bit about that old dating conundrum – “If I buy you dinner, can I expect … ?” Well, I think you know where I’m going with this. One thing doesn’t always lead to the other.

And here’s how marketing can be a bit like dating – sometimes your customers need some wining and dining before they commit. Sometimes you might have to spend a little more money or make a little more effort before that sale comes through the door. Frustrating? Yes. Necessary? Yes.

Your marketing should be working for you –  make no mistake about it. And, yes, you should be keeping tabs on how you measure your ROI (return on investment) and develop KPI (key performance indicators) to measure the efficiency of your marketing and advertising. But this is something that you should do in tandem with your marketing person, team or agency. Just like dating – it’s not a one-sided event. What may be going swimmingly from one point of view – maybe a completely different story from the other point of view. Communication is key.

And so, my Top 5 Marketing as Dating Tips –

  1. Get to know someone. Whether you meet online or at the grocery store – when dating it’s important to find out more. Same goes for your marketing – find out who your customer is and keep finding out. Customer needs change – marketing messages must change. Your date and your customer will appreciate it.
  2. Yes, you have to listen. Just like the date that does all the talking and never stops to ask about you – your marketing shouldn’t yammer on about your company and never consider what the customer wants. Ask the questions and listen to the answers.
  3. What do you have in common? Sure, you’ve had some laughs over your shared love of kung fu movies – but what else do you have in common? Your customer may love your newest gadget – but do you have anything else they might like? Are you sharing all of your products and services with your customers so they truly understand all you have to offer? You may be surprised to find out what your customer doesn’t know about you.
  4. Be willing to try something new. You may say you only date people over 4’11”. But who knows what you might be missing out on? If you’ve always done television ads and direct mail – would it be so bad to try automated surveys and viral videos?  Get outside your comfort zone. You may discover something wonderful and totally unexpected.
  5. Where did the love go? Sometimes you’ve done all you can, but it just didn’t pan out. Is it worth reaching out one more time? Just like in the world of dating – marketing can be a rough business. Be prepared for competition and rejection. Then learn from it and come up with a new game plan. Be flexible with your strategy and if you can figure out your missteps – let your customer know. Just like dating, sometimes being willing to admit you’re wrong can be the first step towards getting it right.

Leah Goold-Haws is the Creative Director/Marketing Strategist for LGH Marketing/Strategy. Leah’s experience has included campaign development and strategy implementation for multi-agency collaboratives, corporations and non-profits as well as entrepreneurs and small business clients. You can now meet with Leah at the Small Business Development Center. The SBDC provides low or no cost business assistance. Schedule an appointment today by calling 242-7630.

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is the Creative Director/Marketing Strategist for LGH Marketing/Strategy. Leah’s experience includes work at advertising firms, freelance design and marketing strategy along with international work in TV & radio. Leah worked as Creative Director of a marketing and advertising firm in Northern California before opening LGH Marketing/Strategy in January of 2011. She currently owns two successful businesses and is expanding into the global marketplace.
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