The Inverse of Marketing

“I’ve argued repeatedly that your product should match your marketing, not the other way around …”

Seth Godin, Linchpin

Which comes first:

1. The service; or

2. The marketing?

I think we have lost the thread.

Worse still we can see the Emperor is naked but fail to speak out.

“Get me more clients, now.”

“We need more work.”

The clock, time-sheet and performance criteria have brainwashed you to believe that there is only one way to success. What you need is to rediscover your passion. The rest will follow.

Go back to the start.

Did you really set out to line your pockets with gold?

Or was it your passion to help, to make a difference or change opinion?

[Note: Here is an inspirational talk from a barrister at the recent Tedx Exeter conference]

I have said from the beginning that everyone is in marketing, but when your service is your people that takes on new meaning.

Can you imagine an outside agency with the mindset of your people? The type of people who can’t even raise a smile, or show an interest in what they are doing?

Why do you tolerate it?


The fear that comes with change.

You think that if you address the situation that you will bear witness to an implosion. But is that likely?

Change is thick in the air. It goes beyond  a ‘sense’ of the future, you can now see the shape in certain quarters.

Do you have a strategy?

I know the one I would put my weight behind.

And it isn’t the one that starts and ends with bugging for attention or buying your way out of trouble.

No, you need get down in the trenches, lean into the people problem and show leadership.

People are screaming out for leadership. It’s not a question of inspiration – the odd email just doesn’t cut it – but instead stepping outside your comfort zone, sending out honest signals and painting a picture that is inclusive.

Leaders need to reconnect with their emotional side, and stop holding on to the safety net that comes with a slew of numbers. The more you seek solace in performance criteria that dehumanise your connection, the less likely it is that anyone will be inspired.

If you can illuminate a scene that everyone believes in, is demonstrative of something better and has the power to change lives, then the tools of marketing become the internal furnace of everyone.

It might sound a bit cuckoo to turn the marketing conundrum on its head, but that is exactly what you should be doing. If you don’t then you will find that the budget will fail to do anything save make lots of noise that no one is interested in.