Choice in Marketing
When you “show up” in your marketing, you are making a choice — a choice to put yourself out there and a choice about how you invite, respond, react and what you give to your audience — your people.
Just as there are many different approaches to many things in life, there are many ways to go about, and levels of consciousness in, marketing. There are no marketing police and there is no marketing bible. And there is no Truth. There is only values, respect, clarity, creativity and generosity… or greediness.
When you think about marketing, you are either consciously or unconsciously making choices — choices about your needs, your purpose, your value, your time, your priorities and your audience. You always do have a choice and, as we all know (!): the more you know, the more you don’t know…
Learning what good communication looks like is learning what choices you have. To become inspired by others, to share your thinking with your mentors, your peers and even your clients is to choose to be honest in order to grow in a way that you feel serves both others and yourself.
The Victim, Persecutor and Rescuer roles that are presented by Stephen B. Karpman’s Drama Triangle can help us evaluate how we want to approach our marketing. We think about ethics and potential victims of toxic marketing campaigns, but also about ourselves as victim marketers not having done the investment of working out what we want to get back — what will serve us in terms of business in return for our efforts. We could “rescue” ourselves from the pit of anxiety that is “having to do marketing” or rescue our clients in the (for example, coaching) offering that we make and the outcome that it will deliver…
However, I like the idea of the Gift as opposed to the Rescue. The gift to yourself of self-awareness when it comes to marketing; the gift to your audience of clarity, choice, transparency and inclusion.
There are many touchpoints when we do marketing in which we have choice. Some are very ‘practical’ —
- Which, if any, social media platform?
- Which SEO words?
- Which website building platform
- How often, at what time, and with what voice?
… And then there are the somewhat more ‘emotional / thoughtful’ choices —
- Do I want to react and if so how?
- Can anyone hear me? How does that make me feel?
- Does this marketing technique serve me / my audience? How?
- Do I really want to be saying this? What does it say about me?
- From what emotional starting point do I find myself posting this?
One thing is for sure. Your marketing does not just surface thanks to you. It leads to co-created outcomes. You might largely influence the tone, but it is a conversation in which the receiver will make of it what they will. It may or may not land as you wished. It may or may not resonate on the day on which it is received. Your audience bring their own language, perspective and humanity to what you put out there. They are AN AUDIENCE.
When I studied Theatre Studies, I was taken with the Brechtian approach and I am still moved by it 22 years later. As a marketer, Brecht has inspired me to:
- Think and communicate clearly myself
- Make my audience think
“Focus on the quality and consistency of [my] story, and be sure that [my] actions are integral with the conception [I’m] working so hard to share.”
Remind people that they have a choice
Invite my audience…
“to remain objective and distant from emotional involvement so that they could make considered and rational judgements”
I love this article by Tom Chatfield, an author and tech philosopher, with a special interest in critical thinking. Chatfield invites us to choose to accept that our thinking and communication (and in turn I would say our marketing) is a process; to accept our limitations; to take a pause and “attend to our own thoughts”; to “engage charitably and rigorously with perspectives other than your own”…
I choose to remind my audience — you, my reader — that you are “watching marketing” — a sharing process — I choose to be transparent, I hope to be as clear as possible about my intention and in turn to make clear that to choose to work with me is to choose a particular way to go about something that could be approached a number of different ways.
I hope to inspire coaches to join Simon Batchelar and me as we embark on a journey with Better Bolder Braver. We have carefully crafted a community space for the people who we think we can inspire and who we would feel very happy to see flourish… coaches — those that awaken consciousness, the people-helpers and the action enablers.