Marketing includes a lot of interconnecting and highly-specific disciplines. And for every one of those disciplines, there’s at least one expert who acts as a thought leader for the whole field.
From CEOs to renowned authors, check out what some of marketing’s brightest minds have to say on the subject. Whenever a marketer succeeds, the rest of the industry wants to know what they did (and how they did it).
The marketers who can do that consistently are the best in the industry. Sometimes these marketers have the word “marketer” in their title. Sometimes they’re CEOs who created strong brands. And other times, they’re marketing bloggers or writers.
Marketing experts come in all shapes and sizes, but there’s one unifying thread that runs through all of them: They know what they’re doing. These are 30 helpful quotes from some of the best marketing minds in the industry.
Quote #1. Beth Comstock
Comstock’s quote is a perfect illustration of relationship marketing. It emphasizes the need for companies to forge deep, relevant connections with their customer base, as opposed to throwing ads on billboards.
Establishing strong connections plays a major role in attracting and maintaining customers, regardless of your business model.
Like Comstock says — you can be a B2C or a B2B, but you need to establish relationships with the people who buy from you.
Quote #2. Steve Wozniak
Maintaining an objective stance in marketing is key to discovering what works well for your business. And when you have the laser-targeted data from digital strategies like SEO and PPC, you can let numbers do the talking for you.
Placing your favorite marketing strategy on a pedestal may work in the short term, but this industry changes by the day. If you want to stay ahead of the curve, you need to stay objective, look at data, and make informed decisions based on it.
Quote #3. Tony Hsieh
What is your company’s culture? Are you a six-sigma manufacturer with lots of hands-on management or a laid-back, laissez-faire data storage startup? Are you more nose-to-the-grindstone or head-in-the-clouds?
Those answers matter, and not just because of how it impacts your team. That culture shines through your brand to show people who you are at your core. And at the end of the day, your brand is what attracts people to your business.
Quote #4. Chris Brogan & Julien Smith
And when you’re online, you can’t physically speak to your visitors — instead, your website speaks for you. In a way, your online presence is constantly in a press conference, fielding questions from people who might become your customers if you convince them.
That’s exactly what your site should do, too — convince visitors to become customers.
Quote #5. Renee Blodgett
That means stay away from content that packs a lot of words, but doesn’t say anything.
We all know thin content doesn’t work online. But neither do pages that are overflowing with pointless words, like someone packing yet-another-pair-of-socks into a suitcase.
If you want to say something, say it!
Quote #6. Larry Weber
He’s especially informed about current trends, the biggest of which is that people don’t want to be sold anymore — they want to be told.
That means writing content about your company, products, and services and how they relate to the reader. Don’t spruce it up with flashy sales language — we’ve all seen it, and we don’t like reading it.
Basically, just tell. Don’t sell.
Quote #7. Brent Leary
The “attention economy” is based on the idea that every day, marketers create more content for people to read, but there’s only so much each person can consume. As a result, there’s going to be some content that gets very little — or no — attention.
That makes the attention economy an intensely competitive field. After all, there are only so many eyes in the world.
Quote #8. Paul Gillin
One of those content formats is podcasting, the art of creating episodic audio content that consumers can download whenever they want.
Podcasting allows marketers to talk about current issues in the industry, data on different marketing strategies, and any other interesting topics that could benefit their niche. And it’s “low-hanging fruit,” as Gillin says, because it’s such an easy and affordable medium.
All you really need is half an hour to create one episode, and if you have that kind of time every week, podcasting is a cinch.
Quote #9. Andrew Nachison
Essentially, any organization can be its own media outlet.
Whether you’re a small business or a large marketing agency, it doesn’t matter — the Internet empowers you to create, distribute, and promote information however you’d like.
That’s a far cry from 20 years ago when television, radio, and print journalism ruled the information landscape. Today, you can make your own media empire specific to your niche.
Quote #10. Gail Goodman
The key driving force of content is relevancy. If you’re trying to attract attention from a niche of business owners but you create content for social share-a-holics, you’re not going to resonate with the people you want.
While strategies like that may work for building your brand, they won’t do much for generating leads. That’s why the heart of your content needs to be relevant to your target audience.
Quote #11. Guy Kawasaki
Instead of looking at consumers as ways to increase your bottom line, Kawasaki looks at marketing as filling customers “with great delight.”
And it makes sense — if you want people to buy what you’re selling, they have to be excited about it. So if your goal is to sell to individuals in your niche, present your brand in a way that’s new and exciting.
Quote #12. Chris Anderson
With that kind of perspective, it makes sense that he can see how mass marketing is becoming a group of specific, individualized niches — not just a one-size-fits-all mass of consumers.
If you’re selling something, you need to know exactly who your audience is so you can target their specific demographic information. Otherwise, you’re wasting your time (and your marketing budget).
Quote #13. David Meerman Scott
Still, that’s easier said than done. It takes a lot to accomplish that kind of high-level plan, and there’s no way to tell where someone is in the buying process unless you’ve already made content for them.
The best way to get those customers is to do just that — create content for every location in your sales funnel. That way, whether someone’s looking up your industry for the first time or they’re ready to make a purchase, they can find the information they need.
Quote #14. Malorie Lucich
It makes sense, too. Social media lets friends stay in touch with one another, and branded content gets a lot of shares across social networks.
Plus, when you’re dealing with Pinterest, you can effectively reach lots of customers and encourage them to buy with photos and descriptions of specific products. So if you want to get more customers, don’t forget your social networks.
Quote #15. Ann Handley
Her advice is as succinct as it is smart, and it includes a lot more than it says topically.
When you use content marketing, you have a chance to tell a story to grab a potential customer’s attention. And what would make them engage with your content more than if they were the hero of your story?
Show them how a customer of yours overcame an obstacle with your product. Inspire them by showing how you solve problems in your customers’ industries. And whatever you do, show the reader that they can accomplish the same goals by using your product.
Quote #16. Seth Godin
He’s also highly practical, which is why his advice pertains to one specific aspect of marketing — case studies.
He’s completely right, too. If you wait until there’s a case study out somewhere in your industry, you won’t be able to use it.
The best thing to do for your marketing team is to identify where a case study should go in your industry, gather the data firsthand, and publish it yourself. Once you do that, all of your competition is suddenly a step behind.
Quote #17. Tony Zambito
His advice is to approach marketing (and marketing automation) with the same conscientiousness and personality that you would use with an in-person customer.
Even if you’re using automated marketing, you can still make it feel more human than robotic. Add personality, flair, names of staff, or even jokes to offer customers more of that human element that exists in your company.
Quote #18. Tom Fishburne
It’s easy to see that he has fun when he’s working, and his work has brought him a lot of success. That’s why “the best marketing doesn’t feel like marketing.” He’s marketing his own business in a fun, unique way that resonates with his target niche.
So what’s the lesson? Do what you love, and your customers will notice.
Quote #19. Jill Konrath
It’s not that traditional marketing methods don’t work — it’s that digital methods work so much better.
Digital marketing is much more targeted and data-based than traditional methods. You’ll always know more about who clicked your PPC ad than who saw a billboard you commissioned along the interstate.
With that in mind, if you want to get the most from your marketing budget, go digital.
Quote #20. Simon Sinek
Marketing is more than just your products or services — it’s about your company. Marketing is a chance for you to become an open book about why you do what you do, what you believe you do for your customers, and how much you enjoy doing it.
Don’t be afraid to add some personality and identity into your marketing. It might just get you some new customers!
Quote #21. Jay Baer
One way to interpret his quote is to think about marketing as the actual thing that your customers purchase. So if you ran an ecommerce store that sold running shoes, your customers wouldn’t be convinced to buy your products just from a sales page.
But if you expanded that sales page to talk about the ideas behind the shoes, how someone could use them to stay in shape, and how they comfortably fit to the sole of your foot, you’re not selling a product — you’re selling a set of ideas that’ll help someone live better.
In this case, the product is just the vehicle that brings change and happiness to your potential customers.
Quote #22. Dan Tapscott & Anthony D. Williams
Their quote is a simile packed with imagery, but it has a very simple core — embrace change.
If marketing trends are pointing in a new direction, try out that new direction. You don’t have to fully abandon your current methods, but at least test new options to see if they’ll help your business succeed.
If they don’t, ditch them. And if they do, keep using them. You don’t want to be making horseshoes when everyone else has an engine.
Quote #23. Matt Cutts
Cutts’ advice is concise, and it’s directly related to digital marketing — “think about what a user is going to type.”
That extends to content, SEO, PPC, and virtually every other kind of digital marketing. If you don’t spend a few moments in your customers’ shoes, you can’t expect to reach them effectively.
If they don’t, ditch them. And if they do, keep using them. You don’t want to be making horseshoes when everyone else has an engine.
Quote #24. David Ogilvy
His point, like Cutts’, is short, but strong.
No matter who your customers are, they’re not just “customers” — they’re people with hopes, dreams, thoughts, problems, and successes.
If you think of your customer as your spouse, you suddenly see them in a completely different light. They’re not people who buy just because you tell them to buy — they buy because you did something that resonated with them.
Quote #25. Flint McGlaughlin
Today, consumers want to know what you and your products do. They don’t want you to convince them — they want to make the choice for themselves.
With that in mind, the goal of your marketing shouldn’t necessarily be persuasion — it should be clarity. If someone understands what you do and why it’s important, it’ll be much easier for them to choose you when they need your help.
Quote #26. Steve Jobs
It’s true that you can’t ask people what they want all the time. If you have a large enough market, it could take years to get enough data to make a decision, and by the time you do, you’ll have missed your window.
Instead, it’s critical that you study trends and marketing data to see what your audience wants in real-time (or where your market is going). Then, make an informed decision based on that to give your customers what they want when they want it.
Quote #27. Jonah Sachs
Unlike Ogilvy, Sachs presents this idea as the complex issue that it really is.
Picturing consumers as fully-dimensional people is exceptionally difficult, and it can be just as hard to picture where your marketing fits in with each individual person.
But, on the plus side, you can use Sachs’ quote to help with another issue — identifying the characteristics that your customers have in common. Maybe that characteristic is where your customers live, or maybe they all had similar questions before they came to your site.
Regardless, once you identify those characteristics, you can target them to make the most of your marketing budget.
Quote #28. Milton Hershey
One of the best ways to market — or maybe the best way to market — is to simply create a quality product.
This idea is similar to Lucich’s quote, concerning how word-of-mouth advertising is so effective. When you make a quality product, people will be happy with it, talk about it, and spread the word to their friends.
With that marketing power behind your company, you can easily bring in more customers.
Quote #29. Adam Osborne
The answer was in marketing. Osborne created and marketed the Osborne 1, among other products, to sell directly to consumers.
They didn’t catch on right away, but without his work, it’s safe to say that the present state of personal computers wouldn’t look quite the same.
Quote #30. David Siteman Garland
His insight into marketing is also similar to Fishburne’s in that when you follow your passions, the money will follow.
But if you go out seeking money, your lack of passion will show in your marketing and products.
There’s not a scientific way to determine passion — it’s something you know when you see. Your customers know that, and if you lack a genuine interest what you do, they’ll see it right away.
So instead of following the money, follow what you love. The money will come.
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