I am new to B2B marketing (someone has to be). I used to be a professional actor. My main areas of expertise are bursting into impromptu song and making the shape of a tree.
Some might argue that I am not qualified enough to work in marketing or sales; that I’m still hoping to be in a Hollywood Blockbuster. So one day, whilst eating a dissatisfactory egg mayonnaise sandwich, I replied to a LinkedIn message offering me a job selling marketing. Seems like a decision only someone looking for failure would make right? Well actually, I got the job and that is mainly because I’m pretty good at convincing people (like my boss). Not to mention others I engage in conversation to see if they’re interested in meeting to learn what True could do for their B2B brand (quite a lot). I agree, this doesn’t make any sense. Let’s try and figure out what’s going on.
Usually when I call someone I try and talk about anything but marketing. Solar eclipses, ungrateful children, the latest antics of Boris Johnson: anything. ‘Well that’s just typical sales charlatanism.’ I hear you cry. I disagree. Talking normally provokes an interpersonal, emotional response which makes people trust you and talk to you like the normal (maybe) person you are, and they are.
If you were at a dinner party (we like parties) and someone introduced themselves as an FX trader, then droned on about the efficiency of their trading system, exceeding targets and being top of the company leagues, you’d soon be trying to drown yourself in the gazpacho or lacerate your wrists with shards of crème brûlée. The person who cracks a joke, talks about his failing love life and then gives you a career recommendation or piece of advice is well listened to. Why? Because you associate with him. He’s a normal guy not a robot. People aren’t just their job title, background or ethnicity. They’re just people wondering whether Pret or M&S does a better egg mayonnaise.
The same goes for marketing. What does surfing have to do with an Irish beverage made from toasted barley? Not a damn thing. What do tin Martians have to do with a reconstituted potato foodstuff? Nothing. What does a sweet, fluffy puppy have to do with paper to ensure bowel hygiene? Zilch. What they do is excite, engage and relax you. Once this happens people start to say ‘This product looks good!’ And that is what marketing is really about.
Getting people to sit up and take notice… and egg mayonnaise. I’m new, but it all makes sense to me.