“Marketing is like”…WTF?

Google is perhaps the greatest psychological experiment ever created – I love typing unfinished questions and getting suggestions for what is marketing …

Here’s a fun one,” marketing is like”

Wait, winking in the dark? WTF? (More on that below…)

I have one that I would like to suggest…

Marketing is like…a pencil.

I should say GREAT marketing is like a pencil.

The modern pencil was invented over 200 years ago by a scientist serving in the army of Napoleon Bonaparte and would you believe that global pencil sales are still over $2 billion dollars per year?

Pencils are analogous to great marketing, and here are just a few reasons why:

  1. Simplicity – pencils are simple writing instruments made from just a few materials, (wood and graphite) yet immensely powerful as a tool of self-expression and early forms of historical documentation.
  2. Remarkable – Any invention that survives two centuries is pretty remarkable, right?
  3. Transformative – some of history’s most famous writers, inventors and architects were pencil enthusiasts and users. Its utility value has stood the test of time.

If you think about it for a minute, pencils are pretty amazing!

But wait, there’s more…

They can write and erase. They can be sharpened. They are durable and last a long time. They don’t leak like pens. They are efficient, practical ,and precise. They are portable. They allow you to record, write, document, and communicate.

And they are almost always “on point.”

Can your marketing say as much?

Marketing can learn a lot from the all-mighty pencil.

It’s all in the numbers.

Do you know how much data is out there in today’s “Global Data-sphere?”

PWC predicts that there will be 44 Zettabytes (ZB) of data in our digital universe in 2020.

How much data is that?

A zettabyte is 1,125,899,910,000,000 megabytes. So multiple that number by 44 and there you have it – one big ass crazy number.

What does all of this mean?

Consider some big data facts for 2020:

• 4.6 billion people online
• 5.1 billion mobile phone owners
• 2 billion online shoppers
• 3.7 billion social media users

Here’s what happens online every 60 seconds, every day:

• 4.2 million search queries on Google
• 200 million emails sent
• 4.7 million videos viewed on YouTube
• 400 new users on Facebook
• 60,000 images uploaded on Instagram
• 480,000 tweets on Twitter

Source: nodegraph.se

And here’s the crazy thing… World data is predicted to reach 175 zettabytes by 2025 – for perspective, that much data would take one person 1.8 billion years to download at current internet speeds!

Unlike most garbage/waste which can be recycled or sent to a landfill to decompose, the continued growth of big data and the surplus of content online is infinite and has nowhere to go.

It sits and waits for be found, consumed, referenced or acted upon.

But the challenge to be found at all is getting much harder.

We’ve created a new universe and it has no end.

That’s why it’s always better to strive to be sought after, versus found, and why building a brand is paramount.

Meaningless conversations (with yourself)

Remember “Marketing is like…winking in the dark” auto-suggest from above?

Well, it’s actually from the quote below, which is a perfect lead in to my next random thought…

“Doing business without advertising is like winking at a girl in the dark.
You know what you are doing but nobody else does.”

Steuart Henderson

Here’s an added twist – marketing these days is like talking to yourself.

You’re saying something but nobody is there to hear you.

You’re talking to yourself. It’s a one-way conversation. There’s no dialog, no interaction.

It’s kind of like the “if a tree falls in the forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?”

Makes we wonder, “if you post content online and no one is around to consume it, does it really exist?” Better yet, does it even matter?

Marketer’s like to think if they put content online that there is an eager audience out there just waiting to consume, engage, and respond to it.

Nope. Doesn’t work like that.

Marketers – don’t have conversations with yourself…eventually, you’ll go insane from the lack of attention, engagement, and results, and give up marketing entirely.

And that would be a shame.

Some great questions you should ask yourself before you decide to create and distribute content online…

…what’s the point?…

…who is it for?…

…what does it do?…

…how can they use it?…

…what should they do next?…

…how will it make their lives better?

Start there.

As always, the best answers are the best questions.

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