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Can your marketing make people feel good?

Can your marketing make people feel good?

July 07, 2014 by Sharon Tanton

Feel good cloudsMany small business owners feel uncomfortable about marketing. Some positively hate it.

A new client of ours — the head of a very successful consultancy — has shied away from marketing for years because to him, it feels intrinsically wrong. In his eyes, markeing is putting on an act, pretending to be something you’re not. Like many people, he thinks there’s a dishonesty at the heart of marketing that doesn’t sit easily with the way he feels about himself or his business.

He’s not the only one. Pretending to be something you’re not is never a good feeling.

Don’t be a pushy marketer

We all have a short fuse when it comes to being marketed at by pushy marketers — cold callers, spammy emails, incessant amazing never-to-be-repeated deals (until tomorrow, that is, when you get them again). And that means we don’t want to be that pushy person ourselves 

We say look at marketing differently. When you approach marketing from the standpoint of ‘how can we help our customers better?’ rather than ‘how can we sell more stuff?’ it becomes easier. And, it works more effectively. It’s easy to switch off from a marketing message, it’s not so easy to switch off from something that genuinely answers a question that’s been really bugging you.

Right now, it would be impossible for me not to click on something that showed me how to get my 16-year-old son to revise.

You’ll stop seeing it as pushing, lying, or manipulation if you don’t push, lie or manipulate. Create marketing content that is genuinely helpful and you take the pressure off yourself.

Of course feel-good marketing is only possible if what you’re selling makes a difference. But that doesn’t mean you have to be Greenpeace, it just means you genuinely want to improve your customers’ lives.

Do good to feel good. That’s feel-good marketing.

Sharon Tanton is an expert contributor to Marketing Donut, creative director at Valuable Content and co-author, with Sonja Jefferson, of Valuable Content Marketing. 

Comments

Hi Sharon, thanks for this post it is very interesting, and very true! I completely understand that some people may have experienced marketing previously in a negative way and therefore think of it negatively. However, brands and customers will often have target markets, and if they are predominately aiming their marketing at these people, you will be generally appealing to the majority who will want to purchase a product or use a service. Of course, it is hard to please everyone! I work for a marketing and PR recruitment agency and in terms of our marketing to job-seekers, often if someone has submitted a job application to us and they then hear back from us they will typically be looking for our help and therefore be pleased by our contact in a feel good way. It will have been due to the success of our marketing, whether that be via job board coverage, that they have initially got in contact with us. All in all, there is a fine line between spamming emails and emails that remind us of the brand/company and make us think of them which could result in us purchasing from them or using their service! Kind regards, Lauren

As a fairly sceptical marketer I was surprised to have lost the good part of a morning browsing a site created for The Chatsfield by Mills & Boon. Rather than directly push a product they created the opportunity to seek out the story for yourself through a beautifully designed website, fake Twitter accounts, and access to a 'private' mailbox. This kind of 'digital storytelling' left me feeling excited as it's rare to see such an inventive campaign. More 'feel-good' marketing please!

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