Many people think marketing is a skill or knowledge held by a select few. The truth is, marketing is core to each and every human being—it is expressed in everything that you do. Take, for instance, the way you dress up. Personal style is a way of marketing yourself—through the clothes you wear, the scent you prefer or the hairstyle you like. These may change, but they are precisely the tools by which you attempt to show the world and others what kind of a person you are.
Marketing simply means telling a story about something, and in business, the goal is to convince others to buy your product through this story. A successful communications campaign thus begins with the question, “What are you made of?” That is what will make other people take notice of you and what you have to say.
For companies, brands and organizations, it is understandably more complex. Businesses are comprised of diverse individuals in a group. It is important then that they all come together and share some aspects of their respective personalities. This is where company culture comes in. Shared values are often best articulated through the traditional mission and vision statements. However, it is imperative that they live these values through their day to day work.
These values also shape the way that they interact with stakeholders—their partners, customers and the general public. It is what guides them in their corporate social responsibility missions, undertaking efforts to positively impact the immediate environment or communities they work in—or even the world in general.
As you can see, knowing who you are is important in developing effective communications. It makes sure that the message is clear, and that it achieves the desired effect on the audiences that you seek to reach. It gives them an idea of who you are, and what you want to achieve.
So before you embark on a communications project or campaign, ask yourself: “Who am I? And what is the important thing I want to say?” This clears up a whole lot of things and makes the communications effort effective and efficient.