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Content Marketing

An Insightful Marketing Lesson Learned from a Park Bench

By Michela Quilici | Jan 19 2021

I met up with my friend and colleague Pauline recently. I hadn’t reconnected with her in a while, so we decided to meet up for a long-overdue catch-up.

Amongst her many talents, Pauline is a sales trainer and when she and I get together we always have the most interesting conversations. You see, Pauline sees the world from a sales perspective, and I typically view mine through a marketing lens.
Historically, the roles of sales and marketing have been for the most part separated. More often than not, salespeople often struggle to see the true value that great marketing brings to the role of sales.
(In fairness, not all marketing is great, but effective marketing should actually drive sales if it’s done right.)
So, Pauline and I headed to a great little Italian place called Prego café and we decided to take a stroll along the marina. As we walked on the boardwalk, I spotted a cluster of park benches up ahead. I pointed toward the benches and said to Pauline, “Here are some benches, do you want to sit for a while?”
To which Pauline replied… “Here? These benches look long in the tooth! And not very appealing to sit on!”
It dawned on me that what she was really saying was the benches looked rather old. (And who would want to sit on a bench that looked so unappealing?)
I must admit they were looking a little dirty and potentially uncomfortable. I was second-guessing whether or not I really wanted to sit there since it was a small yet significant decision, which was about to shape our experience.
In effect, this is the correlation between marketing and sales.

Pauline took one look at the bench and within seconds she was already making her decision about whether or not she wanted to sit there.
Question: Why should someone choose to sit on your park bench?
It doesn’t matter whether you are selling benches or selling your coaching or consulting services. We live in a world of distraction, noise pollution, and abundant choices. People have options and they will choose based on what your marketing is communicating with them - visually, verbally, emotionally, kinesthetically and physically. All of these factors make up your ‘package’ and how you present yourself and your business has a direct impact on your bottom line results.
Here are a few things you’ll want to think about:
  • Does the intention you are putting out in the world match the impact it’s actually having on your prospective customers?
  • Do you have a brand image that represents who you truly are at your core?
  • Are you communicating with words that are customer-focused rather than making it all about you and your product or service? 
Remember that people buy based on a subconscious emotional connection first, and then justify their decision with their rational brain.
What is ONE thing you can do differently in your marketing communication to appeal to your customer’s emotional brain?
Hint: Create an attractive AND compelling offering using all of the senses:
Smell – what fragrance do you want to create?
Sound – what do you want your tone of voice and words to sound like?
Touch – how can you create a valuable feeling?
Sight – how will others see you as exceptional?
Taste – what taste will you leave in your customer’s mouth?
Something to ponder.
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