Extra Mile Writing

Extra Mile Writing

Marketing can be Awesome

hairdresser talking to client

Marketing unfortunately can be seen as something sleazy or icky, and as a thing that is separate to everyday business activities.

It is neither, though it definitely can be sleazy and icky when done badly.

Firstly though, for the purposes of this article I’ll define what I mean by marketing.

Interestingly, when you search for a definition of marketing a wide variety of definitions are returned. 

I’m using Shopify’s definition, which simply states that, “Marketing is the practice of creating interest in a product or service and convincing potential customers to buy it.”

We are essentially marketing during all the hours we are at work in our business, because everything we do is designed to create and maintain interest in our product or service to ensure that existing and potential customers buy it. 

customer talking to business at counter

When we mention an additional service we provide when a customer talks about a problem, we are marketing.  When we swiftly resolve a customer complaint, and give them a free gift to apologise, we are marketing.  When we offer to share our knowledge to solve a problem other businesses are having at a business association or chamber of commerce event, we are marketing. 

While all of us do need to make time every week to allocate time every week to focus exclusively on marketing our businesses and getting the word out to new clients or customers, marketing is an integral part of everyday business too.

And it’s not complicated at all.

However, some businesses engage in marketing strategies that make all marketing look awful.  Such are also completely ineffective and result in unpleasant potential customer experiences.

Marketing strategies in this category include:

  • Bombarding clients or customers with promotional emails almost every day. We all know that we don’t read any of these emails if we are on the receiving end of this never ending onslaught.  
  • Throwing pop up boxes all over your business website. We all know that everyone hits the cross in the corner of the pop up box so that it’ll disappear automatically as soon as the pop up box appears.
  • Cold calling when there has been no filtering of the audience being cold called, and where there is no link to them whatsoever. This is a complete waste of time and money.  


While the above kinds of marketing are ineffective and repellent, it’s absolutely essential not to throw the baby out with the bathwater.

baby in antique bath

Because marketing is always going to be how a business makes money, it must always be an integral part of every business. 

Marie Forleo is very clear on the importance of marketing to any business, and the fact that there are many ways to market a business that aren’t sleazy or salesy.  She is also very clear on the fact that no one in business can ever afford to avoid marketing because they think it has a bad name. 

Marie is enthusiastic about what she calls modern marketing, or marketing strategies that she is happy to use and that aren’t sleazy or overly salesy. 

I’d recommend looking up some of Marie’s excellent videos on the topic of marketing.  However, essentially, you can choose exactly what marketing strategies you are comfortable with, and leave the rest.  

I’ll give you an example.

I buy a significant number of a certain parcel product, and had been buying this product online and then sending the parcels off from my local post office because online savings were widely advertised.  One day when I called into the post office, the manager asked if I was interested in buying the postal product through them if they could offer a competitive price, providing me with a note showing the price they could do.  I was delighted to be seen as important enough to be asked for my business, and chuffed that there might be a local win-win situation because I prefer to talk to a human being rather than sit in front of a screen to buy something whenever I can.

smiling female salesperson

My local post office manager is not pushy or salesy in any way.  She simply excels at customer service, and her marketing approach in this instance was respectful, considerate and helpful. 

Indeed, marketing can always be carried out in an ethical and principled way.  My local post office manager always demonstrates a high standard of professionalism and her approach was a good example of what I call the helpful straight shooter approach.  This approach involves the business sales person simply asking about something or talking about their products and services in a clear and direct way, and demonstrating that they’d like to help me as a customer.  The helpful straight shooter approach makes me far more likely to buy a business’ product or service, because the business owner is building my trust with every word that comes out of their mouth. 

Marketing in many cases is quite simply helpful communication.  I’ve spoken to a number of Business Development Managers who know this, and who excel at it.  It’s getting out on the phone or getting out and talking to people about the value you can offer a potential client or customer as a business.

Customers or clients respond to this because people are social creatures and love being part of a business and social network.  They love being known and recognised, and that like to be aligned with businesses that treat them well because essentially, they want to save themselves hassles. 

gold award cup with lights behind

When marketing is done well, it really does create the opportunity for win-win situations. 

It just needs the small business owner to make the effort to make the time and get marketing.    


© Annemaree Jensen