Commentary: Inspiring Commitment
Tracy: How can companies get marketing right?
Godin: Start by understanding that no one cares about them. People care about themselves. Anyone who tweets about a brand or favorites a brand is doing it because it is a
symbol of who they are —it is a token, it is a badge. It’s about them, it’s not about the brand.
It costs something to give companies attention, and people are not going to give their attention just because a company bought a full-page ad in the newspaper.
Commitment is what is required to change minds. We change our minds because we have made a commitment, because
something moves us.
Abigail Tracy, “Seth Godin on What Marketers are Getting Wrong,” Inc.
Director of Marketing and Communications,
Brauser Maimonides Academy, Fort Lauderdale:
Companies and organizations play into what their clients and customers want and need. The way consumers choose their brands has changed. Digitization has changed how people decide which brands they support. Their loyalty today is usually a result of which brand plays into their emotions. If the brand supports your parenting style, the car you chose, which foods you eat, likely you will support that brand because it relates to you as a person.
I believe brand loyalists are developed based on a personal and emotional connection customers have with how companies market themselves. A company that I think nailed this strategy is The Honest Company. They recognize that parents want safe products for their families, and through their advertising and marketing, they tap into their emotions. As a result, parents feel a connection to the company because they feel it understands them.
Leigh Elzas, Director of Marketing and Public Relations,
Netivot HaTorah, Toronto:
The notion that it is about them, it is not about the brand, is often that aha, lightbulb moment many of us who work in marketing and PR come to appreciate when we see the fruits of our labor. When we launch a marketing campaign, we hope that it moves our audience and inspires our stakeholders to care about what it is we are selling. Understanding and even appreciating that what we are marketing—our ideas, our products, our services—is about our stakeholders and not about our brand is the defining element that will make or break our marketing efforts.
Seth Godin says it’s about commitment—but what about it? When I think about commitment in relation to successful marketing, my mind automatically goes to content marketing, specifically social media marketing. Content Marketing + Social Media Marketing = Online Success (if done well)! The majority of our stakeholders use social media in some fashion, so reaching them this way and planting our ideas into their hearts and minds through a committed online presence is one of the most effective ways to change minds, create new ways and levels of thinking and sell, sell, sell!
To harness the true power of social media, we need to share useful, engaging content on a consistent basis, always keeping in mind the big question: What will move them?
Director of Strategic Marketing and Planning,
The Epstein School, Atlanta:
In the Jewish educational space, what moves our consumers is the experience their family has at our schools. We are asking them to make an investment in their children’s futures, and sometimes it is hard for them to see nine years down the road and how that investment will have been worth it. It’s our job to help them feel that what we provide for their children is worth the cost of tuition today.
We have to remind them that we are excellent academic institutions, and that being members of our unique communities has a value that cannot be monetized. In the increasingly competitive educational landscape, where even public schools can be an attractive option for parents, we have to ensure that our value is clearly expressed. Only then can we expect a commitment from the changing parent population.
Director of Communications and Outreach, Gideon Hausner Jewish Day School, Palo Alto:
By a large margin, families say they choose Hausner for community. Word of mouth is what brings them to our doors. Their desire is for their children, and their family, to be a part of our community rooted in Jewish
tradition. Hausner creates community by emphasizing the mitzvot of service: visiting the sick, feeding the hungry, giving of time and money. We teach students how to give responsibly, effectively and with a focus on Jewish values. This program has formed many of our students into budding philanthropists, with several going on to start up nonprofit organizations that serve the needy.
When a small group of parents gathered in a living room in the late 1980s to create a school, they wanted to create a place where their children would have a strong academic program in a warm and supportive setting. Did we get the marketing right, or did we simply serve our children and community?