I often have people ask me why I love marketing; I love getting asked this question!
I was talking to a friend here in Cairo about the fact that 40% of Egypt’s populace is living on less than $1 a day. I mentioned my desire to help them being hindered by the fact that I cannot possibly give enough to help everyone here. But, through marketing and helping creative, diligent and hard-working, entrepreneurial people to better present themselves to their customers, I can help hundreds of Egyptians move away from poverty.
Tomorrow, maybe the world?
Marketing at its best is transactional.
Over Christmas, we had someone give us a gift card to Once-Upon-A-Child in Pineville, NC. We went there for our daughter’s birthday. She bought presents for herself with the gift and presents for her brother. The money that was spent in the store helped pay for the 4 employees who were working there, plus expenses and profits for the store owner.
Transaction #1 – Family gave my daughter a gift of $20. They received $20 in value because they were able to give to a loved one.
Transaction #2 – My daughter picked out her presents and was able to give a present to her brother for Christmas. So she receives $20 in toys that she keeps.
Transaction #3 – The $20 goes into the business’s accounts and helps pay $20 worth of value for the company.
Transaction #4 – Each employee receives a portion of that $20 in their paycheck, let’s say $10 from the total.
Transaction #5 – The owner of the store takes home possibly $2 from the transaction.
So, a simple process of getting gifts for one of my children just produced approximately $72 in value from one $20 gift.
Not too shabby.
That is why I have started thinking of marketing as transactional: every time my marketing helps someone get a new customer, it increases the value to both.
When people ask me about marketing, my eyes don’t light up because I think that it makes people incredibly rich (it does, but so does trash collecting).
My eyes light up because I understand that the goal and hopeful result of any marketing activity is a successful transaction that delivers value to all parties involved.
I am building a company and doing work so that my customers can serve their customers better.
This has to happen in real-time, because what happened in the past will not work today, and tomorrow will not come unless we do the activities to get there today. Right now.
Real-Time Marketing: The Needed Ingredient for Social Change
In the end, these are my observations. Real-time marketing is needed because it connects the agents for change with those who need it most.
In other words, I see the farmers and poor attempting to sell items on the side of the road for pennies, and I think: I can help you reach more people, sell better products and services, and lift yourself out of poverty.
Whether I do the marketing for you or teach you to market better, the result will be the same.
Marketing helps people change their life through increasing the value they produce for others.
This is why I love marketing today.
This is why I will love it tomorrow.