What does marketing actually mean?

Many years ago, back when I built websites, I did a job for a high end recruitment company.

The branding agency were absolutely amazing and their concept was that recruitment is all about the people. So they invested in some beautiful photography of actual staff, real people they had placed in jobs.

The photos were incredible.

But there’s only so many things a person in a suit can do. Stood in doorway. Chin resting on hands. On the stairs.

A friend, David, looked over my shoulder at my laptop and saw what I was working on. “What’s this - a website of boring people doing boring things?”

At which point I realised the power of marketing. Of branding. Of messaging.

Get the message right and you deselect the people who aren’t for you. And you select the people who are.

This site wasn’t for people like me. It wasn’t for people like David. It was boring to us.

But it was interesting to people who like suits, who think business is serious and who deal with investors and stakeholders and integrating synergistic globalised operational workflows.

The website was doing its job. Repelling some people (me and David) and attracting others (corporate types).

So how do you repel the people who aren’t your type of client and attract your ideal? What is your marketing message?