Fun fact about me: I hate chocolate.
I know, I know, I’m weird: While we’re at it, I’ll just reveal that I also hate coffee.
Now that my follower number has gone down dramatically… :)
Seriously though, my least favorite taste in the world is chocolate. To me, it tastes bitter and far from a treat. But don’t worry, I’m not totally deprived – I love white chocolate, and gummy candies more than make up for my lack of chocolate taste buds.
But so what, I don’t like chocolate - Why couldn’t I market it?
You see, there’s a big difference between someone selling something and someone marketing something.
A seller simply trying to get you to buy something.
A marketer, on the other hand, is passionate about the product or service he or she is trying to sell. Thus, my statement above doesn't mean that salespeople aren't passionate about what they are selling; it just means that that sales person is really marketing, not selling.
Marketing isn't all about driving sales - it's about convincing someone else of how great a product or service has affected your life (or how you imagine it would have affected it) and trying to get them to purchase it so they too can receive what you have. It is completely service-oriented (in fact, it's simply not effective without being service-minded).
I can’t market chocolate because I truly think it is gross. I wouldn’t be the best advertiser for it because it hasn’t changed my life, and I have no personal testimony to back up the claims that chocolate is the greatest invention known to man. I'd probably gag every time I talked about it.
I always explain that marketing is actually a very narrow field. There are very few things that an individual person can actually market, and market well. Before I found my full-time job at the college where I work now (which I love a tremendous amount, and is why I am good at marketing it), I was struggling to find something in the marketing field because I realized I couldn’t market just anything. It had to be something I believed in.
Case in point, before I got my job at the college, I interviewed in a sales department for a makeup company. What is ironic about that is that I hardly ever wear makeup. I would have been a horrible marketer for their products because I have zero interest in them.
That’s why I decided to specialize in Catholic marketing. Even when I work with clients whose specific field mystifies me, I can match their passion because I am just as enthusiastic about the faith as they are, and I am on fire with helping them contribute to it in their own special way.
Whatever you’re trying to market, make sure you’re passionate about it. That passion will shine through, and passion is what sells, not sales.