Owners and Marketers are Two Very Different Things

Magazines I run a business magazine called Owner magazine and I helped Jacqueline Carly cofound her magazine, BossFit, about fitness and health. As owners, the goal is “grow the business.” It’s pretty simple. And I like to think of it that simply. But this got me thinking just how much of a difference there is between owners and marketers. And I can illustrate this with one crazy and lovable dynamo of a guy.

My Chocolate Store Doesn’t Know Who Gary Vaynerchuk Is

The owner of the little chocolate store in town has no idea who Gary Vaynerchuk is. I know because I asked her. But I was being silly. She doesn’t know who I am, except that I like her iced coffee. But if I tell her what Gary says about how to sell better, she gets it and loves it. She just put her first Facebook page together. She’s not sure why she did it, but she knows that people seem to use Facebook a lot.

As an owner, she needs sales. What she doesn’t need are spreadsheets that tell her how to find the best influencers in the community. Who’s the influencer in the small town chocolate shop Klout bucket, I wonder? She doesn’t want to “join the conversation” as much as she wants to understand how it could possibly be that she’ll post pictures in Facebook and this will somehow drive people to her store.

Marketers, quite often, find themselves forced into filling out spreadsheets, trying to “stay current” with “trends.” They worry that they’re not utilizing the best SnapChat strategy (shudder). They might try to get my chocolatier to create an ebook about chocolate.

But Gary Vaynerchuk Sells

Where “marketers” (and I use the quotes to separate out those with the title versus the skill) go awry is that they forget that marketing is a function of sales. And where the best marketers come from is learning that marketing is really sales+customer service+a great story (in roughly that order). Gary knows this. Gary sold the hell out of wine. He sells the hell out of whatever he is working on. If you haven’t seen him sell the crap out of Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook (affiliate), you ain’t seen nothin’ like real selling in action.

If you tell Gary you bought the book, he might ask you why you didn’t buy five copies. (Kind of joking, kind of not.) He believes in it. He KNOWS it’s the answer to some of your challenges. He’s nearly religious about it. That’s not marketing. It’s pure force of will. There’s no trend analysis at play. Gary wants you to buy the damned book, read it, love it, do the work, and reap the rewards.

Marketing is Sales+Customer Service+And a Story

I mean, if I had to pay someone to market for me, for Owner magazine, I would want them to tell me how they’d help me get more business, get more subscribers, while maintaining the value. I’d want them to tell me the story of the Owner community, of how the people I’ve got the pleasure to serve will use what we do. And then I’d want them to sell and service those same people with outright love and passion.

Sometimes, people tell me they’re afraid of sales, and that’s why they’re marketers. That’s the scariest thing I’ve ever heard. The question would have to be: If I hire you, how will the money I spend on you add to the money I make by selling my product or service? If you answer that with “I’ll help you join the conversation,” that might not cut it.

I’ll admit this is a somewhat “in progress” thought. I mean, I know what I think. I’m trying to make my output of it more useful. What’s your take on this?

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