Have you ever viewed yourself or your child as an expert marketer? Give it some thought and you might be very surprised.
For many people there is a stigma attached to marketing and sales, but in reality we all ‘do marketing’ in some form or another. We all market and sell ourselves in order to achieve a desired result.
I’ve often been averse to the act of selling and marketing in the past. So I thought it would be interesting to show how marketing is a part of normal human behaviour and not a separate part of us. Once people get in touch with their inner marketer, I am sure it will help dispel the tensions that arise at the thought of doing it.
So let’s start at the very beginning.
Children are INTUITIVE marketers
As soon as a child becomes aware of what works best to achieve a desired result they will adapt accordingly, using manipulation in its purest form. I’m not for a minute saying this is a bad thing, as initially their desired result is survival. Someone I met who worked in a nursery once described what typically happened there in the mornings. Some of the babies and toddlers would be dropped off by guilt-ridden and anxious parents. These children would be sobbing in a heart-wrenching way as their tormented parents backed out of the door. But within 10 minutes of them leaving these same children were happily enjoying the toys and each other’s company, their tears and their parents completely forgotten (I’m not so sure the parents were feeling the same way!)
I know this is biology, but isn’t it sales and marketing too? The child sells itself as a helpless human being who, if left for a moment, will surely come to some harm. The desired result for the child is a parent who will always be within crying distance to see to its every need, and they will use whatever methods they have in their arsenal to achieve that result. If a child is a very successful marketer this pattern can be sustained well into adulthood.
Teenagers and young adults are OBSESSIVE marketers
Adolescence is a time when we are all trying to discover who we really are. We try on many different hats and marketing styles in that quest. We adapt and change to fit into whichever group of our peers is flavour of the month. We often pretend to be something we’re not in order to gain acceptance into specific cliques. But isn’t that just another form of marketing (and even deceptive marketing)? We do whatever is necessary to gain acceptance like experimenting with cigarettes or alcohol, even if they make us feel awful. We wear the same ‘uniform’ as the rest of the group, whatever the current fashion might be. By doing this we form a marketing group so that we are instantly recognisable by our brand!
As we get a bit older, we discover more of a sense of self. Then, a division starts to occur – some stay within the same peer culture whilst others take different routes, form their own groups and create other ‘brands’. I have lived through the eras of the mods, rockers, punks, hippies, skinheads, goths – all very different brands and instantly recognisable!
During this time, the hormones also kick in, and love interest becomes all-consuming. If the object of your affection happens to love the colour red, then all the red clothes in your wardrobe get worn to within an inch of their lives. Your whole focus seems to revolve around trying to get your love interest to notice you. So, you research their taste in music, their likes and dislikes, where they live, find out where they hang out so you can ‘accidentally-on-purpose’ bump into them. They are your ‘target market’ and have your complete attention. Until your interest wanes and another target appears, of course. Then your red clothes get a rest because the new love interest prefers blue.
Adults are FOCUSED marketers
By the time we reach adulthood, our marketing skills have been honed by experience. We learn by what has worked for us and what has not over the years, and the values and lessons we have been taught by those who influenced us during our early years have been incorporated into our behaviour.
We then start to really focus on selling ourselves primarily within the job market. We decide what type of employment we want and are best suited for. We adapt ourselves to fit into that target group. We buy appropriate clothing and groom ourselves to fit in.
We also decide which group we want to belong to in the realms of personal relationships and market ourselves accordingly. In this particular area I believe that unconscious marketing plays a big part and we often attract the wrong audience. This results in our ‘product’ (ourselves) being rejected time and again because we just aren’t what the current audience is looking for. The more authentic and self-aware we become, the less wide we throw the net, and the better we can ‘market’ our true selves. Then, we can attract the perfect audience for what we have to offer.
I believe that we need to embrace our inner marketer and salesperson. If we do that, we will inevitably come to the realisation that this is an integral part of us and that ethical marketers can therefore be created from a very young age.
If children are loved and nurtured in mind, body and soul, they will grow into self-assured, loving and giving people who live their lives authentically. The knock-on effect is that they will treat others in a loving manner and selling or marketing themselves in any way other than transparently just won’t occur to them, as that is not the set of values they have been brought up with. Therefore the deceptive marketing and advertising of today will cease to exist quite naturally. Isn’t this a dream worth pursuing?
14th June 2013
NOTE FROM LYNN: You can find Sue and hundreds of other like-minded marketers and business owners in our 7 Graces Community on Facebook. Please take a moment to let Sue know what you think about her unique perspective on marketing by leaving a comment below. And to receive all our articles, exploring topical and practical insights into ethical marketing and new paradigm business, don’t forget to subscribe to the 7 Graces blog before you go. We publish quality content 2-3 times a week.
About the author
Sue Ellam is fascinated by the power of mind over matter and was initially guided towards spiritual healing and medium-ship. She is a professionally trained graphologist of 21 years standing and has travelled extensively using this skill, as well as that of tarot reading, participating in many festivals worldwide. Currently she is developing Soulfully Connecting which is a global website dedicated to the healing of mind, body, soul and planet. Her vision is to connect like-minded individuals around the world through the sharing of knowledge, providing a platform so that the change-makers can be seen, appreciated and supported.
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The 7 Graces of Marketing: how to heal humanity and the planet by changing the way we sell, by Lynn Serafinn, where you can learn how the 7 Deadly Sins and the 7 Graces impact the world through media and marketing.
Brit Writers Awards Finalist
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Tweep-e-licious: 158 Twitter Tips & Strategies for Writers, Social Entrepreneurs & Changemakers Who Want to Market Their Business Ethically, by Lynn Serafinn, which can help you learn how to create meaningful collaborations through Twitter and other social media.
eLit Book Awards Bronze Medal in Business and Sales
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LYNN SERAFINN, MAED, CPCC is a certified, award-winning coach, teacher, marketer, social media expert, radio host, speaker and author of the number one bestseller The 7 Graces of Marketing — How to Heal Humanity and the Planet by Changing the Way We Sell and Tweep-e-licious! 158 Twitter Tips & Strategies for Writers, Social Entrepreneurs & Changemakers Who Want to Market their Business Ethically. She is listed in the Top 20 of the Top Marketing Authors on Twitter by Social Media Magazine and was a finalist for the prestigious Brit Writers Awards. She also received the eLit Book Awards Silver Medal in Humanitarian and Ecological Social Affairs, as well as the Bronze Medal in Business and Sales.
Lynn’s eclectic approach to marketing incorporates her vast professional experience in the music industry and the educational sector along with more than two decades of study and practice of the spirituality of India. Her innovative marketing campaigns have produced a long list of bestselling non-fiction authors through her company Spirit Authors. Lynn is also the Founder of the 7 Graces Project CIC, a not-for-profit social enterprise created to train, support, mentor and inspire independent business owners to market their business ethically, serve society and planet, and restore all that is best about humanity.
(not just for Londoners, as we meet also on Skype)