I find myself asking this question a lot. As someone who is consumed by the world of marketing and advertising, I realize that I am always analyzing what a brand is saying, or not saying for that matter. I am always looking for the deeper meaning, but most people are not like that. The majority of people go throughout their day not noticing the effect that ads and marketing is having on them. Im sure if you asked people what they think marketing is, they would say its all those ads they have to sit through while the anticipation builds for the next part of that show they love. Others might say that it is about companies trying to sell us their products.
While all of these are good and true answers, they are also very surface level. Marketing is not about selling a product or making a compelling ad. Marketing all comes down to experiences. Experiences sell product, not the other way around. On a subconscious level, you are compelled to purchase a product because of the benefit or experience that you will have because of it. Some of the best ads in the world have nothing to do with their products. They show you a good looking guy, with a beautiful car, and the night that he has because of it. What that ad is saying is, if you buy this car, you will have this life. This can be you. While we all know that’s not true, it’s a nice thought to have.
To bring this all to a close, marketing is about showing people what they can experience through your brand. Experiences are much more desirable than any material thing. If you are a small business owner, here is the best piece of advice we have for you. Sell an experience, not a product.