Marketing is a job that actually involves many other jobs. Because of this, when we talk about marketing, we throw a lot of words around, such as, “SEO,” “strategy,” “content curation,” and more. However, one word that doesn’t get thrown around very much during these marketing conversations is, “heart.” This is unfortunate, because heart is actually an extremely important part of marketing.
I like to think of this side of marketing as the Steve Rogers portion of the job. For those who don’t know, Steve Rogers is Captain America, a Marvel Comics superhero and member of the Avengers. Captain America has a long and storied history, but I will give you the abridged version: Rogers, who is small of stature and frail, takes part in a performance-enhancing experiment that might enable him to better fight the Nazis in WWII (and might better enable the Allies to win the war). Through the experiment, he becomes the first and only Super-Soldier, wielding a shield that is as unshakable as his morals. Captain America, a character who now boasts a strong film franchise, is courageous, loyal, and the very embodiment of heart.
It often feels as though marketing requires Captain America- level strength to succeed. Most businesses face a great deal of competition, and this can be intimidating for those companies that are younger and smaller, often with a marketing team of one person- or, worse, one person who is also the CEO. Heart is an invaluable resource during this time: proving to be a genuine presence will build trust among the community. One of the ways that you can show the heart that is in your marketing efforts is through your company website and through your blog.
Another way is to look at the company’s values and incorporate those into the marketing strategy. Perhaps your company is dedicated to providing jobs to veterans, or to donating a portion of profits to animal shelters. Perhaps, instead, the company was started by immigrants searching boldly for their own manifestation of the American Dream, or was created in part to honor a family member. These images are powerful and relatable, conjuring up warm feelings and building customer loyalty to your brand.
Like Steve Rogers, a company with heart is seen as dependable, responsible, and admirable. Such a company is also easy to engage with, providing a welcome contrast from larger businesses that are often perceived as out-of-touch. A company with heart is seen as a caretaker of the community rather than a presence that will take advantage.
Obviously, heart alone can’t make a successful marketing strategy. Just as in Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Steve Rogers benefits from a shrewd, calculating team mate in Natasha Romanoff (former Soviet spy also known as the Black Widow), and a supportive yet fun-loving new ally in Sam Wilson (also known as the Falcon). Similarly, effective marketing requires both smart business sense and a sense of humor, among other things. However, with a visible and truthful representation of your company’s heart, you establish a strong foundation on which you can build a marketing strategy and, further, more success for your company.
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