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Why Does Marketing Matter?

Many entrepreneurs or small business owners wonder why marketing matters. Why spend their hard-earned cash on web design, social media, advertising, public relations, content creation, analytics, etc.? Here are two succinct quotes that, in my opinion, sum up why:

“Without promotion something terrible happens…Nothing!” - P.T. Barnum

“Products are made in the factory, but brands are created in the mind.” - Walter Landor

How will your customers know what you do or provide if you don’t tell them? Do you know who your target audience is, and are you trying to reach them where they live? Are your rates or prices competitive? Have your past efforts been effective? Do your customers say good things about you to their friends? Does your relationship with your customer end at the point of sale? Marketing matters because it’s the relationship you, your brand and your products have with your customers. It’s what keeps them coming back to you. And that relationship is worth investing in.

To add to this, I was excited to attend the Texas Photo Roundup this weekend as a marketer. Hearing so many talented photographers ask the same questions about marketing drove home the fact that even brilliant creatives need a little help with marketing. On the panel,

'Social Media, Brands and Photographers" featuring Whitney Johnson, the Director of Photography at The New Yorker, Brooklyn-based photographer Steph Goralnick, Maury Postal, Associate Creative Director of Social at Ogilvy, Razorfish’s Matt Heindl and award-winning conflict photographer Benjamin Lowy, so much valuable information was exchanged.

One story stood out. Lowy recounted how, during his early days in fashion photography, at a fashion show the photographers were crowded onto a few wooden benches, and the benches collapsed underneath the photographers’ weight. Feeling the insult all of the photographers walked out. “For that season that line didn’t exist,” Lowy said. Visually, there were no photos of that designer’s line, and thus no awareness of the product that year.

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