I guess the first rule of marketing isn’t that apparent to those who have never really studied marketing so I have decided to lay it out for you. The first rule in marketing is simply: Don’t talk to people about your stuff, talk to them about their issues and problems. It’s amazing to me how many marketing pieces that I still see today that clearly do not take this rule into account.

As the old adage goes, the person who buys a drill doesn’t want a drill, he wants a hole. Therefore, talking about how nice the drill looks or about the company that manufactures it can often seem irrelevant because the buyer just wants a simple answer to his question, “What’s the best, easiest way to drill a hole in my wall?” Whatever is not speaking to that question is missing the point entirely.

As obvious as that analogy seems, this can be harder to do when actually sitting down to create a marketing piece such as content for a website. The tendency of most people (myself included!) is to attempt to tell the prospective customers how great we are, how great (or new or cheap or revolutionary) our products or services are instead of explaining how our products or services can help fix the issue that our prospects are looking to resolve.

Ultimately, this comes down to the age old principle of serving others instead of yourself. Having a marketing message that explains to prospective customers how our products and services can help them is really an object lesson in ignoring our own egos and being humble. When we begin to think in terms of how we can best communicate with our customers instead of blabbing about ourselves we should see our marketing efforts begin to produce more results.

So again, the first rule of marketing is: Don’t talk about yourself and your stuff, talk to the prospective customer about what they want and need. They’ll love you for it!