There are a thousand different marketing metaphors out there (though you’ll pardon the technical writer in me that would point out these are actually similes because they use the word “like” to make the comparison). Each one is supposed to boil down the basics of marketing so they’re easy to understand and relate to concepts people easily understand. Each metaphor approaches marketing from a different perspective and has different lessons to teach depending on the point of view of the marketer who came up with it.
But why have such a narrow point of view? There is knowledge to be gained from every viewpoint. So here are some creative metaphors for marketing and the essential lessons they communicate.
Great marketing is like a good first date
Entrepreneur.com contributor Chris Kocek likened successful marketing to a good first date. He pointed out, “When you go on a first date with someone, do you tell them how wonderful you are and all the great things you can do, then ask them to marry you? Probably not.”
It’s easy to see what this has to do with marketing. Some marketers are disappointed when brilliant marketing schemes don’t have immediate ROI or blogs or social media sites with lots of followers don’t have a dramatic, measurable influence on revenue. The thing is, as Kocek said, “Entrepreneurs tend to forget . . . that the first shot isn’t there only shot.”
Marketing is like a slinky
Another interesting comparison comes from Moxie Marketing, which suggests marketers think of online marketing as a slinky. Contributor Tamara Macduff explained, “Think about it, the best way to use a slinky is to let it do its thing, naturally, slowly, and one step at a time. Online marketing works the same way.”
Macduff’s point is that introducing, improving, or increasing online marketing won’t necessarily make huge leaps in ROI all at once. And in fact, it won’t solve all your marketing problems. The trick, she said, is to work with someone who knows how slinkies (online marketing works) and don’t get frustrated if a little tangling happens along the way. Eventually, you’ll smooth everything out and start making headway.
Marketing is like a circus
This metaphor comprises several aspects of marketing, including how marketers need to maintain good balance, develop the courage to jump into the unknown, and make audience-pleasing their number one priority. Combining all these aspects isn’t easy. Katie Foley, a writer for marketing company Lotus823, said, “Sometimes making these things jive is challenging but when you get it right, the spotlight of success shines brightly on both you and the [company].”
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Tags: marketing, marketing metaphor, great marketing, smart marketing, successful marketing, online marketing, ROI