Wednesday, January 10, 2018

"Marketing is Enthusiasm Transferred ..."

I was on LinkedIn today and saw a post by Jamie Samples, who is a marketing consultant for the horse industry. She had posted one of her all-time favorite quotes: 

"Marketing is enthusiasm transferred to the customer," 

which was attributed to Gregory Ciotti, a marketing expert specializing in software.

Wait, what? To me, marketing often seems like big business trying to convince us all to buy things we don't need.

I learned at a young age to be pretty cynical about marketing, so this definition sounds a bit naive to me. So often marketing has just been a way of whitewashing dubious products and making them sound appealing to people who shouldn't be buying them. Often the companies know the product doesn't have much value, but they do it anyway because they see $$$. From cheap toys that were marketed during Saturday morning cartoons, to cigarette companies that continue to make money by selling a product that has killed tens of thousands, we are surrounded by dubious marketing. The toy companies know their toys will break within a week. And I can't believe cigarette companies are really enthusiastic and excited about their newest product that will rope in new segments of the market. It's a job and they do it to make money. Actually, I think it would be even more disturbing if they were truly excited about selling cancer to teens.

So marketing really deserves its bad rep. 

And yet... I LOVE this! 

"Marketing is enthusiasm transferred to the customer."

Because in my world, it's true. 

Marketing within the sport horse breeding community is most of what I do. I help stallion owners market their stallions; I design websites, ads, and other marketing pieces; and of course I market my own services. 

And this is a really great definition of what I do, what stallion owners do, and why we do it. 

I don't think I've ever talked to a stallion owner who didn't love her stallion and believe he's great. If she's a good horsewoman, she knows he's not perfect, and would never claim he is - but she loves him because of very real qualities that shine: temperament, movement, conformation, athleticism, intelligence, beauty, bloodlines, work ethic, kindness. There is something real that made the owner say, "This one's a keeper. This one gets to keep his parts, because he could amount to something." 

I am motivated by working with people who are starting there: starting with a horse they love as well as believing that he's good quality. People who see their stallion as more than just a "product" and a business proposition. 

I think many European breeders laugh at American breeders' love and enthusiasm. Historically they have been more business-like and practical, leaving emotion mostly out of it. 

American breeders can definitely improve in being objective and detached, and in treating a stallion business more as a business. But I hope we can do it without losing that love and enthusiasm. In fact, I think European breeders can learn from us a little about the joys of investing a little emotion into the business.

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