5 Great Marketing Quotes by Decidedly Non-Marketers

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I am one of those people who loves great quotes; I truly appreciate the art and science behind taking a select few words and putting them together in a way where the result is something profound.
Over the years, I’ve pulled aside some great ones that really “reach” me. And while there are fantastic marketing quotes by those in the industry and business world, the ones that stick most in my mind come from the mouths of people who are not known as marketing or even business professionals.

Here I present five of my favorites:

1. Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I’ll spend the first four sharpening the axe.
~ Abraham Lincoln, 16th President of the U.S.

The wise Abraham Lincoln understood and valued planning, instead of just rushing in and doing.

Many business people today who market their businesses take the “fire, ready, aim” approach, and do something on the communications front simply for the sake of getting a communications tactic into the mix.

However, even a little bit of planning makes a world of difference in the outcome and results from communications efforts. Spend a chunk of time planning your marketing efforts – and make sure they align with and will help you work toward your business goals. You will, I promise, notice a positive difference with your efforts.

2. Someday I will find the right words, and they will be simple.
~ Jack Kerouac, American novelist

I first came across this quote years ago, and it has stuck to me ever since. So many well-meaning business people make communications and language so much more complicated than it needs to be (or should be). Less is more….and since people only pay attention to a marketing message for a few seconds, keep it simple.

To take that a step further, make the message easy to understand, and make the value jump out to the audience. Always remember, they will be asking, “what’s in it for me?”

3. a. It does not matter how slowly you go so long as you do not stop. ~ Confucius
    b. Do not use a cannon to kill a mosquito. ~ Confucius

Confucius was such a wise man I had to include 2 quotes from him….and two of his quotes hit the nail on the head when it comes to marketing.

Going slowly with your marketing efforts can be fine and is sometimes even preferable – but you must be continuous, and you should be consistent. According to the fable, the tortoise won the race, remember? Marketers who make a huge splash, spend lots of money with many initiatives and then stop their efforts are the hare, and they will lose every time. Out of sight, out of mind…..which means the end of sales.

The second quote from Confucius is tied in with the “simple” quote from Kerouac above. Many marketers make communications, campaigns, and overall strategies much more complex than they need to (or should) be. Start small, start simple, and add on ONLY layers or complexity as it makes sense to do.

A good rule to live by: don’t add something into your marketing mix unless you know exactly why you are doing so, understand the value it will add.

4. History, like God, is watching what we do.
~ Bono, Irish musician and member of U2

I include this quote from the wise Bono not because of the mention of religion, but because of the inclusion of the word “history”. This quote is a reminder that marketing must be measurable and accountable, and we should document what we have done and what results have come from it.

This way, we can learn from what has not worked well and drop the idea or revise it, and keep going with what works well. History – or documentation of results in this case – is a marketer’s very good friend.

5. Hope is not a plan.
~ Attributed to many; is the title of a book (Hope is Not a Plan: The War in Iraq from Inside the Green Zone, edited by Thomas Mowle)

There is just so much to love about this quote. It is simple, to the point, and poignant in its message. I won’t say too much here because the message is so obvious – but let all of us marketers unite and plan our efforts instead of just executing something (anything!) for the sake of marketing (and simply hoping for the best).

There are many other fantastic quotes out there, but we hope that this list of 5 gets you thinking more about the marketing efforts you use with your own business. Do you have questions about what you are currently doing – or not doing – with communications, and how you can take it to the next level?

The ECS team is happy to share more insight about marketing – our team has several professionals well-seasoned on the topic who can help with your questions, both big and small.

Laurel Cavalluzzo is a Strategic Marketing Specialist at Empirical Consulting Solution and has more than two decades of experience working with companies across a wide range of industries build strong marketing foundations and plans. She is here to assess your current marketing situation and ensure you build a solid plan moving forward.

Laurel can chat further about any questions you have, and is happy to learn more about your situation; the ECS team might be the fresh set of eyes you need to look at your company in a new light.

Connect with Laurel or any other member of the ECS team at collaboration@thinkempirical or (610) 994-1139.