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Nov 18, 2020    Burn Book

Etymology & Roots for a Weird, New Marketing World


Let’s get back to the basics for a moment. Marketing is a giant word encapsulating WAY too much, from B2B digital marketing and brand naming to full service integrated advertising and more. But from an etymological perspective, the word itself goes back to “merchant” and the trading of goods and services in a marketplace. It, in its root, is simply the way in which something is sold to a buyer. Hence why it’s so important to 1. Have buyers (a market) and 2. Know them (marketing strategy and personalization).

So in this day and age, with the buzzing around of digitization, automation, AI, cybersecurity, (this list could go on and on depending on the industry), to stick to roots is to remember that marketing is nothing more than figuring out the human you’re trading or making a deal with. Here’s what that means this year.

Signs of the Times

In 2020, the root of everything we knew was yanked out from under us, showing us that the foundation of our way of life that we thought was unshakable (to the point that we didn’t even think about it) was anything but. As one writer put it,

“Things that were once so predictable they stood in for the passage of time — fireworks, trick-or-treating, a peaceful transfer of power after an election — have become uncertain. When we send our children to school, when we cast our ballots, when we hug, and when we breathe, we now must make predictions.”

So as marketers, or as a brand marketing a product or service, success hinges on your ability to be heard and wanted by people whose primary emotion is uncertainty. How does your product or service provide solutions, relief, or distractions? How does your branding fit into the lives of people who have never lived this way? How does your integrated marketing strategy operate in the market that is 2020 (and possibly 2021)? And how do you speak to those concerns without coming off like you’re taking advantage of a tragedy?

The short answer is: authentically. It might be true and unapologetic in its communication, for so many people have had their trust shattered. It might be free of shame, guilt, and fear, for there is already enough of that to go around. It might be humorous and dark and sarcastic, for how else is anyone to stay jolly in a holiday season where we can’t see our loved ones?

See You In the Town Square

The point is, marketing is not about you or your brand. It’s about the people you want to trade with. In a world unprecedented, how are your strategies unprecedented as well? In a world full of humans making deals with humans, how are you and your brand being heard by the humans that you want to listen?

If you’re unsure (like most people right now), let us know. Our avenue is one of raw and unfiltered truth, and we know how to get people to listen. Clutch, FastCo, Psych Today, Forbes, ABJ, and other humans have all vouched for that.

Let Your Curiosity Take Control