My 12 most important beliefs about marketing

These pithy statements about the psychology of buying and selling did not originate with me. Most were gleaned over the years from my various teachers—from their books, seminars and audiotapes.

I owe a debt to many, and at this juncture, it’s almost impossible to know accurately which of these “truths” to attribute to whom.

Among the many “influencers” are Michael Gerber, Bill Myers, Dan Kennedy, Gary Halbert, John LaValle, Fred Gleeck, Jay Abraham and others. In some cases I have had to separate the style and personality of the man from the sagacity of the message; wisdom can come from many places, and even a broken clock is right twice a day.


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I like to reread these from time to time. I offer them to you for your consideration:

  • Definition: Marketing is a total system of business activities that plan, promote and sell need-satisfying products and services to present and potential customers.


  • Every successful business lives or dies with the customer.


  • We all buy things to fill emotional needs and desires that we’ve been developing all of our lives. We buy commodities, not for what they are in themselves, but for what they symbolize.


  • Every commodity is a symbol for emotional satisfaction. Buying decisions are emotional commitments to gratifying perceived needs and desires that we are often unaware of having.


  • Your customer doesn’t necessarily want what you think he or she wants. Often, they don’t want what they think they want either. It’s goes much deeper into the emotional realm.


  • Your customer, first and foremost, is a complex emotional being. Your customer is a person, even when you’re marketing an industrial commodity to another business. You don’t sell to other companies or industries, you sell to other people.


  • Buying decisions are a response to an emotional need that we later try to rationally explain.


  • The buying decision is made instantaneously in the unconscious mind.


  • Reality is a matter of perception. What the customer perceives to be real, is real.


  • The customer is always right because her perception is her reality. Even when the customer is wrong, she is still the customer.


  • Your entire business is your product, not just the commodity that you’re selling!

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