Why I Love Marketing…
…and why you should care!
When I went away to college I chose to be a finance major because I love money. I don’t love math and working with money, I simply love making money and I thought becoming a “finance bro” was the easiest way for me to become Jordan Belfort. From a super young age, I almost instinctively knew that a business could take something that they either get cheap, or make cheap, and sell it to other people for more money. When I was five years old, I would buy packs of 100 colored paper clips for $2 and then link them together into bracelets and necklaces which I would sell for $5 and $10 respectively to my mom’s friends. I was five years old and literally obsessed with money.
Well, fast forward to my introduction to finance class and I’m completely lost. It’s about a week into my college experience where I expected to excel in my calling and I’m already considering a change in major. As a business major, I had to take intro to marketing and just as I’m feeling low about my finance failures, marketing was about to pick me right back up. Once I started to realize that finance wasn’t for me, marketing started to get me excited – which seems so nerdy. Marketing was fun, it made sense to me, and it was a hell of a lot easier than trying to remember the formula for compound interest.
Anyway, I switched my major to Marketing and never looked back. The more classes I took, the more I became entrenched in the marketing world. I came to the realization that each and every person on earth is a marketer in their own way. From a business standpoint, I see marketing as a business displaying their products or services to potential customers. On a first date, marketing is you displaying your love for dogs when your date mentions she has two golden retrievers.
Okay, so finally the part you care about, why you should care about marketing. I’m going to give you a hint, it’s something everyone likes, and as you should know by now, my love is money.
Back in 1988, Nike was just a brand for marathon runners. In 2019, Nike generated $39.1 billion in revenue. You think a company that only sells merchandise to marathon runners makes that much? Hell no! Back in the 1980s their marketing department saw an upward trend in the fitness world and made the decision to get in on it. Today, they are the largest fitness brand in the world. That’s a huge, “Oh Nick, I’ll never be as big as Nike” example, but it’s still true.
Here’s another example. There’s two pizza places right next to each other that sell the same type of pies, at the same price, and the food tastes exactly the same. One of those pizza shops doesn’t spend any money on advertising and the other one spends 10% of its monthly revenue on marketing. Do you have any idea which business is going to be more successful? That’s right, the one that has customers that know they exist. I know it can be hard to justify spending 10% of your revenue every month but look at it this way, the first pizza shop spends no money on marketing and makes $7,000 a month. The second pizza shop is paying $4,000 a month to a marketing agency, but that $4000 a month is only 10% of their revenue which means they brought in $40,000 that month. I’d much rather make $36,000 after investing in growing my business than simply make $7,000.
The bottom line is we’re all restaurants, we’re all bars, we’re all retailers; marketing is what separates you from your competitor. For me, marketing is a way to make the money I thought I’d make as a “finance bro,” but also a way for me to help grow other businesses. What I didn’t realize when I was five, and selling absurdly priced paperclip jewelry to my mom’s friends, is that I wasn’t an expert businessman. I was an expert marketer, because the only people I was asking to give me $10 for 15 paperclips were people who loved me, thought I was cute, and were going to buy whatever I put in front of them.