In life (and marketing), there are two types of people

The recent spate of stories about air rage and fights between passengers breaking out over cramped seats and seatbacks being reclined reminds me that there are two types of people in the world.

The type who think, “I can, so I will. And to heck with you.”

And the type who think, “I can, but I shouldn’t, because I care about how this will affect you.”

493172635Look into the mirror. Which type of person do you see? Now think about how your coworkers, family, friends see you. Stretch a little further. Think about how the driver in the next car or on your morning commute or rushing to jump in the elevator with your before the doors close. Which type of person do they see?

This dichotomy extends into the world of marketing. It marks the difference between the traditional, “push it in your face, turn the volume of commercials up, spam the heck out of your email box” advertiser and the “I’ll only contact you if you give me permission and I know I have to earn that permission each and every time you have contact with me” type of digital marketer.

In the day to day world, there are two types of people. The type who slam their seat back in your lap because just don’t care about the passenger behind them and the type who resist that temptation because they know it will cramp you.

There are two types of marketers. There’s the type who say, “I can because I have the budget to be able to shout at you. And to heck with you.”

But there’s also the type who say, “I have the budget, but I will use it in a way that delights you, attracts you, and makes you want to come to me.”

Look in the mirror. Which type of marketer do you think you are? Now think about your customers and the people you would like to be your customers. Which type of marketer do they see when they look at you?

Which type of person and marketer would you rather be?

  • Excellent piece of advice – by showing respect you earn respect and people will do business with people they respect –

  • Jonathan Juane

    Interesting conclusion that there are only TWO types of people/marketers, because I’d like to think of myself as a hybrid of the two types you described.

    I think one of the strengths of the first type is that they manage to get things done, have no trouble getting noticed/heard, and aren’t intimidated by hurdles… a major weakness for them is that they can sometimes (almost always) rub people the wrong way and get so obsessed on pushing their agenda that they turn people off. A strength of the second type is in their ability to build relationships and trust between their clients/customers/people, but their weakness is their struggle to compete with the volume and breadth that person number one accomplishes.

    In my workplace/sector/industry I like to observe what most people are doing and cut through with another option. To me, effective marketing is provocative and makes people think and take notice, but it does so in a way that doesn’t annoy or turn people off. It builds trust and encourages a two-way relationship, not just a “if they like me, they will come to me” kind of attitude you suggested of the second type of person.

    My two cents!

  • Joseph Thornley

    Jonathan, thanks for your thoughtful comment. I agree, real life is more complicated than the simple dichotomy I laid out in making my point. It should be possible to combine the strengths of both personality types to come up with an ideal, as you’ve suggested in your comment.

    To my mind, the most important thing here is to start with the awareness of others. With that departure point, we are more likely to develop marketing that works in today’s environment of unlimited choice and “click away” alternatives.