Can We Please Get Better at Marketing Ourselves?

i heart me

This spoof award video is fantastic. The best humor always seems to be rooted in honesty, and award submissions are surely laughable. I'm not poo-pooing awards altogether; I believe industry recognition is imperative. It provides evidence of your authority and builds awareness to a highly relevant audience.

We have an incredible public relations agency that we work with. They've got their hands full with us, pushing our product (this publication) as a resource, our digital marketing agency as a leader, Jenn as a marketing MC and speaker, and myself as a marketing thought leader, marketing keynote speaker, and marketing speaker. The great thing about our PR folks is that they're always pushing us to differentiate ourselves. shameless self-promotion. Ugh.

Sorry for the boring string of shameless self-promotion buzzworthy links. I'm guilty, too.

I'm not sure where the lines are blurred between ego and self-confidence, but it's not easy. Between the canned case studies where you select only the best results you've achieved, to the collection of buzzwords, to the canned case studies – it's all groanworthy. Now I know what it's like to write political speeches, RFP responses, and press releases for a living.

Today I emptied my schwag bag from a conference – phone charger, sticky phone stand, USB thumb drive, moleskins, post-it note pads, and another beer bottle opener. Jonathan Green, author of Green's Dictionary of Slang, tracked back the word schwag, you wouldn't believe the origins of the word:

Low quality marijuana was called ditchweed, schwag, and skunkweed.

I always thought schwag was the sound a bag of crap made when it hit your hotel garbage can. But nope. It's even worse… the equivalent of selling crappy pot. I've never sold pot, but I can only imagine how fulfilling an occupation it might be. Crappy marketing has to be worse.

We have to market ourselves, but we don't have to do it like everyone else.

Here's what I think of as I look around our industry:

Agency World

The fact that we have to do it doesn't preclude us from being original, though. For God's sakes, folks, let's put some thought into our marketing. Differentiate yourself from your peers and stop trying to emulate them.

Ok, this is when you take me to town for my crappy marketing. 😉

What do you think?

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