All of us are seller, and I mean it literally. Why? Because all of us are selling something. We give something in exchange of something. But, allow me to give the first note: The transaction does not always happen in reciprocity; sometimes we pay it forward. You might give something to someone, and that someone then give that something to someone else. Even though this ‘pay it forward’ is not something we usually aware of, I’m pretty sure all of us have done that at least once. However, the bottom line here is that whatever we are doing, we are doing it in purpose.
Somebody once said this to me : Sometimes, doing is just doing, just like listening to music is just listening to music. Yes, that’s true. And, it still has a purpose: To get to whatever the reason that makes someone listening the music. I say, we all have reason for everything we have done, and more things to come; and therefore, we do everything for its purpose. It’s by nature a transaction.
Here is where I put the second note: Transaction is not just monetary transaction. And therefore, selling is not only giving something in exchange for money. Money is intermediary instrument that represents value. That value is what we are seeking; it is our purpose. We work not for the money, but for the value entitled to the money. The value of which we can use in effort to create our wellbeing (whatever it may be). Thus, we are sellers. We sell ideas, things, efforts, properties or time; to gain values. Is not about the thing we sell, but what value embedded in that thing that sells. We give those values in exchange for another. Selling is a basic way of value exchange.
Wait……this sounds more than just selling! We are discussing about ‘pay it forward’ and value exchange. We are not discussing about pricing, unit cost and profit margin. On second thought, perhaps we are discussing a larger topic: marketing?
Yes, we are! In most cases, selling is more about direct selling. And, I believe that we are no longer in the era of selling. This is no longer the time when we just offer a thing with what we claim as a good price. In this era, we need to create values in the environment, values that lead to a belief of what ‘good’ means. In contrary to value claiming in selling, marketing is more about value creation. And, value creation is about value exchange and creating trend (‘pay it forward’). So, here comes the third note: We all are marketers, and through marketing, we create culture.
In selling, we sell things, and claim those things as good and valuable. That’s it. Marketing is way over that. We exchange values, and by doing that we offer alternatives to our surrounding about what is valuable. Look at cellphones, Facebook or other media trends. They all started from the value creation (or should we say: value inception) that communication can and should be more advanced with varieties. Before them, wireless communication and public media profile are privileges for high-profile figures. Now, almost everyone communicate through wireless and expressing themselves in their public profile. Look at malls, fashion and beauty business. They started from a value creation that defines happiness as glamorous appearance and lifestyle. Before them, only high-profile celebrities live glamorous. Now, almost everyone wants to be a celebrity : )
All of these results from value creation through marketing. Nobody is selling Facebook or malls, because we’ve done the marketing for them. The viral value creation happens through ‘pay it forward’ transactions, and social trends are emerging. Not just transactions, we create culture!
Marketing does not happen in commerce only. Leaders market their values and ideas to their follower. Teachers market their value and understanding to their students. Authors market their values, thoughts and feelings to their readers. Organizations market their values, visions and missions to their stakeholders. We all are marketers, and by doing that, we craft our culture. Nothing in this is essentially new, but I doubt many people ever seriously think about this : )
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