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Marketing: Who you are vs. what you say

As an internet marketing company, we sometimes hear people say, "This is the image we want to convey." And as long as that image is consistent with the day to day behavior of that organization and its people, then that’s a good thing. But I think the better question to ask (at least initially) is not "what do we want to convey?" but "who are we…really?"

The ancient Greeks espoused the importance of "knowing thyself." It is tough to argue. Attempting to live a duplicitous life, being one thing and pretending to be another, can never last. We can never fool other people for long. Unfortunately, we can often fool ourselves for a very long time.

And this same thing happens with organizations, not just with individuals. You can spend a billion dollars marketing your commitment to customer service. But your customers will know in about 5 minutes whether you value customer service or not. If you focus too much attention on what image your organization should convey and not enough on who your organization actually is, you may end up believing your marketing pitch….but no one else will.