Marketing First, THEN Education (Marketing vs. Education)

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Hello everyone and welcome to today’s episode of The Marketing Show. My name is Clay Collins. And today, I want to talk about an incredibly, incredibly important distinction. And that is the distinction between marketing on one hand, and education on the other.

So, in my experience and from what I’ve seen from clients, so many people with amazing content to offer, amazing blog posts, amazing things to say, are not making sales because they have fundamentally confused education with marketing. We have heard a lot of talk about moving the free line. And we’ve heard a lot of talk about giving information away as a way to create sales and to create customers. And in most cases, people who are just blindly teaching how to do things are running their businesses into the ground. If you have a popular blog and people say time and time again that they love your stuff, but they’re not buying, what you’re doing is you’re doing education instead of marketing. And there is a huge difference.

So I want to go over some of the differences. And then I want to talk about how you can fundamentally shift what you’re doing to start creating real results in your business, and to start creating a real income in your business.

So the first distinction here is that marketing goes with the grain of human psychology. If you fight against human psychology, you will lose every single time, and you will go broke, and your business will do extremely poorly. So marketing harnesses existing desires, existing fantasies, existing hopes and dreams and thoughts and predispositions to its advantage. Whereas education, on the other hand, often goes against the grain of human psychology. Not always, but in many cases goes against the grain of human psychology, right? So in other words, the purpose of marketing is not to change people’s mind, it is not to change human behavior. But the purpose of education often is to change minds and intention and behavior. Okay?

Another key distinction between marketing and education is that marketing creates desire- based tension. It creates this tension, right? When people see something that they really want, and they want to get it, there is an inner tension because they want something but they don’t have it yet. And marketing exists to create that tension. Whereas education is often created to relieve desire-based tension because you are seeking change and you are seeking something. And in the receiving of education, that desire decreases. Okay?

One final and huge distinction, and there are other many but these are the ones I’m pointing out today, is that the return on investment, of harnessing people’s existing fantasies and existing desires and existing behaviors, is infinite. The return on investment, when you do education in place of marketing, is often one to one. So if you spend $50 on education-based marketing, you will often only get $50 back. Okay? So, the key takeaway here is not that you should never do education. It’s that marketing should come before education especially if you sell information. Marketing is what generates the sale. Education is what you deliver when you deliver your product.

So let’s just take an example. Let’s take the guitar market. A lot of people who want to learn how to play the guitar want to be rock stars. They want to impress maybe their girlfriend, or they maybe want to show off at a party. A lot of guitar educators are completely adverse to that and don’t want to market to people’s desires to be rock stars. So what they do in their marketing is completely different than the fantasy that’s in people’s heads. What I advocate is that you…

…sell people what they want. And then you deliver to them what they want and what they need.

So you might sell the product if you’re in the guitar space called, you know, How to Play the Top 10 Rock Solos of All Time. And you absolutely should deliver that educational information. But before you deliver that, you might want to say something like, “I believe in the deep power of music. I believe that when you fundamentally understand music, that it can change your worldview. It can change the way you interact with things. And it can change the way you creatively problem solve and that you process things. And so, before I jump into showing you how to play the Top 10 Rock Guitar Solos of All Time, I’m going to talk a little bit about music theory. I’m going to talk about music composition. I’m going to talk about how to play different scales and I’m going to give you the history behind these songs and tell you why they are so important.”

So you’re selling people what they want and you are also giving them what they want and what they need because you have sold based on your marketing. And then you have delivered in a way that is consistent with solid education.

So, the take home point is, do marketing to make the sale, do education to deliver on the product. Please do not confuse the two or your business truly will never take off. My name is Clay Collins and thank you so much for watching The Marketing Show. I’ll talk to you later.

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  • Really connected with this one Clay!

  • Erin

    You make sense every time. I definitely have to keep this in mind. Thanks!

  • Which is this, Clay? Marketing or education?

    • Dane Maxwell

      This is education Lachian. On his marketing pages where he makes offers and generates leads, he does marketing. (I think)

      • Exactly, I’m lucky to be at a point in my business where I can engage in “passion projects” or “legacy projects” just because I enjoy them (and not because they need to bring in money).  While this show does bring some benefits to my business, this show (from a purely dollars and sense perspective) is not the best use of my time.  Still . . . I enjoy it, so I do it.  But it’s mostly education.  If things weren’t going so well, this show would be an irresponsible use of time IMO.

  • My understanding of this video, is that you first lure people in with your marketing, THEN you can deliver quality, quantity, and depth. If you don’t appeal in the first place, then you’ll never get the chance to show them the power of what you have to offer anyway! It’s about weaving in the perfect mix and balance of marketing appeal, and educational content. I find this works effectively, especially in my field of communication/peronsal development.