21 Inspirational marketing quotes

A marketing sound bite can shake us out of old ways of thinking and look at problems in a different light. The following inspirational marketing quotes are great motivators. They’re excellent for personal reflection, or to kick off a brain storming session with your marketing team.

1. “You can’t just ask customers what they want and then try to give that to them. By the time you get it built, they’ll want something new.” Steve Jobs, Apple

2. “The aim of marketing is to know and understand the customer so well the product or service fits him and sells itself.” Peter F. Drucker

3. “Instead of one-way interruption, web marketing is about delivering useful content at precisely the right moment when a buyer needs it.” David Meerman Scott, author of The New Rules of Marketing and PR

4. “Don’t find customers for your products, find products for your customers.” Seth Godin, author of Permission Marketing

5. “Many a small thing has been made large by the right kind of advertising.” Mark Twain

6. “If you have more money than brains you should focus on outbound marketing. If you have more brains than money, you should focus on inbound marketing.” Guy Kawasaki

7. “Focus on the core problem your business solves and put out lots of content and enthusiasm, and ideas about how to solve that problem.” Laura Fitton, oneforty.com

8. “The aim of marketing is to get customers to know, like and trust you.” Unknown

9. “We need to stop interrupting what people are interested in & be what people are interested in.” Craig Davis, Founder of Brandkarma

10. “Affiliate marketing has made businesses millions and ordinary people millionaires.” Bo Bennett, Adgrafix

11. “In today’s information age of Marketing and Web 2.0, a company’s website is the key to their entire business.” Marcus Sheridan, author of The Sales Lion blog

12. “Transforming a brand into a socially responsible leader doesn’t happen overnight by simply writing new marketing and advertising strategies. It takes effort to identify a vision that your customers will find credible and aligned with their values.” Simon Mainwaring, founder We First

Vivienne Westwood

Her first shop was called "SEX" which certainly caught the public's attention...

13. “But, the thing is, since I always had my own little shop and direct access to the public, I’ve been able to build up a technique without marketing people ever telling me what the public wants.” Vivienne Westwood, fashion designer

14. “Pop culture is not about depth. It’s about marketing, supply and demand consumerism.” Trevor Dunn, Composer

15. “Your culture is your brand.” Tony Hsieh, CEO Zappos.com

16. “I avoid clients for whom advertising is only a marginal factor in their marketing mix. They have an awkward tendency to raid their advertising appropriations whenever they need cash for other purposes.” David Ogilvy

18. “No matter what, the very first piece of social media real estate I’d start with is a blog.” Chris Brogan, New Marketing Labs

19. “Increasingly, the mass marketing is turning into a mass of niches.” Chris Anderson, author of the Long Tail

20. “There are no magic wands, no hidden tricks, and no secret handshakes that can bring you immediate success, but with time, energy, and determination, you can get there.” Darren Rowse, Founder of Problogger

21. “Give them quality. That’s the best kind of advertising.” Milton Hershey, the Hershey Chocolate Company




Whether you have a small online shop or are a multinational corporation, your brand identity is one of the most important sales tools you have. So how do you make your brand work harder for your business?

There is only one place to start: take a good look at your product or service and figure out what it means to your customers. This knowledge gives you the ability to improve how your customers perceive your brand.

A great way to start this process is to use the four pillars of branding:

Differentiation – How is your brand different from your competitors?

Finding the difference can be a tough task. There are few examples of being totally unique. If you’re the only person in the world who can write a particular kind of software, you are unique.

However, if you are selling a bar of chocolate you have to create the difference. That could be achieved through using high quality ingredients, rare ingredients, making a healthier bar, or through a compelling back-story. Quite simply you have to find the difference.

Relevance – Do your customers find your product or service relevant in their lives?


Even squirrels have got the Malteser message...

If your product or service is something your customers can get anywhere you have find a way to make your customers think of you first. Using the chocolate bar as an example, why is it more relevant to someone? The Malteser’s slogan is ‘Let your lighter side out’. They’re telling their customers that they can enjoy their chocolate guilt free because it’s not a heavy indulgence.

Esteem ­– Is there a high level of respect for what you do or sell?

It’s important that your customers respect your brand. You have to be authentic with people because if you say you can do something and fail, you’ll lose respect. If you are selling your chocolate on the back of high quality ingredients, you must be able to support that claim.

Knowledge – Do your customer know what you stand for?

An educated customer base is more loyal. Give them the information to understand what your core values and beliefs are, what your products are and what you can do for them. Looking at the chocolate bar again, you have to ensure that people choose your bar because they know the ingredients are good. You can tell them through a mix of package design, and website information.

Armed with this new knowledge about your business, you can start to turn your brand into something bigger and stronger. Here are some simple ways to start the process:

  • Take the time to have a good logo designed because that will become synonymous with your brand.
  • Write a great slogan because this will help people quickly understand what makes you different from your competitors.
  • Make your packaging, marketing literature and website look great – everyone responds more positively to quality presentation.
  • If you’re using social media be active – a quiet Twitter account and empty Facebook page make you look like you don’t care about your customers.
  • Respond quickly to complaints because you’ll garner greater respect for being nice than for ignoring people.
  • Use your website – this is the perfect space for educating people about your brand and by making it a great space for people to visit, your brand will be able to grow in your customers minds.



Overwhelmingly, the biggest marketing trend in 2013 will be the increased use of mobile phones, with technology in general, coming a close second.

Already we are seeing how smart phones are changing the way in which people are using the internet. You are more likely to find a young person watching YouTube on their phones, than on their computers – that is if they even have a pc! It’s more likely to be a tablet nowadays.

So my marketing predictions for 2013 are:

Mobile payments

Mastercard, Visa, and the major banks have come together with mobile phone manufacturers to develop phones that can be used to pay at the checkout. This very cool piece of tech means you just swipe the phone over the terminal in the shop and the amount is deducted from a predetermined credit card. There is also the ability to have a pre-set limit. A pretty important step forward for parents wanting to give their teenage children control over their finances – while importantly keeping it limited to prevent spending spiralling out of control.

Mobile payment on public transport

It will become commonplace across Dubai to see people using their mobile phones to pay for their journeys on public transport. This was announced by the roads and Transport Authority (RTA) last October. Replacing the Nol card, but not the Nol system, users will be able to top up their Nol accounts electronically and view their balances on their phones.

Mobile marketing

With more and more people accessing the internet through their mobiles, the mobile ad market share will increase. Recent research suggests that mobile phone ads are noticed by over half of people using a smart phone to look at a website. This certainly gives advertisers food for thought.

Responsive design

The rise of mobile Internet has meant website developers have had to be far cleverer in how they design sites. There is still a bit of confusion in how to move forward. Does the customer want an app, a mobile site and a desktop site designing? Responsive design is going some way to answer this. It is a type of web design that allows one design process to be in charge of how the desktop and mobile site will look. How well it will cope with large ecommerce sites will be interesting to see.

Customers as the audience

There is no denying that search engine optimisation has its place. However, the days of leaning completely on SEO to bring in customers are numbered. The big companies are already well on their way to creating more in-depth, useful and entertaining content for their sites. This is about seeing people not as potential customers, but as an audience, eager to come to the site again and again to view the next chapter of the story, win competitions and play new games. It’s an expensive route to take and smaller businesses have their work cut out finding a way to compete on this level.

Technology you wear

Yes I know, this one shows up from time to time, but hasn’t yet filtered down to the street. Wearable technology will be making a dent in the general consciousness. Now some celebs are already wearing clothes with LEDs displaying their twitter feed and Facebook status. However as these become more well known, designers will hopefully see the opportunity to do something really interesting with the clothes.

What do you think will be the top trends in marketing for 2013 in Dubai?

There is a tendency to use buzzwords when gathering around the board room table from Dubai to New York, but when you use crowdfund, freemium, big data, gamification, transmedia, ecosystem, mission critical, blue-sky thinking, and win/ win, are you signalling you are ahead of the pack, or is your terminology due for an overhaul?

paris hilton dubai

Are you the barometer of what's hot or not in Dubai ?

Or does the linguistic landscape of sales buzzwords leave you asking: “why can’t they just talk in plain language?” Whether you like them or not, buzzwords are used in the workplace and you do need to know what they mean and whether to use them or avoid them.


SaaS – Software as a Service is software and data accessed through a web browser, rather than being stored locally.

Transmedia – A narrative told through interconnected content delivered across different mediums.

Freemium – free software, games, that has a premium element for advanced features and functionality.

Big Data – highly complex, huge data sets (ranging from a few terabytes to petabytes) requiring specialised data management tools.

Osmosis Marketing – Using blogging, Twitter and other social media vehicles rather than traditional marketing to make a brand successful.

Digital Nomads – People who use wireless technology so they don’t need an office.

Crowdfund – sites such as Kickstarter where anyone can invest in your idea.

Gamification – A way of making boring tasks, like filling in questionnaires, more like a game.

Social Looping – growing the social interconnectivity of yourself, your business, brand or product.

Digital Curation – although primarily used in academia, businesses are beginning to curate data by preserving and making accessible important digital assets.

Sense check – when a project outsider looks at marketing collateral to ensure it actually makes sense to a normal person.

Content marketing – using content on websites and social media vehicles to market a brand, product or service.


Ecosystem – a buzzword banned in many marketing agencies, the ecosystem is the environment that a particular brand exists in.

Blue Sky thinking – same as out of the box, usually impractical ideas and heavily overused.

Next Generation – simple… means you’ve improved an existing product.

Innovation – unless you have genuinely invented something new, don’t use innovation, innovative, or innovating.

Win/Win – although there is a need to find a mutually beneficial point in negotiations, it isn’t always possible. So be mindful of the situation so as not to look like a buzzword addict, rather than an honest salesperson.

Result-orientated, customer orientated – well, aren’t all businesses results and customer orientated?

Brand Equity – customer perception of your brand gives it a certain value.

World Class – not unless you really, really are world class should you use this term.

Solutioning – It means to create a solution, and if you want to say create a solution, then say that, not solutioning.

Authentic – overuse has turned this, ironically, into a subtle clue that something is fake.

Undeniably, marketing buzzwords will always exist, new ones replacing the old at regular intervals. But, if you overuse buzzwords in your marketing material you will alienate the very people you are trying to reach out to. Plain, simple language will win most people over. Save the buzzwords for when they will really create an impact, and make sure you know as many as possible for the time your colleague in Dubai suggests a discreet game of buzzword bingo at the next industry seminar you attend.

It’s an easy trap to fall into, staying within your comfort zone. Easy it may be, but to market to your Dubai customers effectively, sticking to old formulas could be stopping you bringing in new business, or making more out of the relationships you already have.

Talking is good, Listening is better

The major mistakes in B2B marketing isn’t just a Dubai issue, it is a problem that spans the globe. Companies know their products inside out, but don’t know their customer’s business as well. Knowing your product is important, but not knowing what your customer’s business is, means you don’t know how your product will really help them.

Listening to them, researching their markets fully, means you can see your own products through their eyes. This is when you really start to appreciate why your product is the solution they need. And if you find it isn’t, you can start developing better products to meet their needs more effectively.

Articulate your Value Proposition

Having listened to your customer, you now know what they want. Do you know how to sell that back to them with your product? You’re not just selling this idea to them; you are selling it to their customers as well. Put together a sharp message that shows how you are not only selling something they need, but also something their customer needs, and you are showing you care about their supply chain.

If you can show how the end customer benefits, you are well on your way to selling the idea to your customer.

Death by PowerPoint

Favoured by the smallest one-man band to the biggest global leaders in business, PowerPoint is a great tool for selling a new product. But more often than not, the customer isn’t engaged by your presentation.

Creating a PowerPoint that sells means paring down what’s on screen to the absolute takeaway information. Think about the images, do they really sell your product? Are they the same pictures you’ve been using for years? Don’t just have the product on its own, show it in use. Look hard at the text, how many bullet points do you need?

destination london game

Destination London was rejected in Dragons den due to a poor presentation but has gone on to be a bestseller spawning spin offs.

Your presentation is there to inspire, you are putting on a show. Don’t leave the writing of the presentation to the salesman. Get the best writer you have, or can afford to bring in, to write it.

Harness the Power of the Web

Discover more about a company and how they tick by using the web. Not only can you find out about their business from their website, looking up individuals on LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook, will give you a more rounded idea about who they are. Understanding people is the first step in creating a better working relationship.

On the flip side, the web is the place to get your products out into the public eye. Use social media to build a buzz about your products and services. Choose wisely before you start: you wouldn’t advertise your accountancy services at a rock concert, so consider every social media vehicle as carefully.

There is no excuse for coasting along with old marketing habits. Think of the internet as a tool. Not only can you find out more about your customers, reach out to them in new and exciting ways, your Dubai marketing team can find the latest trends in marketing and implement them on your home turf.

It may well be difficult to quantify what adds value to a product or service, but your Dubai marketing agency needs strong parameters to describe what is good value, honest value, any kind of value, and how they can be applied in your work.

Sometimes it is easy to spot added value. Look around the Dubai Mall at the different jewellery shops – which ones make their jewellery sell better? What kind of added value do they provide to entice shoppers to spend more time, more money, in their particular shop?

In some shops the added value comes through creating plenty of space around the jewellery counters. This gives people plenty of space to look at the products. Putting your customers at ease while they spend time in a shop adds value to their experience. Place comfortable seating around the shop also helps customers, particularly in clothes shops, a chair or ottoman gives tired spouses and children a place to rest.

Transferring this physical shopping experience into the marketing of a product means looking at everything: from the product design through to the promotional stands. You can add value to a product by making the design of the packaging much more appealing than a competing product. Nowhere is this difference so stark as in the trainer market. Nike has taken the product design to a whole new level by having dedicated places within their stores (as well as online) where customers can customise their Nike trainers themselves.

This has taken added value to a whole new other level. Adding value for internet shoppers has become a sophisticated business. Not so many years ago it was good enough to offer a gift wrapping and card writing service to customers. Now the game has changed dramatically. Not only are stores offering customisation, there are blogs, tips of the week, tips of the day, how-to videos and how-to articles, guest spots, competitions on Twitter, Pinterest, Facebook and serious and enlightening contributions on LinkedIn.

This level of adding value around a product is called content marketing. It’s the current buzz word for anyone marketing a product. By creating a world of information that people find interesting and tell their friends about, the purchase decision is made easier once they become much more engaged with your brand.

A way of pulling all this added value together is to go back and focus on the subtle and not so subtle marketing in the Dubai mall. Walk along the beauty counter and see how women are attracted to the special offer of a pretty and carefully branded bag filled with travel sized tubs and tubes of creams and lotions. There might be a little QR Code encouraging them to download the app that lets them see which bag is best for them, or even give them a tutorial on the best way to apply the products. There will also be a website link on the product leaflet offering them the chance to buy on line, if they don’t buy straight away in store.

All these little things add up to adding value to the product. Isn’t it time your Dubai marketing team took themselves for a trip out to see how real life added value is seamlessly integrated with online marketing?

Steve Jobs

"One more thing..." Jobs, the master marketer

Businesses that market themselves successfully will in all likelihood have a marketing plan that is adaptable to a changing business landscape. A marketing plan will help you determine the marketing resources you will need to apply to meet your marketing and corporate objectives whether you have a small business or large company. The key purpose and focus of marketing planning is identifying and creating competitive advantage with intelligence coming from the market. It is about what you want to achieve (marketing objectives) and how you plan to get there (marketing strategy). A marketing plan can streamline the matching of resources to opportunity, enable increased coordination of efforts, develop a future market mindset within your company and help your business thrive through a combination of employing long-term strategic marketing and shorter tactical marketing.

So what do marketing plans involve?

  1. The marketing plan should be integrated with the corporate plan so that objectives cascade down into each department.
  2. A marketing audit to comprehensively review and appraise internal and external factors that affect the company’s profitability to direct the marketing strategy/objectives.
  3. The audit will lead to a concise SWOT analysis generated internally from a variety of viewpoints. This is done for each product or market segment. From the SWOT’s assumptions can be made that guide the marketing objectives you will set.
  4. Strategy should now be formulated with sub-objectives and action plans to achieve these within each individual department. The budget and resources needed to carry out these objectives should be determined.
  5. The marketing objectives are measured and reviewed to inform future planning.

Whilst this is an extremely simplistic view of a fairly complicated and lengthy process, the importance of market planning cannot be overemphasized since it will help your company survive, thrive, adapt and capitilise on emerging markets.

ISM training specializes in marketing training and will be running ‘Strategic Marketing Planning’ in Dubai, October 18th to 20th , please contact Michelle if you wish to book a place.

Are you reaching out to your potential market en masse or do you use the more subtle, effective method of relationship marketing? Your transactional customers may not sustain your business long term and according to Pareto’s Law approximately 20% of your customers are going to be responsible for 80% of your business. So do you know who these emotively loyal customers are and how are you engaging and communicating with them? Does your business adhere strictly to the traditional marketing mix approach focusing on markets and products or are you developing a more holistic approach and developing relationships with your customers? Is there synergy between your customer service departments, quality management and marketing team and does your strategy recognise that each employee has a marketing function? Are the customers that are initially loyal to your brand about to jump ship because you are not cementing your relationship with them?

Will he let his hair grow back now Steve Jobs has retired?

It is important to know who your customers are to retain their loyalty to your brand, they are the ones that have developed trust in your brand and need individual attention. Analysing your consumer database offers insights into their needs and demographics. Customer Relationship Management (CRM) is about understanding who your customers are through long term study, improving the way you communicate with them and is aimed at creating relationships that can increase profitability. Vital information about customers such as frequency, recency, type and amount of purchase will help you develop a picture of their Life Time Value (LTV). You can segment your markets and target them more effectively communicating with them about products they truly might be interested in, anticipate their needs and track their response to your personalized approach and promotions. The data from CRM programs should feed back to management to drive the marketing strategy forward and assess the most effective and convenient communication channel for your different customers whether it be point of sale or internet based. Indeed for this valued set of customers you should be acutely aware of how they prefer to be communicated to.

However, there is no point in having lots of data if you are not using it thoughtfully and allocating resources to maximize the return from your 20% of most profitable emotivally loyal customers. Businesses can use free (for basic features) internet data analysers e.g. Google Analytics or invest more deeply by using services such as Omniture or Webtrends. Businesses that choose to use a paid service may already be ahead of the game since they have signaled a deeper commitment to the process of customer analytics. CRM systems are the key to defining your customers; creating customer satisfaction; improving customer service brand loyalty; receiving their feedback; engaging them as brand ambassadors and can result in directed rather than mass marketing.

So how is brand Dubai doing these days? Well, Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE, and Ruler of Dubai, set up the Dubai Media affairs office in 2009. One of its purposes is to investigate and enhance Dubai’s image and if recent reports are to be believed Dubai is rapidly overcoming the backlash the city saw in the wake of the debt crisis and more positive chat is appearing again . Sheikh Mohammed himself has 457,885 twitter followers and growing and it is clear that the relationship strategy for Brand Dubai has key leadership support.

ISM training will run the highly successful Marketing Masterclass public course from September 11th to 13th and also runs more focused Marketing Communications/Strategy courses both in-house and publicly.