This is my own personal story on how i divided in marketing and the question that is following me even today.
Why are you here? What made you choose the path you’re on? None of these are the question I want to talk to you about, but we’re on it. I believe that each and every one of us has a story about how they became the person they are today.
I also have my personal story but I never thought about writing about it. Until today.
It’s that kind of story that I love sharing with the ones that ask me about my first steps in marketing.
Here it is:
It all goes way back when I was in my first year of college. I was a student at the International Relationship and European Studies faculty and honestly… I hated it. I admit it. I only applied there because I heard that students got to travel a lot and went to many conferences.
Sounded good at the time.
Then reality hit me when my dad asked me: “What do you want to do with your life?”
I went out for a coffee with one of my friends, looking for an answer. He told me that I should start looking into the marketing or advertising industry. I was creative, curious, and he thought that the new thing on the market could become my thing.
He asked for my CV so he could forward it to someone who was working in the digital field. I always liked challenges and didn’t really know what I wanted to do in life, so trying a thing I’ve never heard about before was exactly what I needed at that time.
All that was back in 2010 or 2011, when Digital Marketing was something that you only heard about in movies and seemed very science-fiction-ish.
The Big Question
Soon it came time for my first interview. I sat down with the CEO of the company and he asked me the one question that I will always remember.
“If you were to choose between selling needs or desires, what would you choose?”
Kind of an uncommon question for a marketing interview, but I tried answering as logical as I could (and of course, without any knowledge in marketing):
“I would sell needs, because people will always buy the products they need. If there’s any money left, I will try selling desires.”
I know. It was an amateur answer from a guy who was interested in an industry he never heard about or worked in before. So the CEO looked at me and he told me:
“Wrong answer. People buy needs anyway. What marketers should do is make people buy desires.”
After this talk, I had two weeks to prove that I was suitable for the job they offered. I have failed in doing so, and the CEO told me that I wasn’t what they were looking for. I don’t like failure but this one only made me more determined to pursue a career as a marketer. In these two weeks I read Seth Godin’s “Purple Cow” and “All Marketers Are Liars”.
After that, I just felt in love in marketing. I guess you can’t say it was love at first sight, but great loves take time, and so did mine with this incredible industry.
So, that was the moment when I decided that I want to work in this industry. I went home and started learning and reading everything I could about marketing. I didn’t love Philip Kotler’s marketing “Bible” because it was too conclusive but I loved Godin’s every blog post and book.
With this fire in my heart I was hired in an advertising agency where I started learning what design was (yes, I designed flyers, logos, posters and everything a one man show can do in a small agency) and learned a lot about media plans, sales, creative processes and event management.
Moving a little further I moved to another city, worked for a corporation where I designed packages and magazines all day and then I moved to a small agency where I went deeper into the Social Media industry, Digital Marketing and also took care of my personal blog and some side projects.
What goes around..
Then somebody reached me on my Facebook account and started asking me questions about organizing a marketing event, what I thought about Social Media Marketing and so on and so forth. We met a few days after this conversation and we discussed about Digital Marketing, Social Media, Online Branding and the product he was building. He needed a guy who was passionate about all those things. Not long after, I had a meeting with the CEO and accepted a position at Bannersnack.
And guess what, the guy who reached me on Facebook and the CEO where the exact same guys I worked with a few years ago, when I had my first marketing experience. Exactly, after 7 years I met with them again, but guess what. This time I was prepared for what was about to come my way.
Thanks to them I got more and more motivated to learn everything about marketing by myself and started this beautiful journey.
The question they asked me when I had the first interview is the most powerful question I had heard until today.
If you were to choose between selling needs or desires, what would you choose?