itm7-27What image does the word “marketer” conjure up for you?

I always imagine a trendy executive in a downtown loft office, holding a fancy coffee drink in one hand and ingeniously sketching the next “big idea” on a white board with the other. Even Hollywood idealizes marketing this way, and I laugh every time I see a movie with a character who works a glamorous marketing job.  It’s funny because real-world marketing couldn’t be further from the truth.

“TRUE Marketers” are far from the whiteboard.  “TRUE Marketers” are the people on the front lines, connecting and cultivating positive relationships with our target audience.  Let’s put our consumer hats on and envision who we interact with on the front lines every day.  Whether positive or negative, the interactions we as consumers have with people on the front end – the bank teller, the waitress, the insurance claims adjuster, the nurse’s aide, or the student volunteer making the calls for donations – affect how we perceive an organization as a whole. These front-end people are a crucial part of making our marketing strategies work and we need to cultivate valuable traits in them to help them shine as the faces of our organization.

Here are some traits of “TRUE Marketers”:

Tactful.  A “TRUE Marketer” is able to say the right thing at the right time, no matter how stressful the situation is.

Real. Even with all of the excitement around technology, people still crave interactions with other real people. A “TRUE Marketer” interacts with people, holds genuine conversations and is real enough to own up to their own mistakes if necessary.

Unit.  A “TRUE Marketer” is keenly aware of the importance of being a part of a larger unit that provides a team of people and support.

Empathetic. A “TRUE Marketer” is sensitive to how others feel, and makes the best effort to stand in other people’s shoes and understand what they experience in connection with the organization.

From phone and email communication to in-person interaction, it’s important that the people who are closest to the consumers be educated on the core values, vision, and offering so they can confidently become the face of the entire organization. When putting together our marketing strategies, let’s do our best to not only communicate with our target audience, but also our “TRUE Marketers” on the front lines.  After all, theirs is the real-life face of marketing, and we want to keep it TRUE.