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Stop Pushing, Start Engaging: How Marketing Mimics Dating

by Paolina Milana  |  
October 24, 2011

In this article, you'll learn...

  • How to woo your audience into a long-term commitment
  • Similarities between marketing and dating

Come on. Admit it. With maybe one exception—the Super Bowl—you fast-forward through commercials when watching your favorite TV programs on your DVR.

You spew an occasional four-letter word when those irritating animated pop-up ads block your Web view and force you to find the "close" option.

You even hate to hear those loudspeaker announcements at the grocery store, interrupting some '80s tune just to tell you that freshly baked bread is now out of the oven and ready to be purchased for pennies. Bread...? You've been struggling to stay away from carbs, for goodness' sake! The last thing you need is another interruption to take you in an unintended direction.

Well, guess what? You're not alone. In fact, how you feel when what you want is interrupted by something you don't want is exactly how everyone else feels when what they want is interrupted by a message you thought they should receive.

Messages interrupt when they aren't wanted. Consequently, your message will be intercepted; and it will never even stand a chance of meeting its mark.

So what's a marketer to do? How do you get noticed when folks just don't seem all that into you and what you have to say?

The answer is easy, and in a way it fundamentally follows everything we've ever learned about dating. Yup, dating. Marketing is akin to courtship, and the rules are simple. Stop stalking. Stop pushing. Start wooing. Start engaging.

Don't believe me? Just read on. Learn how to get your message heard and have your intended targets come to you.

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Paolina Milana is executive vice-president of global marketing at Marketwire, a full-service newswire and communications workflow solutions provider. She can be reached via

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  • by Mon Oct 24, 2011 via web

    I'm sure you're missing something ... this is how things were done in the days of don juan. Nowadays, a relationship is a two-way street. Is it really expected from me to prostrate myself and seduce a prospect in order for him to open his purse? Then once we've consummated the sale, what next? Do I move onto the next prospect? Am I to continue chasing his/her loyalty - a situation in the commercial world in which there are NO guarantees? Please revisit. There's something fundamentally wrong with your metaphor.

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