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Possibly The Greatest Quote in Marketing History

Marketing History

Alan Leach, the CEO and director of sales and marketing at West Wood Club, shares his favorite quote in marketing history.

Sales and marketing. What works for your fitness business? What doesn’t? 

We constantly hear from the “experts” about the marketing we need to do to be successful in our fitness businesses. These latest marketing “norms” get shoved down our throats as long as consultants need to put food on the table. You’re told you need digital marketing. You’re told social media is your most powerful marketing tool. You’re told Facebook is better than Instagram. You’re told TikTok is better than both. You hear email is highly profitable. You hear email doesn’t work. You’re told content is king. But others expertly say people don’t read any more — they only watch videos. 

And then you have the confident marketing geniuses who scream that word-of-mouth is the most profitable marketing tool. And more recently, you hear your fitness business success is about being an influencer or a podcaster.

You also have the marketing agencies preaching if you’re not on top of search engine optimization and pay-per-click advertising, your business won’t survive. You must invest in their expensive CRM, marketing automation and web intelligence platforms or your competitor will eat you alive. 

But what really works in sales and marketing?

My favorite marketing management quote comes from Neil H. Borden, who served as professor of advertising at the Harvard Graduate School of Business Administration in the 1930s. Over 60 years ago Borden said, “Marketing is still an art. And the marketing manager, as head chef, must marshal all his marketing activities to advance the short and long-term interests of his firm.” 

Borden was saying the best marketing executives use whatever marketing tools, strategies and tactics they need to get the job done. They don’t fall for the latest shiny object. 

Today, successful marketers use social media, digital marketing, direct marketing, professional selling, strategic marketing, marketing automation, mass advertising, SMS marketing, SEO, Facebook ads and Google ads — if it works.  

Don’t fall for the latest fad. Do your research. Measure for success. Use whatever marketing tool consistently gets you the results you want.

Alan Leach

Alan Leach is the CEO and director of sales and marketing at West Wood Clubs, Ireland. He is also a sales trainer and international presenter on fitness business marketing.

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