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It struck me how much Journalists and Marketers have in common.

Both have a compelling need to know their audience well.  They need to understand the key demographics — not necessarily the same ones — but things like where their consumers/customers live, what level of education they have achieved, how old they are, what their marital status/family situation is and/or their political leanings.

The better journalist and marketers understand their target users:  what the consumers need; how they should be addressed; what resonates with them; what motivates them; pleases them; and especially, what makes them come back for more; the more effective they are at their job.

Both journalists and marketers must find a way to “deliver the goods” in a way that is meaningful but differentiates these “goods” from those of everyone else with similar offerings.

They have to be “renaissance men”, and women, knowing a little about a wide range of topics in order to help make what they provide, relevant and meaningful in the context of the lives of the people who consume their “product”.

Writing and marketing are both creative endeavours.  Both jobs take discipline and a healthy dose of self-confidence.

Communication is crucial to both journalists and marketers.  For those in marketing, theirs is the need to be the voice for their product or service, to be heard by the ultimate consumer.  For journalist, they are one of the most important (if not the most important) means of communication to the public-at-large due to their credibility, objectivity, and “arms-length” stance.  This allows journalists to be perceived as being on the side of the people.

If is the case, and journalists and markets do have much in common, you’d think there would be more empathy between the two groups, more opportunity for cooperation, a better mutual understanding, each of the other’s role.  And as a result an acknowledgment that each needs the other.  The marketer requires a vehicle which educates and informs the consumer about the product they market.  The journalist has a commitment to provide their reader franchise with current, relevant, useful and interesting information.

Life is an interlocking weave of symbiotic interdependence.  As the world gets so big that individuals begin to suffer from isolation, social media comes along to provide a means to reconnect and integrate.

It’s not a matter of walking a mile in someone else’s shoes. 

We don’t have to put ourselves in the other’s place to get where they are coming from.  It is a matter of looking for the things we have in common.  For instance, we are both wearing shoes!