33 of the Greatest Marketing Quotes to Inspire Your Strategy

When I first started in marketing, I used to write down what I thought were the best marketing quotes to inspire me to dream big and to do big things.

A few years ago I gathered all these bits of paper and sticky notes and wrote down on one piece of paper my favorite marketing quotes and words of wisdom and inspiration.

When I speak, I also tried to invent some of my own tweetable quotes. Here are a few that generate a little tweet love:

  • “Behind every piece of bad content is an executive who asked for it.”
  • “If great content is the hero, then banners are the villain.”
  • “Content marketing is the gap between what brands produce and what consumers actually want.”
  • “Marketing with content is not the same thing as content marketing”
  • “Content marketing is financial asset with real value that grows over time”
  • Mean People Suck” (I can’t really take credit for that but I own the domain so there you go!)

But I can’t compare with some of these great minds and their amazing quotes.

Here is my collection of the greatest marketing quotes to inspire your strategy:

  1. “Banners have 99 problem and a click ain’t one.” ~ Scott Sorokin
  2. “Content Marketing is a commitment, not a campaign.” ~ Jon Buscall
  3. “Content marketing is the only marketing left.” ~ Seth Godin
  4. “Stop interrupting what people are interested in and be what people are interested in.” ~ Craig Davis
  5. “Make your customer the hero of your stories.” ~ Ann Handley
  6. “Your brand is so much more than what you sell.” ~ Jon Iwata
  7. “Marketing is too important to be left to the marketing department.”~ David Packard
  8. “The buyer journey is nothing more than a series of questions that must be answered.” ~ IDC
  9. “People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it.” – Simon Sinek
  10. “Market like the year you are in!” ~ Gary Vaynerchuck
  11. “Don’t find customers for your products, find products for your customers.”  ~ Seth Godin
  12. “Content is king, but distribution is queen and she wears the pants.” ~ Jonathan Perelman, Buzzfeed
  13. “Content is the atomic particle of all digital marketing, says @Lieblink”~ Rebecca Lieb
  14. “Make your marketing so useful, people will pay you for it.” ~ Jay Baer
  15. “Content builds relationships. Relationships are built on trust. Trust drives revenue.” Andrew Davis
  16. “Help your customers and you help your business.” ~ Leo Burnett
  17. “Business has only two functions – marketing and innovation.”  ~ Milan Kundera (Knowledge drop: Most people attribute the above quote to Peter Drucker who clearly borrowed from the author of The Unbearable Lightness of Being when he said:  “Because it is its purpose to create a customer, any business enterprise has two – and only these two – basic functions: marketing and innovation.” But Milan said it first. So here’s another good one from Peter…)
  18. “The aim of marketing is to know and understand the customer so well the product or service fits him and sells itself.” ~ Peter F. Drucker
  19. “The sole purpose of marketing is to sell more to more people, more often and at higher prices. There is no other reason to do it.” ~ Sergio Zyman
  20. “What really decides consumers to buy or not to buy is the content of your advertising, not its form.” ~ David Ogilvy
  21. “The consumer is not a moron, she’s your wife.” ~ David Ogilvy (not sure this one stands the test of time. Blame Kessler in the comments. He made me add it!)
  22. “The aim of marketing is to make selling superfluous.” ~ Peter Drucker
  23. “If you have more money than brains you should focus on outbound marketing. If you have more brains than money, you should focus on inbound marketing.” ~ Guy Kawasaki
  24. “Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing about.” ~ Benjamin Franklin
  25. Deadlines are the greatest source of inspiration” ~ Mark Twain
  26. “Markets are conversations.” ~ The Cluetrain Manifesto
  27. “Marketing takes a day to learn and a lifetime to master.” ~ Phil Kolter
  28. “Advertising in the final analysis should be news. If it is not news it is worthless.” ~ Adolph Ochs
  29. “Marketing is no longer about the stuff that you make, but about the stories you tell.” – Seth Godin
  30. “There is nothing more valuable than a spotless reputation.” ~ William Shakespeare
  31. “Companies that speak in the language of the pitch are no longer speaking to anyone.” ~ The Cluetrain Manifesto
  32. “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” – Maya Angelou
  33. “Marketing is not anyone’s job… It’s everyone’s job!” ~ Jack Welch (Thanks to my new twitter friend Leigh Cowan)

What’s your favorite marketing or business quote? Did I miss any great ones?

Let me help you tell your story! I can help your team create authentic and consistent thought leadership content. I’ve done it for myself. I’ve done it for the companies I’ve worked for. I’ve helped activate hundreds, even thousands of thought leaders. I’ve done it for numerous clients. And I can do it for you. 

(Updated: Aug, 2019)

Michael Brenner is a globally-recognized keynote speaker, author of The Content Formula and the CEO of Marketing Insider Group. He has worked in leadership positions in sales and marketing for global brands like SAP and Nielsen, as well as for thriving startups. Today, Michael shares his passion on leadership and marketing strategies that deliver customer value and business impact. He is recognized by the Huffington Post as a Top Business Keynote Speaker and a top CMO influencer by Forbes. Please follow him on LinkedIn, Twitter, or Facebook and Subscribe here for regular updates.

30 thoughts on “33 of the Greatest Marketing Quotes to Inspire Your Strategy

  1. “Marketing is too important to be left to the marketing department.” The funny thing is, when marketing extends beyond the marketing department, the business doesn’t call it marketing anymore.

    Michael, do you think social media finally changing this? It seems there is more recognition of the public and broad influence the entire organization can have now, without clear departmental or functional boundaries around it.

    Interested in hearing your thoughts on this.

    — @wittlake

    1. Hi Eric,

      Yes that quote is one of my favorites. I absolutely believe marketing is the job of everyone in the company. That is why I think social marketers should be encouraging “brand ambassadors” outside of marketing vs. just “enabling” their own marketing departments. And since social media is essentially an opportunity to interact with customers directly, this should force more collaboration between all outward facing or outward “concerned” organizational silos like the obvious ones in sales, customer service, communications along with the less-obvious ones like legal, HR and operations.

      Best, Michael

  2. There’s the measurement classic:

    Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don’t know which half.

    John Wanamaker, US department store merchant (1838 – 1922)

  3. “The aim of marketing is to know and understand the customer so well the product or service fits him and sells itself.” ~ Peter F. Drucker

    Hi~ Could you please tell me the year of this quote? I would like to include it in my assignment.really need it…

  4. Nice Collection Michael ! I love this post and I great inspired by one beautiful and short quote by Seth Godin that …“Don’t find customers for your products, find products for your customers.” Really Inspired..

  5. Great list, Michael.

    I love Drucker (he and Theodore Leavitt got me into this game).

    I was raised on David Ogilvy (my first job) and always remember, “The consumer is not a moron, she’s your wife.”

    Easily adapted to B2B. I like the warning against condescension.

  6. “Marketing is that key with infinite locks for eternity while ensuring it trends with all blends” just thought of sharing this as well to your inspiring list

  7. dont find customers for your products,find products for your customers, thats mt favourite i love it thanks MICHAEL

  8. I like “Content builds relationships. Relationships are built on trust. Trust drives revenue.” Andrew Davis,
    Trust is critical for long term success

  9. Blessed are those who lead the Public from the Sublime to the Rediculous, for they shall be called Advertising People.
    G3

  10. “The best place to hide a dead body is on the 2nd page of Google search results” – I don’t know where I heard that…..

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