You can find inspirational or motivational quotes for pretty much any area of life. There are some great quotes out there for things like fitness, healthy eating, and relationships. You’ll often see some people put quotes on their desk to keep them focused at work. Others will even tattoo their favorite quotes so they always remember what keeps them going.
Quotes are especially useful in marketing. Marketing is all about storytelling, and the best marketing quotes tell a story and capture attention. Whether you’re new to the field, or feel like you’ve hit a roadblock and need some inspiration, there are some great marketing quotes below that’ll uplift you and push you to toward your goals.
From marketing, to branding, to content and copywriting, the curated list below includes more than just your average inspirational marketing quotes.
Soak up wisdom from business titans like Seth Godin and Howard Shultz, and creatives and celebrities like Jean Luc Godard and Anthony Bourdain. Some of these are famous marketing quotes; others are hidden gems:
- General marketing quotes
- Quotes on branding
- Content marketing quotes
- Social media marketing quotes
- Quotes on design
- Quotes on customer service
- Quotes on storytelling
- Quotes on copywriting
Find your new favorite quote and who knows… maybe you’ll even get one of these tattooed.
General marketing quotes
1. “… Pop culture is very fluid: it’s music, it’s movies, it’s books, it’s art, it’s tech, it’s so many things — and as marketing and brand advocates, we should be able to take products and services and match them to what’s happening in pop culture.”
— Bozoma Saint John – CMO, Ex-Chief Brand Officer at Uber
Pop culture isn’t just fluff and tabloids and whatever is trending on social media. Pop culture is part of what keeps our communities together and talking to each other. Which means that knowing what’s going on in pop culture is a huge asset in the marketing world.
2. “The best marketing doesn’t feel like marketing.” — Tom Fishburne – Founder and CEO of Marketoonist
3. “Luck is not a business model” — Anthony Bourdain – Chef, Author
Short and simple, but powerful. As a small business owner, with limited time and resources, you can’t afford to rely purely on luck. Invest in tools and resources that will help you succeed.
4. “The cost of being wrong is less than the cost of doing nothing.” — Seth Godin – Author and Marketer
5. “Marketing is really just about sharing your passion.” — Michael Hyatt – ex-Chairman and CEO of Thomas Nelson
When was the last time you saw the words marketing and passion together? When you were putting your resume together? Marketing isn’t just about turning leads into conversions and boosting your bottom line. This is a simple clarifying quote that reminds us why we got into this gig in the first place.
6. “People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it.” — Simon Sinek – Marketer and Speaker
7. “Don’t wait for permission to do something creative.” — Ava Duvernay – Filmmaker
You don’t have to be a marketer to be good at marketing or creativity or storytelling. If you’re fearless enough, you just might create something that markets itself.
Quotes on branding
8. “Your brand is a story unfolding across all customer touch points.”
— Jonah Sachs – Storyteller and Author
A touch point is any place or channel where you interact with your customers. This includes your website, digital and print ads, emails, and social media. And all of these touch points need to consistently represent your brand.
9. “A brand is no longer what we tell the consumer it is—it is what consumers tell each other it is.” — Scott Cook – Co-founder of Intuit, Director of eBay and Procter & Gamble
10. “Your personal brand is a promise to your clients… a promise of quality, consistency, competency, and reliability.” — Jason Hartman – Author and Marketer
11. “Too many companies want their brands to reflect some idealized, perfected image of themselves. As a consequence, their brands acquire no texture, no character and no public trust.” — Richard Branson – Founder of the Virgin Group
The brands that stand out are the ones that feel authentic, like they’re run by actual humans with actual personalities. Do you want your brand to be “nice” and “perfect,” or do you want to be remembered?
12. “Determine who you are and what your brand is, and what you’re not. The rest of it is just a lot of noise.” — Geoffrey Zakarian – Chef and Restauranteur
Content marketing quotes
13. “Content is anything that adds value to the reader’s life.”
— Avinash Kaushik – Author of Occam’s Razor
Ever read something on a cereal box that moved you? That’s content! This quote also reminds us of the purpose of content. You can’t just rattle off the benefits of your product or service and call it content.
14. “Content is king, but distribution is queen and she wears the pants.” — Jonathan Perelman – VP of Agency Strategy and Industry Development at Buzzfeed
Most lists of marketing quotes will eventually include the Bill Gates quote: “Content is king”, but we love this twist on it. Creating high-quality content is not the end of the story—you have to actually get it out there. If no one reads your content, what’s the point?
15. “Quality content means content that is packed with clear utility and is brimming with inspiration, and it has relentless empathy for the audience.” — Ann Handley – Author and Marketer
This one reminds us of what most quality content out there actually is. It doesn’t have to be complicated—try to focus on making your content useful, inspiring, and empathetic.
16. “Marketing is telling the world you’re a rock star. Content marketing is showing the world you are one.” — Robert Rose – Chief Strategist at the Content Marketing Institute
Okay, this might be a bit corny, but it gets at the heart of the importance of content marketing. Show, don’t tell.
17. “Content marketing is really like a first date. If all you do is talk about yourself, there won’t be a second date.” — David Beebe aka The Brand Storyteller – TV Producer; Emmy, Cannes Lions, and James Beard winner
18. “Content marketing is the gap between what brands produce and what consumers actually want.” — Michael Brenner – CEO of the Marketing Insider Group
19. “Social media is about sociology and psychology more than technology” — Brian Solis – Digital Analyst and Author
Got a degree in the social sciences and don’t know what to do with it? Become a social media marketing specialist!
20. “One of the best ways to sabotage your content is to not tie it to your goals. Know why you’re creating content.” — Ellen Gomes – Head of Content and Integrated Marketing at Glint Inc.
Social media marketing quotes
21. “Going viral is not an outcome; it’s a happening. Sometimes it happens; sometimes it doesn’t. Just remember, fans are vanity and sales are sanity.”
— Lori R. Taylor – CEO And Founder Of REV Media Marketing
Everyone wants to go viral. And if not, most people have a favorite meme or TikTok video that did go viral at one point. But, unfortunately, going viral isn’t something you can plan for and force. Instead, remember that achieving your goals are what’s important—not the number of retweets or Instagram likes. (But hey, maybe you’ll get lucky and find yourself the next meme template, like this guy.)
22. “BE BRIEF. Brevity beats verbosity in social media. You’re competing with millions of posts every day. People make snap judgments and move right along if you don’t capture their interest at a glance” — Guy Kawasaki – Author and Entrepreneur
23. “We have technology, finally, that for the first time in human history allows people to really maintain rich connections with much larger numbers of people.” — Pierre Omidyar – Founder of eBay
24. “Successful companies in social media function more like entertainment companies, publishers, or party planners than as traditional advertisers.” — Erik Qualman – Author
Social media has really changed the game when it comes to marketing. Your plan on Twitter or Instagram has to be tailored to the platform—we’re way past the Mad Men era of advertising and marketing for businesses.
25. “Social marketing eliminates the middlemen, providing brands the unique opportunity to have a direct relationship with their customers.” — Bryan Weiner – Chairman at 360i
26. “Twitter is not a technology, it’s a conversation—and it’s happening with or without you.” — Charlene Li – Principal Analyst at Altimeter
Social media isn’t just a young person’s realm. We’re living in the digital age, and if you’re not on social media, you’re missing out on valuable ways to reach your customers.
27. “The internet has turned what used to be a controlled, one-way message into a real-time dialogue with millions.” — Danielle Sacks – Executive Editor at Medium
28. “Social media is a contact sport.” — Margaret Molloy – Global Chief Marketing Officer & Head of New Development at Siegel+Gale
In contact sports you get all up close and personal with other players. Social media means you interact with your customers. And they interact with you. Don’t shy away from this; it’s the beauty and magic of social media.
29. “Sell-sell-sell sales methods simply do not work on social media.” — Kim Garst – Marketer and Author
Quotes on design
30. “Make it simple, but significant.”
— Don Draper – Creative Director at Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce
Okay, unlike everyone else on this list, Don Draper is actually a fictional character from the (brilliant) show Mad Men. He was also referring to advertising campaign concepts. But this quote is also extremely relevant to design, whether you’re designing a product or an ad. It’s hard to make something simple—but when done right, you can reach more people (and more quickly) than with an overly complicated design.
31. “[Designers] don’t get hired to make pretty things or win design awards. We get hired to solve business problems.” — James Bradley – Designer
32. “Design is where science and art break even.” — Robin Mathew – Designer
It can be hard to get creatives to think like marketers, and vice versa. But you don’t always have to sacrifice art to be effective. After all, good design is the marriage of creativity and business smarts.
33. “Design adds value faster than it adds costs.” — Joel Spolsky – Software Engineer and Author
34. “A designer knows he has achieved perfection not when there is nothing left to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.” — Antoine de Saint-Exupéry – Poet and aristocrat
Quotes on customer service
35. “Many companies have forgotten they sell to actual people. Humans care about the entire experience, not just the marketing or sales or service. To really win in the modern age, you must solve for humans.”
— Dharmesh Shah – Founder and CTO of HubSpot
36. “Amazing things will happen when you listen to the consumer.” — Jonathan Midenhall – CEO of TwentyFirstCenturyBrand
37. “Conversation with customers will increase sales, even if the product or service is never mentioned.” — George Farris – Founder of Farris Marketing
No one likes pushy or aggressive salespeople. It’s more effective—and much more pleasant— to have a conversation and build rapport rather than spring your sale pitch on a customer.
38. “The consumer is not a moron; she is your wife.” — David Ogilvy – Copywriter and advertising agency legend
Look, we get it. Customer service can be hard, and sometimes you want to blow off steam and make fun of your customers. But doing this is a terrible idea. It’s not a good look for your company, and it really just makes you pessimistic and resent your customers more. We should appreciate and respect our customers. Otherwise we’d all be out of a job! (Also important to note that Ogilvy said this in the context of creating smart advertising for consumers and not customer service, but hey, it applies here too.)
39. “Good marketing makes the company look smart. Great marketing makes the customer feel smart.” — Joe Chernov – VP of Marketing at Pendo.io
See the theme connecting these quotes? Customers are humans—and it’s in your best interest as a business to treat them as such.
Quotes on storytelling
40. “I’m a true believer in story. I think when you just tell people to think, people tend to get resistant and defensive and feel like you’re accusing them of not thinking.”
— Jordan Peele – Director and Actor
You have to leave room for the reader to make meaning of the story. Remember, customers are intelligent and can figure things out. Don’t beat them over the head with the meaning and message of whatever story you’re telling.
41. “At its very core, marketing is storytelling. The best advertising campaigns take us on an emotional journey—appealing to our wants, needs, and desires—while at the same time telling us about a product or service.” — Melinda Partin – Marketing and CX Consultant
Calling all marketers who moonlight as novelists. The emotional journey of marketing is very similar to the telling of a good story. Just don’t forget to feature the product or service, perhaps as Chekhov’s Gun?
42. “Sometimes reality is too complex. Stories give it form.” — Jean Luc Godard – Director and Screenwriter
Any other film nerds in the marketing world? Godard reminds us that storytelling isn’t just for entertainment. Storytelling can also be extremely functional, not to mention compelling. When audiences’ attention is so scarce, being able to tell a good story is a seriously valuable skill.
43. “We are all storytellers. We all live in a network of stories. There isn’t a stronger connection between people than storytelling.” — Jimmy Neil Smith – Founder and President Emeritus of the International Storytelling Center
Don’t worry, you don’t need to be moonlighting as a novelist to tell a good story. Storytelling is intrinsic—we’re all born with an affinity for stories. Try to tap into your natural storytelling ability, and then refine it.
44. “The key is, no matter what story you tell, make your buyer the hero.” — Chris Brogan – Marketer and Journalist
Everyone wants to be the hero of their story, but remember, you are not the hero, no matter how awesome your product or service is. Your customer is. Your job is to make it easy for them to imagine themselves as the hero with you as their trusty sidekick.
45. “If your stories are all about your products and services, that’s not storytelling. It’s a brochure. Give yourself permission to make the story bigger.” — Jay Baer – Keynote Speaker and Emcee
46. “Humans are not ideally set up to understand logic; they are ideally set up to understand stories.” — Roger C. Schank – Artificial intelligence theorist
47. “The fact of storytelling hints at a fundamental human unease, hints at human imperfection. Where there is perfection there is no story to tell.” — Ben Okri – Poet and Novelist
Quotes on copywriting
48. “Copy is a direct conversation with the consumer.” — Shirley Polykoff – Copywriter and advertising agency legend
There are shelves and shelves of books about copywriting. But sometimes, it’s as simple as just writing like you’re having a conversation with a customer.
49. “The secret of all effective advertising is not the creation of new and tricky words and pictures, but one of putting familiar words and pictures into new relationships.” — Leo Burnett – Copywriter and advertising agency legend
Ah, Leo Burnett. Yet another titan of advertising, reminding us that copywriting isn’t about reinventing the wheel; it’s about shedding light on the wheel in a new way to show you something about the wheel that you hadn’t noticed before.
50. “On average, 8 out of 10 people will read your headline copy, but only 2 out 10 will read the rest.” — Brian Clark – Author and Marketer
This quote gets passed around a lot, and reminds us of the importance of a strong headline. Your headline’s job is to get the reader to continue reading the next line. If your headline loses the readers’ attention, say goodbye to those potential customers.
51. “Nobody reads ads. People read what interests them. Sometimes it’s an ad.” — Howard Gossage – aka “The Socrates of San Francisco”; advertising innovator
52. “There is a secret every professional artist knows that the amateurs don’t: being original is overrated. The most creative minds in the world are not especially creative; they’re just better at rearrangement.” — Jeff Goins – Author and Blogger
53. “Good advertising is written from one person to another. When it is aimed at millions it rarely moves anyone.” — Fairfax M. Cone – Advertising Executive and ex-Director of the American Association of Advertising Agencies
What are your favorite quotes on marketing?
We hope you’ve discovered a new favourite quote or been inspired to look at your business a little differently. What were your favorites? Do you have a personal favourite quote that we missed? Or were there any quotes that were just plain nonsense? Let us know in the comments!
Originally published Feb 06, 2020, updated Aug 12, 2020