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She Loves Me. She Loves Me Not.

Are you a sap for the enchanting princess Disney movies? How about the Little Mermaid, soon to be brought to us in the live-action format (can't wait for that)?

Here is a tale of a young mermaid dreaming of being a part of a world where she truly doesn't belong. While spending her days fantasizing and studying the unique life humans live on land, she saves a prince from drowning.

Here is where the adventure begins. Ariel, our mermaid, makes a bargain with a sea witch who turns her dreams into reality. Ursula, our nasty villain, grants her feet and lungs to breathe outside of the ocean in exchange for Ariel's voice. The handsome prince, Eric, discovers our stranded mermaid, takes her in and finds himself falling for her.

The plot thickens. Eric is confused about his feelings. He isn't too confident about Ariel's affections for him as she can't speak a word. Also, Eric is a prince. He can't just rescue a strange woman off the beach and then walk down the aisle with her. Despite the uniqueness of the situation, there's a spark between the two. An unspoken attraction between the characters takes both of them through a rollercoaster of emotions.

We can't help but notice the similarity between Eric and Ariel's relationship and the undeniable one between an organization and marketing. Oh, you didn't know. There is indeed a relationship flaring between these two entities. One that is just as up and down as the connection brewing between our prince and mermaid.

As organizations, we want marketing. We truly do. We realize we want her, we have to have her, yet it all comes with a dose of hesitation. On the one hand, there is no disputing that we can't live without marketing. Then, on the other hand, she is so much to take.

At times it may seem as marketing is playing coy. There are moments when she sends all the right signals through her generous act of kindness. Marketing gifts us with new customers, striking hot engagement on social, and provides us click-thru rates that tear the roof off. She brings us the kind of awareness one could only dream of. It's here that we are convinced that marketing shares the same sentiments we do.

Before long, we experience a whole other side of her. Marketing begins to send us mixed signals. The turn out to the conference was dismal, the response to our months' long campaign fell utterly flat, and that new retention program retained no one. The advertisers and sponsors aren't kicking down our doors, and unsubscribers have increased while website visits are nose-diving. Does marketing love us or not? Is she on board or what? Is it time we send her packing?

Organizations find themselves like Eric, wondering if this is love. They question if so, is she the right one? Is this the girl we have been waiting for our whole lives? Do we proceed and invest ourselves in her, or do we run for the hills and keep searching for our perfect match?

Absolutely marketing is a challenging relationship—no arguments here. She will ask a lot of you and will not let you off the hook, mister. She is going to want your time and attention coupled with your trust. With no real evidence or proof, marketing will require you to jump in headfirst with her and have confidence that she will upgrade your world. She will need you to be all in and believe she will make it worth your while. Without much to go by, she wants it all, and you will have to give it all.

Listen, there is no denying it. There is a spark between you two. You have to have her, and hey, she wants you. Why not take the risk. Despite all the drama associated with his princess mermaid, Eric discovered that the value of making Ariel a part of his world outweighed the bumps in the road that brought them together.

A relationship with marketing will feel like your own personal rollercoaster as well. While the twists, turns, and loops she takes you through may seem intimidating, the highlights of the relationship WILL have you coming back for more.


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