Many clients ask me about the meaning of the word satya and why I chose it as the name of my marketing consulting firm. Satya is the Sanskrit word for truth. If you’ve ever been a regular practitioner of yoga, you may have heard an instructor talk about this concept. It comes from a more spiritual side of yoga that provides guidelines for living life well.
In the yoga tradition, satya is referred to as a restraint. It may seem odd to think of truth as a restriction, but it’s an interesting nod to how easy it is for untruths, even well intentioned ones, to run wild. Our minds are particularly adept at distorting reality. Think about how children entertain themselves with make-believe stories. As adults, we often continue this habit and unconsciously embellish our own experiences or exaggerate reality. It takes conscious effort to refrain from this behavior and practice the concept of satya—being truthful in one’s thoughts, words and actions.
What does this have to do with marketing? In today’s world we are constantly being bombarded with messages that are developed to sell us something. All you have to do is turn your head a different direction or scroll down a webpage a bit and you’ll probably encounter some fantastic claim that is unlikely to be true. Marketers and business owners aren’t setting out to deceive potential clients. (Most of them, anyway.) They have simply succumbed to the very human fault of embellishing the truth in an effort to get noticed.
Marketing can sometimes be confusing and frustrating. Finding the right messaging that will resonate with the people you want to serve can feel like trying to find a needle in a haystack. I’ve discovered that the most successful marketing campaigns feature messaging that accurately reflects the core of the business. Crafting this kind of marketing is fun and empowering. Clients benefit because they are able to find precisely what they need and business owners benefit because they get to make a living doing what they love. It sounds idealistic, yes, but I believe that by becoming more specific and truthful in marketing we can delight our clients and ourselves.