Tuesday, August 19

The Customer Language

I have written about the comparisons between marketing and the evangelistic efforts of missionaries. You would not expect a missionary to land on the shores of a native group and begin speaking the missionaries language, explaining in exhausting detail the greatest aspects of their beliefs. To be successful, there is a process that is followed. The missionary spends time with the native group, learning their language, their culture, and their beliefs. What may be more important, however, is that the relationship is also growing the other direction as well. It is not until this trust is gained, the relationship groomed, and a conversion can take place that the missionary can be effective in spreading its message. The growth of the message grows exponentially when the recipient of the message becomes the messenger.
Today, we can see countless examples of clear violations of the process. Businesses (the missionaries) begin the relationship with us (the native group) without ever trying to learn from our wants, needs, concern or culture. It would be similar to a blind date asking for marriage on the first date.
Talk to me. Find out about me, my beliefs, my values. Learn my language. Then convert me.

Tuesday, August 12

Marketing is Simple

Marketing is not that difficult. Not that I want to give away all the trade secrets, but it truly is not a difficult craft. It is much like having a magic trick explained to you. When you finally see how the illusion was carried out you have a moment much like, "Oh, that was easy." Marketing is like that, but with an added aspect. Intrinsically, most people know the basics of marketing. So, when you see a (dare I say) marketing trick explained to you, there is the "aha" moment, but there is also the "why didn't I think of that?" moment. That is because most people (I must say 'most people' because there are always some who simply don't get it) have basic marketing instincts. If we did not have those instincts, then marketing would not work on us. So, like a dream that is difficult to remember, we hear of a marketing success and have full recall of our dream, but prior to that moment the dream was sketchy or blurred - the marketing idea was not yet clear.
My challenge as a marketing and business consultant is to help people wake up from the haze and fully understand the marketing ideas that lay within us all. That part is progressive, sometimes a struggle, but always rewarding.