Let me tell you a story.
It’s about how marketing works in many businesses…

We have three characters: The business owner, the marketer and a kid (child). It tends to work like this…

The business owner hits a ceiling with his sales – or worse, takes a nose dive, and in desperation reaches for that one number he never thought he would ever call: the marketer.

The marketer gladly receives the call and jumps through the roof because work is scarce in these economic times. A first meeting is scheduled. During this meeting the business owner acts a little irritated since he feels uncomfortable dealing with a marketer. He quickly takes control by telling the marketer what to do: “…you will go and dangle this sweet (or candy, as the Americans say it) in front of that kid sitting out there on the playground. And make sure that they take it!”

The marketer duly takes the sweet, runs to the kid and starts dangling it in-front of them using every tool in the book: social media; a new logo; better website; amazing promotions…

Whilst this is happening, the business owner sits in his office staring at the ticker – his income statement – waiting for any signs of improvement. Surely this is a no brainer? All kids like sweets and this marketer looks like he knows what he is doing. It must work!

But….nothing happens.

The owner calls the marketer and complains: “What are you doing? Where are the results?”
The marketer blames it on budget and asks for more money. He runs off with increased vigour. This time the kid will certainly take the sweet!

And again…nothing happens. The owner gets rid of the marketer. As expected, these marketers are useless!

End of story.

Now let’s ask ourselves: why did the kid not eat the sweet?

The answer: Because no-one asked the kid if they like apple flavoured fizzy lollies that are hard to chew!

You see, marketing – proper marketing – is about first asking the customer what they think of your offering before you start advertising to them. It is called market research. Basic stuff, and yet few do it.

Stop dangling your product in-front of the customer. You are irritating them! Rather go and ask them: “do you like what I am selling?”

1 Comment
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