YourMondayMotivator: What the best marketing is about

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  • November 22, 2004

Opportunity is as scarce as oxygen;
men fairly breathe it and do not know it.  Doc Sane

This week an article from Jay Levinson.

WHAT THE BEST MARKETING IS ABOUT

The finest marketing ever created — and ever to be created — is not about your product. It is not about your service and not about your company. It is not about your features, not about your benefits, not even about your competitive advantages.

What it is about is your prospect and customer and how what you offer will change their lives for the good.

Most marketers create marketing under the silly assumption that prospects are asking "Who are you? What is your product or service? When are you open? Where are you located?" The reality is that the only real question in the customer's mind is "Why should I care?"

Unconsciously, your prime prospects are saying, "Tell me a story that has me in it. Don't tell me stuff about you. Tell me clearly what's in it for me. Can you save my time, increase my income, reduce my stress, bring more love into my life or cause people to think highly of me?" If you can't do that, better leave those prospects alone because you're wasting their time and your money.

We learn these age-old secrets Roy S.Williams, who also reminds us that it is pure mythology to buy into that old lie telling you "If a man can make a better mousetrap, the world will make a beaten path to his door." Many better mousetraps have been built, points out Mr. Williams, but most were too high-priced or poorly marketed to unseat the one we've been using since before the turn of the century.

Another home truth charmingly related by the Texas guerrilla Williams is that it is far less important who you reach than what you say. Researchers and readership studies have enabled us to put our target audience right in the crosshairs but don't give us much of a hint as to what we should say to that audience. The sad result is that most marketers say the wrong thing.

So much emphasis has been placed upon reaching the right people that marketers tend to become overconfident and neglect the crucial power of their message. In the science of selecting target markets, we have lost the art of saying the right things — of persuading — and the art of commitment — of repeating our message. We must remember that marketing is part business, part science, part patience and part art — the art of committing to persuading people to want what you are offering them.

Having been involved in the process of creating and presenting marketing, I've learned that the talent to motivate people, to say exactly the right thing to the right people is usually diluted by other people in the chain of command who must approve marketing. Most of the time, they are scared to death of offending somebody and so they suggest a compromise message.

There is no marketing strategy so brilliant that it cannot be made utterly ineffective through compromise. I've seen compromise and layers of approval kill many great marketing campaigns, but I've never ever seen them create one. Not even close.

Take the tale of the shoeshine boy whose rag kept popping and cracking with activity, but the shoes being shined looked ordinary. The wizard says most marketing is the same way. It's just "poppin' the rag" but the deep shine never appears.

Guerrillas, who are notorious for their generosity, will also appreciate the William's tale of Cecil and Fat Charlie, each of whom operates a produce market. Cecil markets his as having the most accurate scales in town. Fat Charlie, whose prices are a mite higher than Cecil's, always gives customers something extra. They order five pounds of potatoes. They get five pounds plus a plum or a peach, perhaps a handful of cherries. And always a smile. Fat Charlie calls this "the delight factor. "

Even though Cecil is unquestionably the town's lowest cost provider of produce and has a predictable customer base of hardcore bargain hunters, Fat Charlie gets much more word-of-mouth marketing, higher average tickets due to his free samples, greater profits, and more delighted customers. Fat Charlie knows well what the best marketing is about.

Have a successful week.