Magazine article Marketing

OPINION: Marketing Society - Get Down from Ivory Tower and onto Shop Floor

Magazine article Marketing

OPINION: Marketing Society - Get Down from Ivory Tower and onto Shop Floor

Article excerpt

In the dim and distant past, having mastered both the three Rs and the four Ps, I lived and breathed the life of a 'bag carrier'.

Every waking moment was dominated by the challenge of meeting my customers' needs and the thrill of the sale. My sole aim in life was to get inside my customers' heads and predict their next move so that I could pre-empt it.

As time progressed, the world of marketing beckoned and I found myself ensconced in an ivory tower, attending endless meetings and juggling enormous budgets. Overnight, the jargon changed.

I rarely heard my old sales chant or anecdotes of insights from the trade and in the field. But I learned phrases such as 'insight-driven', 'leverage' and, most important of all, 'above the line'. I am still looking for the line.

During those endless meetings, return on investment was never mentioned.

But I learned all about my consumers, because my researchers told me all about them. Of course they knew what my consumers wanted.

Eventually, the four walls of the ivory tower seemed to bring on a feeling of claustrophobia. I asked one of my colleagues in the sales team if I could spend the day out with him. Needless to say, that day out back at the frontline rekindled my love affair with the sell - the customer, the anecdotes and the thrill of surprising and delighting customers.

It is all too easy to criticise brands, marketers and, indeed, all service providers and we are all guilty to some degree. However, if we spent a little more time listening to the people who really know our customers and unite our marketing and promotions teams to deliver fact-based solutions for customer needs, we would probably learn a great deal. …

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