Magazine article Marketing

Companies Can Learn a Lot from Their Customers

Magazine article Marketing

Companies Can Learn a Lot from Their Customers

Article excerpt

Did you see the TV programme about the remarkable teacher Michel Thomas? He had children with little inclination or talent (one was encouraged by being told not to bother) speaking French better in five days than ordinary teachers had managed in five years.

Great teachers are rare; incompetents and bullies more common. My first maths teacher, Geoffrey LaTrobe Foster, was a pig who made my life a misery. He imparted a loathing for the subject which only vanished after I learned how intimately interwoven it was with making money in mail order.

These reflections arose after receiving a well written letter from Friends Provident - itself a cause for joy - suggesting a 'decent investment'. (Compared to what? An indecent investment would do better. Paul Raymond owns half Soho and is the richest man in the country). But the letter explained that if I wish to invest in things that don't corrupt society or defile the environment they have a special fund. You can deduce, then, that their ordinary funds are not so 'decent', and conclude they are two-faced hypocrites. But, carping aside, the letter made me consider how better marketing could make them more money.

What have all the billowing clouds of waffle about Planet Earth (and that obscene politicians' romp in Rio) achieved? Even marketers who created 'green' products have been disappointed because, as we regularly rediscover, what people say and what they do often differ. Few people say they're dishonest - perish the thought - but many, when tempted to be, give way without a thought. …

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