Magazine article Marketing

OPINION: Don't Listen to Marketing Gurus - It's the Consumer That Counts

Magazine article Marketing

OPINION: Don't Listen to Marketing Gurus - It's the Consumer That Counts

Article excerpt

Every Wednesday The Times, like several other newspapers and trade magazines, runs a piece called 'Campaign of the Week'.

The format is probably familiar to you. A senior marketer names their favourite advertising campaign of the moment and explains why it works as a piece of marketing communications.

On May 15, for example, the marketing director of Kangol extolled the virtues of the latest campaign for Levi's. She was taken with the 'incredibly haunting quality' of the ad, noted that it 'held my attention for the whole minute' and concluded that the campaign would 'engage people with the brand on an altogether different level than in previous campaigns'.

The previous week the deputy chairman of Fishburn Hedges had found the ads for the new X-Box 'clearly adult in tone' and 'deeply disturbing'.

The problem with these reviews is that they display a fundamental ignorance of the prime directive of marketing. The first stage in becoming a good marketer is to appreciate the difference between being a producer of products and a consumer of products. As a marketer your job is centred on connecting the latter to the former.

When marketers forget this essential dichotomy and start reviewing ads, products and prices as if they were consumers, they become marketing gurus, and there is no place for gurus in marketing. It is simply impossible to step into the shoes of a consumer for a few moments to review the quality of a marketing output.

When marketers do this they usually assume that the whole market is uniform and either the campaign works or it does not work. …

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