Too many marketing strategists believe their own BS! Pricing Strategy, Communications strategy, Online Strategy, branding strategy etc. isn’t genius… it is obvious, common sense that evolves out of the fact that perfect knowledge leads to perfect decisions.

I’ve had an extraordinary number of commercial successes in my career, record-breaking ones… NOT because I am one bit smarter, more intuitive, have more street cunning or am unusually lucky, but because I persevered long enough in learning my trade to be able to recognise the one, inalienable truth of business: If you genuinely know what the customer wants and can give it to them, they WILL buy!

The absolute secret, of all extraordinary business success, is knowing the customer.

Is it REALLY that simple?

Whether it is the individual or the segment – yes!

There are so many examples of this across the internet, in each of our careers, recorded, diagnosed, studied and reported by academics around the world, and demonstrable in every case study and high return annual report… so why do we complicate and confuse, cloud and cover this fact?

Think about it…

Pricing Strategy: In particular Value-Based pricing? Know the customer!

Communications strategy: In particular advertising & positioning? Know the customer!

Retailing: In particular store layout, ranging, staffing, location? Know the customer!

Manufacturing: Everything from branding, sizing, packaging, new product development, distribution strategy? Know the customer!

Why is the business community in denial?

When FMCG hummed a merry tune, the industry habitually committed to segmentation studies annually… but as operational executives with corporate political skills rose in a culture of corporate arrogance, costs were cut to carve out larger profits, ignorant to the fact they were really blunting competitive advantage and digesting brand equity.

In adequately training marketing personnel, briefing and sustaining market research of questionable quality, undermined the payback from segmentation studies and other market research.

Over the years, the team at my firm has written strategy for transport, banks, FMCG, commodities, utilities, government that has generated record-breaking results, unimagined sales growth, and extraordinary profits… why? Simply better understanding of the customer – EVERY time!

Understanding and utilising the response tools available under the Law of Diminishing Brand Loyalty couldn’t be better demonstrated than by the multi-national, Fitness First.
Let alone falling VERY short of customer expectations, Fitness First fails to deal with customer complaints, exacerbating their brand decay.
From a marketing management perspective they are clearly ignorant market needs, attractive and unattractive segments, or significant market trends.
There is an international array of Fitness First Haters that run blogs, and pool their complaints, and all of them are growing.
True to businesses absent of strategic leadership, Fitness First continues to employ similar aggressive tactics that only deepen the undermining brand decay that surely will seem them implode in only a matter of years… less if any decent competitor enters their market with similar capabilities.
Were they to embrace the Marketing Concept, they could rescue shareholders from losing everything. Applying emergency tactics will be too late.
Only an intimate awareness of building and maintaining brand loyalty could save FF, but at the cost of short-term profits that must be their only focus.

Make a marketing comment

February 9, 2010

Does ANYONE with marketing training perceive the latest Cadbury TV ad as valid marketing communications?