Thursday, October 17, 2019

After 35 Years in the Business, My Thoughts About Marketing

Following are my stream of consciousness thoughts about marketing.

  • People have beliefs, attitudes, values, hopes, anxieties and fears. Marketers must understand these to be successful.
  • In marketing, less is almost always more. This is true of copy and visuals. 
  • The actual customer experience is the most important driver of brand perceptions.
  • Building awareness is the most important marketing activity. Communicating relevant differentiation is the most important branding activity. 
  • People make purchase decisions based on emotions, not logic. Every marketer should understand this.
  • Brands should focus on their most compelling assets, especially if they are unique.
  • Humor and entertainment can be very powerful components of marketing communication. 
  • Shared values and "brand as a badge" (self-expressive vehicle) are the two most powerful sources of brand differentiation. 
  • Related to this, many brands succeed as status symbols.
  • Customer service is a very important part of a brand's success.
  • Know customers' primary sources of information and where they are most likely to shop.
  • To a very large degree, marketing is a combination of consumer psychology and common sense.
  • The sales function is critical to successful brands. Personal relationship-building matters.
  • Sales and marketing must work together seamlessly. 
  • Build a robust but flexible brand identity system. Colors matter. So do symbols and icons. 
  • Brands can often connect with people at a sub-conscious level. 
  • Where a brand is distributed (and where it is not distributed) says a lot about the brand. Make sure your brand's distribution is consistent with its positioning. 
  • Price can be an indicator of quality. Use reference prices to create desired price perceptions. 
  • Inconsistent execution can kill a brand in the long-run. Brands must be trustworthy. 
  • It has been my observation that successful marketers tend to be entrepreneurial, opportunistic and good at ideating. They are always looking for new approaches to marketing.
  • Never forget that marketing is about relating to people and their needs and desires. 


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