The Message of Marketing

Many times, I will sit up at night watching television, mainly sports, and judging commercial spots. One of the downfalls to working in television is judging the work of others. Many times I will sit on my couch and wonder why marketing companies, and the companies they represent, select the storyboards they do. For instance, watch car commercials of today, and they seem to have taken the route of shoe commercials, in that you can’t really tell what’s being sold.

Many times, marketing companies seem to lose touch too quickly and easily, with the audience of their client (a company). Though theBehind The Curtain TV marketing companies may have unique ways in which they work, unique settings in which they work, and out-of-the-box ideas, essentially, marketing companies have a handful of things that they have employed in the past, and simply stick to those ways. But, what worked in the 1980’s, 1990’s, and even 2000’s no longer works.  It’s best to think of marketing companies as authoritative parents who are going to tell you what is going to happen.  Difference is, you’re paying them to do it.  Don’t get me wrong, there are some marketing companies out there that truly can and do make a difference, but the industry has become diluted to a great degree.  Take, for example, a one of the new Intuit commercials, which can be seen here.  If you made it through the 1-minute commercial, congratulations!  But, this is the type of commercial I need to ask, “Why?!!!!!”.  Why is there a dancing little teddy bear thing that erotically dances for a scared girl in a closet???  THIS is supposed to have me not fearing paying my taxes???!!!  It makes no sense!!!!  But, though it doesn’t make sense to me, doesn’t mean it doesn’t make sense to someone else.  The problem, however, is that Intuit has chosen to run with a commercial that appeals to one genre, and they better hope that genre’s demographic is one that actually is old enough to pay taxes!  This is where they have vastly narrowed their demographic, rather than reaching to a broader base.

Additionally, consumers have changed; especially American consumers! It’s no secret that teenagers spend money, and that is why MTV was so effective in the 1980’s and 1990’s. MTV only got lost, and instead narrowed their demographic immensely when they left what worked for them, and headed into the world of reality television. For those of us who work in television, we can be the first to tell you just how fake reality television is, but that’s for another discussion. The point is, MTV marketed very, very well in the 1980’s and ’90’s. Virtually no one did it better But, when you lose sight of who your consumer is, and what your consumer wants, you lose consumers. It’s as simple as that. They’re not just going to stick around for loyalty.

Going back to car commercials, personally, if you showed me all that the car has, all the car does, the safety features, etc. I would be inclined to be interested. But when I see commercials of cars doing things you don’t normally do with a car, or I see car commercials that don’t make sense, I wonder who the company thinks they’re reaching out to.

The point to all of this, is for companies to understand the importance of marketing. First and foremost, for most companies, a marketing company is simply not needed. In many cases, the company can do this themselves, or even hire a marketing specialist. But, as is life, the best thing a marketing specialist or marketing company can do is LISTEN!  If you don’t listen to your customers, listen to the public, and listen to your demographic, you don’t learn.  Learning is what it’s all about.  If you learn, you have knowledge, and if you have knowledge, you have power.  You have the power to then provide what your customers want.  Yes, this sounds simple in writing and in theory, but it is this simple; especially in this day and age of technology!

That’s why, no matter the size of your company, you need to simply speak to your customers and listen to your customers, and then do what they want, instead of doing what you want.  And that, my friends, is the lesson of business.  If you create content they want to see, you are marketing to them.  Happy customers = Happy businesses.

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