Somerset Accountant Defines: Marketing Narcissism
October 11, 2011
“I think if you do something and it turns out pretty good, then you should go do something else wonderful, not dwell on it for too long. Just figure out what’s next.”
– Steve Jobs (1955-2011)
I suppose Mr. Jobs has moved on to his next wonderful project. I do hope that he is at peace there. The business world has lost a great innovator and leader, and we’re all the poorer for it. Speaking of poorer … did you see this news? Apparently, household income declined more than twice as much in the two years after the recession ended than it did during the recession itself, new research has found.
Between June 2009, when the recession officially ended, and June 2011, inflation-adjusted median household income fell 6.7 percent, to $49,909, according to a study by two former Census Bureau officials. During the recession — from December 2007 to June 2009 — household income fell 3.2 percent. [ http://reut.rs/qZhWIi ] With all of this economic double-speak that we get from the media and the government (the Recession is … over?), it’s no wonder people are angry and protesting. But, in my opinion, they’re protesting the wrong thing. They SHOULD be protesting all of the gobbledy-gook information coming from official channels. And that’s been a problem for years. Speaking of gobbledy-gook, let’s take a further look at your marketing this week, shall we?
Mark Clark’s “Real World” Business Strategy Marketing Narcissism
This may be the most common problem made by small businesses: Self-Absorption in Marketing. Does this seem too obvious? Look through the ads in a business magazine you have on hand. Pick it up right now and glance through them. Answer this question: are most of the ads telling you what benefits you get if you become a customer? Or, are the ads telling you about the companies, where they are, how wonderful they are, what they do, how great their quality is, how great their service is, and all about them? 95% of the ads are totally focused on the business and not on what the business can do for YOU, the prospect!
Pay attention to advertisements in the newspapers, on television, and on the radio. You’ll find the same thing happening in those places, consistently, every day. This type of selfish advertising falls into the terribly wasteful category of “institutional” advertising. Institutional advertising produces, at best, deferred results.
At worst, institutional advertising is ineffective, unproductive, and a wasteful expense that accomplishes no profitable purpose whatsoever. You know it’s institutional advertising when it tells you how great the company is, or how old and stable they are, or some other frilly, fancy, cutesy and non-compelling foolishness. Your selfishness is what kills most of your marketing. From brochures to flyers, sales letters to advertisements, your marketing message should let your prospects know that you are concerned ONLY WITH WHAT THEY WANT!
Anything about you should always come last. Your clients, customers, patrons, patients… whatever you choose to call them, should always come first. All the marketing materials you create should focus on what your prospects want and need. Every sentence should show that you understand their wants and needs. Until your marketing efforts focus on your prospects first, your marketing is handicapped. And so will be your bottom line.