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In my view the primary focus is on the trade and not the customer/nor the boss.

Sure you've got to consider the audience - but neither is really fighting for the endurance, strength and resilience of the corporation. They're fighting for lower prices and higher pay cheques ( OK not all - but enough).

The big question is what does the corporation have that is of value that it bought low and now can sell high ( and I'm not just talking about $ - what did I get back in the trade that I can trade again).

In this age the customer is focused on you. The questions are what do you have to trade that they don't know they really want and what will you get in return that is worth more ( that's the essence of strength).

In some respects the technology is now sweeping the market listening for evidence of surprise and value. Corporations listening to consumers listening to corporations is an odd conversation indeed.

To my mind, too many marketers have swallowed the "markets are conversations" and then focus everything on the tools and technology of the customer conversation.

Many seem to have forgotten ( or were never taught) why they are in the conversation in the first place - to trade > 20% turning consumers into buyers (boy stuff) and 80% turning buyers into customers (girl stuff). And these are very different technologies and approaches- digital is more of a boy and social is more of a girl.

It seems some marketing departments are 100% "can do" and 0 % "why do". It's all incredibly smart and talented people doing improv and wondering why know ones clapping.

Always a pleasure.

Peter

Thanks for the post Valeria, I think you've hit on a problem that many folks on the agency side deal with all too often. Relevant and authentic marketing requires a level of internal discipline that many organizations (including agencies) don't posses: singular focus. To be successful today marketing must be customer-centric. Anything else is just passing your challenges down the line and eventually you end up asking your customers/prospects to solve YOUR problem. No-one is going to read your copy (or buy your product) to help you meet a sales goal, to help you keep your boss happy, to help you maximize your budget etc. Your post is a good reminder to all of us that it takes incredible focus and discipline to not allow those influences to distract from a true customer focus.

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