Everything That’s Wrong With Marketing I Saw On The Apprentice

Ok … maybe not everything, but, perhaps … the biggest thing.

The task was to sell a Burger King specialty item. When presenting their “marketing idea” to a Burger King exec, the exec asked, “who is your customer?” Danny, who oddly enough owns a marketing company in the real world, responded, “we didn’t have time to do market research.”

See, here’s the thing…

Under no circumstances should the “marketing idea” come BEFORE the target of the marketing. In fact, effective marketing is completely and totally dependent upon a deep and profound understanding of your target market.

Far too many marketers, branders, and marketing companies are too in love with their ideas (witness the self-congratulatory ad award events) … and not nearly as concerned with their clients results.

It really burns me up, because at least once I month I hear about a small business entrepreneur who didn’t know any better … wasting tens, sometimes hundreds of thousands of dollars on utter garbage shined and polished to look like gold. Doesn’t have to be that way.

UPDATE: In the interest of touchy-feel fairness, I’ll point out that these shows are heavily edited … and it is possible Danny’s quote was taken out of context. Possible. Regardless, this is a very real problem being perpetuated by “marketing experts” on a regular basis. Fortune 500 companies can and do waste money on stuff that doesn’t work, most small businesses can not. Demand accountability, my friends.

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Anonymous January 26, 2005 at 4:01 pm

Michael, Thanks for the kind words.  I’ll look for the replays in CNBC.

I have you on my bloglines list and have added you to my blogroll:)  Your common sense and practical advice should serve my readers well…as I’m confident it does yours. 

Thanks Again!
Jim

Reply

2 Anonymous January 26, 2005 at 9:01 pm

Michael, Thanks for the kind words.  I’ll look for the replays in CNBC.
I have you on my bloglines list and have added you to my blogroll:)  Your common sense and practical advice should serve my readers well…as I’m confident it does yours. 
Thanks Again!
Jim

Reply

3 Anonymous January 26, 2005 at 3:01 pm

Jim,

Great comment, thanks!

I missed the first airing, but they replay episodes on CNBC from time to time. It was the first episode. As a marketing guy, there were many funny/sad moments. I have three other “bad example” posts from the episode I haven’t put together yet. It’s worth finding.

Michael

P.S. I like your blog. Next time I update my links, it’ll be on the blogroll.
——-

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4 Anonymous January 26, 2005 at 8:01 pm

Jim,
Great comment, thanks!
I missed the first airing, but they replay episodes on CNBC from time to time. It was the first episode. As a marketing guy, there were many funny/sad moments. I have three other “bad example” posts from the episode I haven’t put together yet. It’s worth finding.
Michael
P.S. I like your blog. Next time I update my links, it’ll be on the blogroll.——-

Reply

5 Anonymous January 26, 2005 at 1:01 pm

Incredible!  Falling in love with your own offering is one of three common reasons companies fail to grow their revenue – loosing focus on their customers and unwittingly evolving their offering to a commodity are the other two.

From your post, it appears Danny was making a couple mistakes.  Marketers that fail to serve their customer and develop their offering from the customer back into their corporation are dooming themselves to mediocre performance at best.  How anyone could take a position of “we’ll worry about the customer later, let’s just sell this thing\0? is beyond me.

Thanks for the post; I’m sorry I missed that episode.

Reply

6 Anonymous January 26, 2005 at 6:01 pm

Incredible!  Falling in love with your own offering is one of three common reasons companies fail to grow their revenue – loosing focus on their customers and unwittingly evolving their offering to a commodity are the other two.
From your post, it appears Danny was making a couple mistakes.  Marketers that fail to serve their customer and develop their offering from the customer back into their corporation are dooming themselves to mediocre performance at best.  How anyone could take a position of “we’ll worry about the customer later, let’s just sell this thing? is beyond me.
Thanks for the post; I’m sorry I missed that episode.

Reply

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