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.