Demand Creation. Really?


I read last week that a fan may actually be more valuable than a customer. Initially, I nodded my head thoughtfully but now I’m back now.

One of the first predictors of marketing success is the degree to which people need your product.  A second predictor is that people want your product.  Sadly, consumers are being sold things today they don’t need or want. Marketers often spend money creating demand where none exists. Is it any wonder John Wannamaker’s famous line “Only half of my advertising is working” still resounds? Educating consumers as to what they need is not the job of advertising. Frankly, it’s what know-all mothers-in-law do and it is annoying. Providing a product to meet an existing need, on the other hand, is a great place to start.

Everyone has a shower.  All shower tiles and grout need cleaning. Good place to start a business. Invisible germs in the shower that people don’t know exist, is an educational effort. And if those germs aren’t harmful, why do they need to be killed? Not a good business.

Marketers need to spend more time on customer need and product innovation and less time tweaking market share through message innovation. It makes the marketing agents look bad.  And it wouldn’t hurt for a good ad agency or two to turn down a product assignment every once in a while because the product is meaningless. That’s the way to create an agency A list. Peace!