For every sale, there was a need. And needs are manifested as customers. If you identify customer needs before your competitors do you’ll make more sales. If you identify customer needs before customers do you’ll make a LOT more sales.
Having spent most of my life in advertising, it’s only natural for me to have a high regard for advertising. But having worked with hundreds of different client businesses, I have a high regard also for businesses that make it easier to do business with them.
American business spends about a trillion dollars a year on so-called marketing. And so-called chief marketing officers, or CMOs, have the shortest tenure of any executive, according to the Wall Street Journal.
After people spend months in a hospital bed, it’s hard for them to walk when they finally get up. Most need at least a so-called walker until they regain their strength and balance. The same thing is true of our brains.
A handful of us were little boys and girls in the ‘Thirties when a Band Aid at home substituted for the emergency room. From Band Aids and dental floss to talcum powder and duct tape, Johnson & Johnson is one of the most important companies in American history.
Watching TV the other night I was reminded of the most basic fundamental of advertising. A Good Feet Store commercial was running. And a pudgy, ordinary-looking guy on a blank background just looked into the camera and told how his feet always hurt and made his life miserable.
If you say the right thing to the right people at the right time, advertising will be successful. Saying the right thing depends on how you create the advertising. Finding the right people at the right time, those are both elements of media selection. And media selection, not ad creation, is the most important element of advertising.
Looking back, it’s easy to put a finger on the hardest part of seven decades of employment. Hiring and firing. As for firing, the late Abe Plough’s advice was best. The right day to fire someone is the first day it ever crosses your mind.
Merriam-Webster recently added 840 new words to its online dictionary. It reminded me what dictionaries are for. To allow us to find the definition of a sound that is foreign to our ears. Are there 840 truly new words in the English language?
Do-it-yourself, as a business concept, appeared shortly after World War II. Doing it yourself grew in category after category because there was a shortage of manpower. Self-service, another iteration of do-it-yourself, is a concept conceived long before do-it-yourself, and grows today with the speed of a text. Because there is a shortage of service.
You can’t count the number of books written about customer service. And none defines what really is customer service. They all dwell on doing a better job of developing, or delivering the product. Which, of course, is not customer service.
Nobody builds a brand overnight. Even the most aggressive advertising takes years to build a name that an entire market knows and trusts instantly. And if a brand is ever tarnished, it may take longer to restore, if it can be at all.