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Marketing Strategy 101: Don’t Market to Yourself

One mistake we’ve seen many of our clients make is to spend too much time and money marketing to themselves.

Of course, once we come in the door this problem gets remedied. Not because we are such great digital marketers or have the best market research techniques. Nope, we just show up with a mirror and open ears.

And what we’ve been able to demonstrate to our clients is that sometimes they operate in an echo chamber. Clients can get caught up worrying what others are doing in their industry rather than thinking about why they are in their space in the first place – which is to serve their customers.

One area where we’ve seen a lot of “talking to ourselves” is at industry trade shows. Tremendous amounts of marketing dollars are allocated to having the best booth to show off your product or services while trying to one up your perceived competitor. Unless your competitors are buying from you, you’re spending a lot of money to keep up with the Joneses.

Sure, trade shows are great for research and meeting old friends but thinking about the customer is paramount.

I had a wise mentor in my early days of marketing who always reminded us to get out of our ivory towers. It was too easy to get bogged down in research data, PowerPoint slides, and pitch meetings to the point of suffering from marketing myopia. “Don’t forget the customer,” my mentor would say. “Be the customer.”

And that’s what we remind our clients to do. Don’t just think what the customer may want, actually go out in the field and be that customer and remember what the sales process feels like without all that echoing around you.

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Michael Klausner
[email protected]