Friday, 10 April 2009

The only marketing rule you will ever need

I have worked it out, forget your top ten lists. I know we all like lists but there is only one rule you need in the new marketing environment and that is.

Be interesting.

Ok we have known this for a while and you could say it is just another way of saying content, content, content.

But to be interesting you have to all of the following.

(1) segment your market - create personas if we want to get digital about it.
(2) understand your customers requirements
(3) give them the personal treatment
(4) be relevant
(5) get to the point quickly
(6) ignore your (product) agenda until you know what the consumer wants

I quite like the way HSBC give lots of business advice on their business banking pages but there again the choice for them is easy, business banking is inherently dull. I also had a look at Evans's website (the cycle people). They have some interesting areas like 'ride2work', 'news and events' but they should be part of the landing environment not something to do after you have scanned the product pages. And why don't they have lots of pages about great places to cycle or videos. If it is there, it is very well hidden.

Sales people always want the products up front which is ironic given that sales people always say good ones engage the customer before they talk about the product. You know the car salesman who asks you how you are going to use the car, what sort of trips you will make before talking petrol and cars.

Are we all just too good at ignoring our own advice?


  1. I like this and think this is so true in terms of the cautious and clumsy marketing often seen from large organisations and the much more business focussed marketing seen by smaller organisations.

    The trick is melding the both of best worlds, and, for laerge organisations operating as a small company while using their budget to do useful versions of big ticket ad and brand building and research - not to mention using their distribution reach.

    Gavin Hamilton
    T4 Marketing

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Just curious about marketing, psychology, economics, business, irrational behaviour, people, models, communications, advertising, market imperfections, b2b marketing. I work in the marketing communications industry for OgilvyOne.