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Marketing And Reality



The failure to understand the simple truth that marketing is a battle of perceptions trips up thousands of would-be entrepreneurs every year.

Marketing people are preoccupied with doing research and ‘getting the facts.’ They analyze the situation to make sure the truth is on their side. Then they sail confidently into the marketing arena, secure in the knowledge that they have the best product and that ultimately the best product will win.

It’s an illusion. There is no objective reality. There are no facts. There are no best products. All that exists in the world of marketing are the perceptions in the minds of the consumers or prospects. The perception is the reality. Everything else is an illusion. Period.

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Tom Asacker on July 26th, 2009 said

Marketing is certainly a battle of perceptions. On this we agree Jack. Where many of us marketers disagree is on how best to influence those perceptions.

A growing number of us believe it’s through the tangible delivery of value; value that improves people’s lives (including the value of design), and not through the manipulation of words and images.

Ernst on July 27th, 2009 said

I am fascinated by branding plus I like to help people — one reason I am in the midst of getting a foothold in branding.

So what follows isn’t criticism, just curiosity;

I do agree — perception is the reality. And the marketer needs to be careful not to convince themselves and their clients that they’ve created a perception when they in fact haven’t in the minds of the consumers.

But I assume you are not saying “perception is perception” so why bother with market research, right?

The role of the marketer can and should be critical in determining what the desired perception of a product or service is in the first place (the USP, shall we say), then actually go out to influence the target market using a variety of tactics and then measuring results. Market research is invaluable both before, during and after any marketing initiative, right?

Appreciate your thoughts.


Burak Babacan on August 11th, 2009 said

Actually, this is exactly as it is read. Whatever the research findings are, it won’t make any sense as long as you are not “perceived” as what you claim. It is always good to plant perceptional clues to give the impression of what you claim to be. Eg.importance of package, good design, strategic (perceptional) pricing.
So, once you find your USP, do everything to be perceived in the way you want to be perceived. Otherwise, you will be a ghost among the living. I see dead people…

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