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Marketing Hooey Intro

October 1, 2012

Hello!

I am Rick Hunter and welcome to my blog “Marketing Hooey.”  This blog is dedicated to analyzing marketing strategies of various industries/companies/brands etc. from the point of view of evidence-based logic, constant questioning in order to learn and skeptical thinking.  I am no hater; I am no troll.  I’m not out to bash anyone or anything; however, I have seen a trend in marketing that is really starting to concern me.  I feel that marketing is sliding into intelligence insulting and pseudo-scientific statements that are leading consumers down the wrong path.  The intelligence insulting part really gets to me because it’s very pervasive: think “Certified Pre-Owned Vehicle” versus “Used Car.”

I work in marketing and I have 10+ years of experience in consumer packaged goods.  I have worked at small, medium, large and global companies in my career and have gone from managing promotions to developing new products to strategic brand management, which I continue to do today.

I absolutely love my job and I’m very proud of my career.  I am an immigrant to the U.S. who is the first in the family to go to college and first the ONLY one to get a Master’s and this is after a late start.  The majority of my family works in blue collar jobs and to this day my parents still think the only thing I do all day is try food.  They have NO concept of what I do.  And that’s OK.  I have friends with PhD’s who don’t understand what I do.

So what do I do?  A marketer’s job is to figure out what the target consumer needs and to use the 4 Ps to provide it.  To those who don’t know, the 4Ps are:

  1. Product
  2. Price
  3. Promotion
  4. Pipeline

The 1st is obvious: the product can be a physical thing or a non-physical thing like a service (think mechanic work).  The 2nd is the price of the product to the final user (which is impacted in part by company target margins and the target margins of the middlemen involved in getting the product to your end user).  The 3rd is how you get your end user aware of your product; for example a TV ad or an ad in a magazine.  The 4th is sometimes called “Place,” but I like to call it “Pipeline” because it’s the method by which you get the product to the end user; for example: through a grocery store or through Amazon.com.

It’s pretty simple really.  You research a target market: moms with babies.  You figure out their need: baby food in small packages.  You figure out how much they are willing pay: either by looking at your competition or speaking directly to consumers (commonly known as a focus group).  You figure out how to get them aware of your product.  Do they watch a lot of TV.  Do they go to certain web sites a lot.  Do they read magazines.  Select the right one that gives you the most reach per dollar and execute from there.  Finally, you figure out how to get your product to them: selling directly from your web site or through a 3rd party site like Amazon or through a mass merchant like Target or through traditional grocery channels like grocery stores.

That’s it.  That’s marketing.  Now there is some nuance involved, but that’s no different than any other job.  At the end of the day you think about the 4 Ps and go from there.  Every single thing you do has to seen through that frame work or you’re doing something wrong.  Marketing has a little art from it, but good marketing isn’t “Well, it’s fun to do a TV ad so we should do one and make it funny because people like funny and we’ll win a comedy award.”

That’s exactly what marketing isn’t and that’s the purpose of this blog.  To discuss those ads, promotions, products and strategies that cross the line into lunacy.  You will get posts discussing the use of pseudo-scientific words such as “Balances Body Energy” or “Prevents pre-mature aging.”  You will also get posts discussing going after the wrong market.  For example a low-end retailer trying to go high end and other things of that nature.

I hope to educate you and entertain you a little bit throughout the existence of this blog.  Hopefully, you’ll use it as a reference and even win some arguments at work if someone is coming up with a cooky strategy.

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From → Introduction, Radio, TV

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