Do you think you know what marketing is all about?


  • The biggest problem in marketing is the lack of talent.
  • To be good in marketing, learn how to listen and think like a consumer.
  • People working in marketing need to learn how to “sell” their ideas to company influencers.
  • The worst kind of marketers use spreadsheets to analyze customers but still don’t understand them.
  • Be inquisitive, watch people shop and understand which tactics really drive sales.

I follow a Twitter group on #marketing. To be honest, I’ve never seen such a load of horse shit in my life. Copywriting is key! Learn social media marketing, and you’ll never be out of work, says another thread. They’re garbage, but then so are 90% of the marketers out there.

Let me straight forward; there I no one definition or skill that makes a great marketer. First, it depends on the product category in which you compete. Selling grocery items is much different from selling bicycles. Second, anyone who believes that social media will save their brand is living in a state with legal weed.

I’ve worked in marketing everything from consumer electronics (Sony) to prescription drugs (Cialis). They require a set of many different marketing skills, and the only common skill among them is your work in a cube.

I have seen many people who work in marketing lack basic social skills within the office, such as learning how to sell up or how to do PowerPoint presentations that excite rather than bore your audience.

Even though I am an MBA, I have also seen too many MBAs use spreadsheets to justify bad marketing decisions. Consumer behavior can’t be quantified most times, and most shoppers do not act rationally when they’re shopping.

The other issue that’s killing marketing is the overuse of data. I have gotten a lot of work from clients asking me to condense research decks into three or four actionable insights. Data can’t tell you that you’re losing market share because a grocery chain has moved your product to a lower shelf while promoting their private label product.

So what is good marketing? Very simple: listening and delivering a good product. Do you really think Starbucks coffee solves a problem for customers? A McDonald’s Quarter Pounder doesn’t help people as much as the consistency of a good product across the chain.

Good marketers listen more than they talk. They understand that a great brand experience happens when they pop the top of their favorite ice cream. Subaru owners are loyal to Subaru because their cars last a long time and are environmentally friendly. continues to make a ton of money because people are used to one-click ordering and getting the product the next day.

What about copywriting? Does anyone believe that consumers really read the copy of ads when they don’t even read content on the web?

Want to be a good marketer? Listen to what people are really saying about your brand/product. Watch people in stores as they shop. Use real metrics that drive sales vs. likes on social media. A POP display, strategically placed, can sell more products than online ads.

I deal with marketing directors and VPs almost every day. If there weren’t so many bad ones, I wouldn’t be getting so many clients, but there are. I have seen marketing people ignore research on how people use the Internet because they are sold on having a great-looking website. I’ve also seen many agency people pat themselves on the back (Cannes) while their clients struggle to explain the latest marketing campaigns to CEOs who see flat or declining sales.

Marketing, more than anything else, requires someone inquisitive and can think like a consumer. Learning how to sell your ideas to company influencers is also essential. But, save the “must be a great copywriting person” and “know social media marketing” for brands that believe in that garbage.

About richmeyer

Rich is a passionate marketer who is able to quickly understand what turns a prospect into a customer. He challenges the status quo and always asks "what can we do better"? He knows how to take analytics and turn them into opportunities and he is a great communicator.

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