Marketing isn’t about the product anymore (actually, it never was).
In the current Information Age, marketing’s former role of giving customers information and persuading them to buy products is diminishing. They get info and recommendations on independent web sites. The days of controlling information are long gone.
The current cliché says it’s about the customer (too vague), or about the “customer experience” (still vague), or about the “relationship” (even closer).
So, what then is the central function of marketing these days?
The ultimate purpose of marketing is to get people to buy more of your product. That’s obvious. Not so obvious: this is best achieved in this overloaded environment by helping customers make better decisions more easily.
The Central Function of Marketing
Making the whole experience of the decision process easy, simple and time-saving
How customers first hear about the product and get interested.
How they experience learning about the product. (Hard, easy, makes me feel smart, dumb, confused.)
How they experience choosing between the products. (Am I being pushed or helped?)
The trial experiences
The purchase experiences
The initial usage experiences
The “learning to master” experiences
The teaching to others
The continuing relationship
How they feel about themselves using the product
How they feel about telling others about it.
It is not the “best” product that wins in the marketplace. It is the product that makes it easiest for the customer to get through the entire process fastest to arrive at:
The Ultimate Decision
“Do I feel enthusiastic about actively recommending this product to others?”
The marketer who makes the path to this ultimate decision easier, simpler, faster and more fun wins.