Marketing and communications professionals in companies and agencies often get called on the carpet to answer questions about why the product isn’t selling enough to please the executives. At times, it culminates in an agency review or with the termination of the offending marketing folks.
After all, it’s the ad guy’s fault when nobody buys the Zune, right?
Most of the time, it’s not the fault of the marketing team or the agency. There’s only so much one can do with yet another line extension or another “me too” commodity beige box of mediocrity. Yet, the thinking goes, maybe the audience just can’t understand the message. If it was just a little more simple, shouted a little bit louder, had a more innovative stunt marketing campaign…
Let’s get us a new adman and yell a little bit louder. After all, it couldn’t be that product differentiators got rounded off in committee or that you bent it to the whims of one or two important customers.
Or maybe, as Seth Godin reminds us today, perhaps the product just wasn’t good enough. That’s something that’s very hard for a large corporation to accept, particularly when it’s easier to have an agency review and find some guys who can sell that stuff for us.
Takeaway: Before you start shouting about your new thing, ask one simple question. Is it worth shouting about?