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Marketing Ignorance vs. Marketing Smarts

July 9, 2010

Seth Godin’s post earlier this week caught my attention: Betting on smarter (or betting on dumber) . He was describing the two types of marketing professionals he could discern: those who work to keep their clients ignorant of the Magic of Marketing and those who make the effort to teach their clients about methodology, analysis, how-to’s, and so on.

I consider myself in the latter camp: The better educated the client is about how marketing does and doesn’t work, the better I can do my job. Nothing is more frustrating than trying to convince an uneducated client of the virtues of a particular venue or campaign. It’s really simple. The less the client understands about how marketing works, the less likely they are to have a successful campaign. Why? Because they are less likely to make wise marketing decisions when they don’t fully understand the benefits of each option. When they don’t understand how the tools work, in general, the choices all seem the same. This often results in them just making a decision based upon the costs involved – not on the potential return. And the return is what’s going to make them money – not the money they spent.

The educated client makes wise marketing choices because they have the understanding of how the tools work AND they can evaluate the apples vs. oranges vs. bananas against their specific business goals – goals which the marketing professional may or may not be privy to.

Continually educating the client translates into wiser and wiser decisions as the years go by. Your campaigns become more and more targeted. The better targeted the marketing dollars are spent, the ROI improves exponentially. This becomes the repeat customer.

The client left in the dark about the Secrets of Effective Marketing becomes confused, frustrated and feels they’re not getting their money’s worth. This is not a repeat customer and certainly she won’t be referring anyone to me.

Now, which type of marketing professional do you think I want to be?

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