Is the customer always right?

illustration of rolling green mountains

Gaining new perspective on old marketing adages

THEN: Content is king
NOW: If content falls in the forest and no one is around to read it, does it even matter?

Apparently, the phrase “content is king” originates from a 1996 essay written by Microsoft founder Bill Gates. Who knew? I’d like to counter with a quote from another technological genius – Steve Jobs. “Master the topic, the message, and the delivery.” A more complete statement, it underlines the importance of distribution.

THEN: All publicity is good publicity
NOW: Tell your story authentically – be open, be honest and be quick about it

Tell your story. Be proactive, not reactive. A media outlet reporting on some internal misunderstanding or misdeed within your company is not good publicity because it may have been written and published without anyone from your organization providing context. If you’re honest and straightforward about what you do and why you do it – and are not averse to issuing an emergency press release or social media announcement when needed – then you can weather the storm should a controversy steal the spotlight.

THEN: The customer is always right
NOW: Collaborating and communicating clearly lead to the right decision

A few folks in positions of power have said this well-worn phrase to me on the job. There is a way to respectfully push back or suggest a different course if you feel that the client doesn’t have all the facts they need to make an informed decision about their marketing strategy. A friendly conversation about the benefits of the new proposal or strategic path is all that is needed here. If, even after that conversation, the client’s request remains the same, it must be honoured and the KPIs must be carefully tracked to see if the marketing tactic works out in the wild.

What have we learned?

retro black and white image of man in suit looking thoughtful.

As marketers, our job is not simply to build a strategy, implement supporting tactics, and measure the results … it is also to persuade, to attract, to amaze. If we’re not doing that, what are we made for?

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