Why are we still at War?

I’ve been reading The Cluterian Manifesto for the past few days and i found out a really important statement there. Marketing uses war like terms, war like strategies and they often get war like results. Though this is changing 9 years after the Manifesto was written it is still true in the majority of business. I study International Business and it doesn’t matter where we study we always get the same books to read and the same basic data from our classes. Marketing uses terms as target market, niche, position. And not to mention the war like strategies it promotes.

Back when i took Marketing 101 i came up with the phrase Marketing is War (based on the old wrestling slogan Raw is War). And i was convinced it was a good idea. But who are we against?

If we accept the premise that our products differentiate from the competition then we own our small monopolies. And we do, because if we didn’t then we will have no profits at all (in perfect competition). So we are fighting the competition that actually is not a pure competition, but we are fighting this war using an unsual battlefield : the costumers mind.(Note that i said costumer not consumer)

I think it’s time to stop the war and engage in being part of the costumers community. Talk to them in a daily basis and embrace costumer opinions, feedback, ideas and problems to serve them the best. It’s not about making impersonal market research efforts from time to time, but talking to them and being there for them when they need it. For this we have to empower all our employees with the ability to talk on behalf of the company and help costumers whenever they need it. But they need to honest, if we screwed up we need to accept it and correct it, if we are not doing something we supposed to we should tell the costumer, if there are restrictions they should be explicit. If the costumer expects one thing and gets it he will be happy. If he expects more and get less he won’t come back. So we need to stop fighting competition and start focusing on the internal policies and climate of our business so we can finally win the consumers love for our product or brand.

Now the phrase Make love and not war will apply to this. Go and start making your costumers your friends and fellow collaborators and there will be no need for war marketing anymore. In the mean time it seems to work, but times are changing and costumers too.

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