Marketing Wish List – “All I want for the holidays”

In my series on Customer Data & Decisions, I’ve explored how marketers covet that prized asset a “360 Customer View.”  In this blog, I turn things around, viewing from the consumer’s eyes what’s expected from marketing today, in the form of a marketing wish list.

Marketing Wish List

The Final Countdown – A consumer’s holiday wish list for marketing

Hello Marketing, I’ve been thinking about my wish list for the holidays.   Like a kid in a candy shop, here it is:

  1. First and foremost, please make sure your company builds great product and services. I don’t care how well you wrap the present, or how much money you spend on the wrapping paper.  I care about the present inside, and whether it’s useful to me.
  2. Once you’re sure you have a great present inside, go ahead and tell me all about it. I don’t mind hearing your passionate stories about how great it is, if it’s really great.  But don’t take too long to do it because I’m busy and you won’t have my attention for long.  While you have my attention, feel free to entertain me.  I like that aspect of marketing.
  3. Oh, and by the way, before you decide on this great present for me, make a reasonable effort to figure out why I’m possibly interested in it. Once you do that, then and only then, direct your clever marketing at me.
  4. Maybe I don’t know I need your present. Fine, so tell me quickly and concisely why I need it, and what unique value it will bring to my life.
  5. When you decide to tell me you have a present for me, don’t expect me to work miracles finding out about it. Make a reasonable effort to figure out where I spend my time.  Marketing, I know you are like a modern Santa, with access to all kinds of big data on my every move that gives you real-time information on whether I’m sleeping or awake; my exact location at all times, etc. – so use it wisely.
  6. Take notice to when I pay attention to your marketing – what’s working for me and what isn’t, and learn from that. Like a comedian knows, timing is everything.  If I’m not clicking or I’m not laughing, then ditch the joke.
  7. FinalCountdownOnce you get my attention, treat that moment like we were potential friends meeting for the first time. If you’re interesting, friendly, and we have things in common, we will probably want to meet again.   So treat our relationship accordingly.   Make an effort to get to know me before you try to close me.   Marketing gets a bad name from “ABC – Always-Be-Closing” selling.
  8. Basically, don’t sell to me, help me buy. Point me to helpful information that demonstrates your present has value, will last, is fairly priced, and that others I’ll trust love it also.  If you are offering me something special, make sure there is a good reason for it being “special for me.”
  9. If I’ve told you or given you obvious clues that it’s not the “Greatest Gift Ever”, respect that. In other words, don’t sell beyond the “Really I’m Not Interested Now”. If I didn’t tell you why I’m not interested – you can ask me – but whatever answer I give honor it.  Don’t push any further.  After all, just as bad as me not taking your gift, is me accepting it and later telling others how useless it was and re-gifting it because I really didn’t like or need it.
  10. Microwave at 10 secAnd finally, Santa, can you please take 15 minutes or less and talk with that Gecko Company and ask them to spend – I don’t know maybe 15% less on mass advertising next year? I just can’t get that Song “The Final Countdown” out of my head.  On second thought, never mind, I know what they will say: “If you are a Mass Marketer, you spend big bucks to get inside heads….it’s what you do.”

For interesting further related reading, and reflection on the year 2015, read “The 2015 Marketing Wish List” at

Comments and alternative views are always welcomed.

Note:  These views are my own, and not that of my employer