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"Wrong Reason" Marketing

March 2011by Moshe Engelberg, Ph.D.

For highly effective marketing, you need to create a mutually satisfying exchange of value. The right "give and get." That means what customers "get" (think benefits) from your "give" (product or service) is worth to them what they "give" to you (money, time, etc.). Even if it's not the "give" and "get" you had in mind.

Let's say your product, or "give," is a nutrition program. What benefits, or "get," will your audience receive that they care about? It's probably not what public health folks lovingly call "morbidity and mortality risk reduction." And it may not even be better nutrition. From the customer perspective, all these "right reasons" may be wrong.

What if the "get" that they value is fuller and more luxurious hair, or better nails, or more dates? Not the "right" reasons. Are you willing to pitch your product or service based on the "get" that customers value vs. what you may think they should value? This is what I call "wrong reason" marketing.

If not, you do have alternatives. You can call your customers wrong, blame them, and lose business. Or you can try to convince them they should value what you think is important.

Better yet, set egos aside, listen, and tie their "wrong" reasons into the benefits your product or service provides. What "wrong reasons" can you capitalize on?

Moshe Engelberg, Ph.D., M.P.H.
ResearchWorks, Inc.
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