Make Marketing History

The views of a marketing deviant.

Friday, January 04, 2008

Marketing 2.0 Is Groucho Marketing.

The belonging/copying debate that is emerging from the world of Herd and Social Objects will get very loud this year as people seek to understand the social influences on buyer behaviour.

One of the discussions I'm having with various people involved in it is just how good/different your product/service has to be before people will view its possession as something worthy of copying. In other words, is your club worth joining? Groucho marketing if you will.

Coincidentally, Cynical Rob alluded to the same thing in the comments yesterday when he wrote

we've just done some work in Indonesia and found that the real reason behind certain brand choice/desirability was because it gave people a sense of 'belonging' [to the wider population] as opposed to it offering any inherent desirable quality.

Personally, I've always believed that, outside of the fashion/craze realm, the answer is that it has to be pretty damn good which leads back to one of my abiding beliefs - that marketing starts with product development. Maybe I'm overestimating that.

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Blogger Robert said...

I'm very honoured to have been 'mentioned' in your lovely blog - especially after I've been such a bitch to you on mine :)

The slightly ironic thing is that in this post you talk about belonging/copying and then I see you basically copied word-for-word your response to my comment in the earlier post. Class.

Personally I believe a company 'copies' someone else as soon as they think they're missing out on cash/sales potential. We live in an industry that is all about bandwagon jumping and yet it seems [to me at least] the brands that make the biggest impact on society are the ones who [if they didn't pioneer a trend] went against what everyone else is doing.

Or maybe that's just to justify my work for Virgin and Apple, ha!

And as you're now so keen on predicting things, how will Forest go come May?

5:34 AM, January 04, 2008  
Blogger john dodds said...

Rob - I realised my comment was just too good to not be aired more publically and I had nothing else in mind to write today. Think of it as multi-channel blogging!

As for the copying issue - it's more to do with customers copying each other but I guess that workign in the ad industry the word copy elicicts a different set of motions.

As for Forest, the best they can do is ascend to the league that the team of which I am joint-owner comfortably resides.

5:59 AM, January 04, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Whoever is doing the copying I think that the rationale 'marketing starts with NPD' is on the button.

But NPD need not be about being different - just 'well designed' - and that might be copying a winning formula - developing a 'me too' product.

If you have a mature marketplace, which is growing still, and which is not too saturated with competitors - and a proven product that research tells you still meets the desires of customers then the safest way to take a slice would be to copy the competition.

The down side is that this isn't very EXCITING - it certainly won't make an 'impact on society' (Cynical Rob quote) - and I, for one, am not very interested in it.

One of the points here, I think is that herein does NOT lie the path to SUPERIOR profitability - value CREATION, EXTRAORDINARY market growth, and it's dangerously undefendable market share that you'd take too.

And I know that we're talkign about the customers doing the copyingm not the manufacturers, too...

9:43 AM, January 04, 2008  
Blogger Robert said...

Believe it or not [probably not] I knew we we're talking about customers rather than companies ... [afterall my first comment was talking about people's need to copy their wider society] I just added the element of company duplication in abid to stretch the boundaries of the topic.

Or that could be just an excuse.

Yep, that's probably an excuse.

5:32 PM, January 04, 2008  
Blogger Rob Mortimer (aka Famous Rob) said...

Doesn't this partly go back to your second mover advantage idea?

And yes, marketing should be involved with product development. Why on earth would you not involve the people that sell to your customers?

3:55 AM, January 07, 2008  
Blogger Robert said...

Sort of does Mr M - that is if your comment was aimed at me or not.

Except the 2nd Mover thing was more about perfecting the product rather than jumping on a sales potential bandwagon. Still works though ...

4:33 AM, January 07, 2008  
Blogger Rob Mortimer (aka Famous Rob) said...

I would say it can be either, depends on the focus of the company.

6:42 AM, January 07, 2008  
Blogger john dodds said...

Product development is marketing! And the focus of any company should be perfecting the product in order to maximise sales.

2:52 AM, January 08, 2008  

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