Make Marketing History

The views of a marketing deviant.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Predictive Marketing.

As you can see, it snowed this weekend. I saw evidence of it on the news (where families were seen sledging down green hills) and briefly outside the window. However, this was not the serious weather event promised by the media meteorologists. A few weeks ago, there were winds gusting to 70 mph and some houses were damaged, but this too was not the threatened re-run of the 1987 hurricane.

It seems to me that weather forecasters have strayed beyond using their training to present forecasts and have been moving towards predicting weather as event, hypeing the weather into headline news whenever the abnormal is deemed likely to occur. They've blurred the line between their expertise which consists of the technical skills and knowledge that go into creating their product/service, and interpretation of the impact of this product/service on its users.

The former (objective information) is what people want and expect from meteorologists, the latter is messaging (subjective information) that is less than helpful because your reaction to serious weather warnings may be different from mine, which may be different from a farmers. In other words, it's situation specific. The pertinent knowledge that differentiates our reactions is known only to us and not to the meteorologist.

Marketers fall into this trap all the time. Rather than communicate the expertise which is embodied in their product/service, they engage in predictive marketing and tell their potential users how they're going to feel about and use that product/service. So, just as I now have far less faith in meteorologists' warnings, users who subsequently discover a gap between the marketer's prediction and the reality, become similarly sceptical and prone to ignoring them.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

John, you are even more abaxial than me.

I do not understand a word of what weather men say - they may as well be advertising tampons for all I get the message.

2:16 AM, March 27, 2008  
Blogger john dodds said...


2:37 AM, March 27, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Off-centre, a slight deviation from normality which results in a dramatically altered perception.

Fucking weird.

4:19 AM, March 27, 2008  

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