. The Transom .

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

The Marketer's Gardener

Listening to the radio today, I heard a woman talk about gardening and the joy it brought her. She described the feeling of her fingers digging into the soil, the smell of the crisp air, the sense of peace she received, and how she felt closer to God and to life. Now I must confess, I don't feel this way about gardening. I find it annoying, difficult, frustrating, and incredibly boring. I'd rather smash a hammer into my skull than do planting, pull weeds, pluck vegetables, flowers or anything else that resides in dirt.

However, the feeling she gets from gardening, I get from other activities, like golf. I enjoy the sense of nature, the sounds of birds chirping in the early morning or late afternoon, the time to get lost in thought, and all the other aspects of the game that make it one of my most favorite activities. And I understand that to some people, they would rather hammer their skull than play a silly game like golf.

And thus I'd like to introduce a rule of marketing that is often overlooked, ignored, or simply not believed. You can't please the marketer's gardener. I've tried gardening. I honestly tried to enjoy it. But it sucks. You couldn't pay me to do it.

All the best marketing in the world isn't going to get me to like gardening. If I'm the traditional marketer, and I get feedback that Client X doesn't like gardening, I might try to change my message, or my delivery method, or some other waste of time and money that will end up with the same result. I don't like gardening.

And yet marketers try so hard, in fact many consider it a challenge, to try and convert a non-believer. New ads are created, more focus groups formed, new research, blah blah blah. Anything will be attempted to make me a believer. But you know what? Gardening sucks.

There are a lot of customers out there. Many semi-non-believers that will benefit from creative marketing with a new angle of attack. Some will convert. But save your time and money on the marketer's gardener. All you'll get is worms.

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