Wednesday, May 9, 2007

The Marketing "Tango" - Good Dancers Make Their Partner Look Good

The Difference Between Seller-Centric And Buyer-Centric Marketing

By David Miranda

In order to for someone to buy something, they first have to want it. That's what marketing does - getting someone to want what you are selling. That said, why do marketers continue to get it wrong more often than not? They are seller-centric rather than buyer-centric.

Here's a recent example.

I was invited to attend a series of marketing presentations by a company that had put out an RFP (Request For Proposal) to a short list of five ad agencies. Each was given 30 minutes to present their case for getting the business. Only one agency had it right.

Four of the agencies took most of their allotted 30 minutes talking about themselves, i.e. "we've been in business for X number of years"; "this is a list of our clients"; "these are samples of some of our work", "this is how we work" etc. etc. etc. What each of these firms failed to understand is that the company wanted to hire an agency that helped them sell stuff, i.e. "enough about yourself, what are you going to do for me?" Their presentations were "seller-centric" not "buyer-centric".

The successful agency spent the majority of its time talking about the company and communicating how and why hiring them would help them "sell more stuff". This agency was buyer-centric. Buyer-centric means putting yourself in the shoes of the buyer. Buyers don't care about you, they care about themselves and whether you can help them achieve their own objectives - plain and simple. If you think that an impressive presentation of your credentials will do it, you are dead wrong. Your credentials may have gotten you "an invitation to the dance", but when the music starts, it's time to dance not just telling people you are a good dancer.

When the music started, the four unsuccessful agencies sat this one out.

Remember it's not about you. It's takes two to do the marketing "tango". Let the client lead.