For generations, tobacco company ads pictured beautiful women and chiseled-featured guys smoking their products. Ivory soap’s appeal was purity, “99 & 44% pure,” (no lye) and convenience, “It floats.” Driving a Buick (the car of bankers and doctors), was a measure of “moving up.” Today, Kia talks about value, while Ford touts technology.
One theme runs through all of these: engaging customers. Tragically, most companies missed the memo. They continue practicing marketing narcissism. Simply put, all they talk about is themselves and show no interest in relating to their customers and prospects. It’s just buy, buy, buy! Examples:
· Websites that are used for bragging about how wonderful they are, their leadership and how they put customers first. No one believes them.
· Emails that are nothing more than sell sheets. It’s all about what they want to sell, but nothing about why it will benefit the customer to do business with them.
· Newsletters that are little more than product or service ads, but light on helpful information.
· So-called “testimonials” that praise a business, but look as if they were written in-house.
· “Customer Service” departments that are thinly-veiled up-selling and cross-selling operations.
· Attitudes that put a company first, even though claiming to be customer-centric.
Takeaway: Marketing narcissism is so prevalent, we assume talking about our company and what we sell is the way to go. It isn’t. Implementing a strategy for engaging the customer is far more productive.