Marketing’s Achilles's heel

María Lucía Villegas

María Lucía Villegas

May 13, 2022

1 min read.

There are many ways we’ve advanced with marketing and how companies sell themselves. We have seen companies responding to every consumer trend: green product lines for environmentalists, diversity teams for minorities, equal payroll for women, and so on. Companies have learned how to sell themselves to new needs and new priorities.

I find this problematic because most of these initiatives and programs are just bait for consumers. This week alone, I heard of a “trans-inclusive” health program that hires transphobic people, a “vegan” marketplace that sells dairy foods without telling consumers, and a “great place to work” company that ignores their employees' concerns. This was in a matter of only five days.

And before saying anything more: cheers to those companies that learned to listen to the market, you’re doing it (almost) great. But knowing how to sell something doesn’t mean you know how to execute it. We wrote in a recent article something that also applies here: never offer something you can’t deliver.

So, it’s a company’s responsibility to make sure what they’re offering is what the customer is going to get. Because regardless of the moral of the story, in the end, you’d be offering the worst user experience. So if you invest in improving the customer journey map, why not also invest in making sure what you’re selling is what you actually can deliver.

Marketing has taken a dark turn in which companies are competing on which one can fool their customers the most, this will only result in losing all of them. Because what we’re not having in mind, is that markets are getting bigger, more varied, and more competitive. Fooling was so last decade.

Consumers are looking for a brand that basically has the same moral compass as them, listens to them, and will fulfill their needs in more ways than one. If you know you’re taking action to be the best company you can be for them, it’s great, if you’re not, don’t sell yourself that way (because there are thousands of ways you can sell otherwise).

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