Not For Me

I sometimes see people blasting sales or marketing efforts with some variation of: “I would never buy this! What are these people thinking?”

My (internal) response: “What makes you think the goal is to get you to buy something?”

You aren’t the only person in the universe. If you see a marketing campaign that is completely uncompelling to you, remember that. My father was fond of pointing out that if people keep doing something, it’s probably working. If it isn’t working on you, then it might be an interesting exercise to try and imagine who it is working on.

There’s opportunity there.

My father would see an advertisement that didn’t appeal to him at all, and it would broaden his horizons. He’d say, “Wow, so there are people out there buying that stuff, huh? Could be money in that.” It didn’t matter that he didn’t see the lure himself. He knew a simple truth: If you spend $500 dollars on a billboard, it’s because you expect to make more than $500 dollars back in sales from it. And if you spend $500 dollars on a billboard a second time, then you did.

So the next time you see a billboard (or anything else) that seems so abjectly silly that you can’t imagine who would pay for such a thing, remember – the market of products, services, and ideas is great and wide, and you are but a tiny island. Get a ship.

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