There Are No Expert Marketers

Markets, as we all know, change constantly.  And just as markets change constantly, the way to appeal to those markets changes constantly as well.  Just imagine the seller of horse-drawn buggies moving into the car market without adjusting his sales pitch.  Expert marketers are not born; they are reborn over and over again.

A real marketer not only knows his market, but knows the trends in that market that will lead to the introduction of new markets.  A good marketer will constantly be studying changes and trends, not only in the industry that he specializes in but in other related industries as well.  Just look at our poor buggy salesman.  Whatever product is being marketed today could evolve into something completely different, or even disappear off the consumer screen altogether.  A good marketer will be able to anticipate this and move into the new direction as, or even before, his products are losing popularity or becoming obsolete. 

Social trends change all the time, and the marketing industry must constantly be attuned to them or lose customer support.  Examine the sad case of Kodak, one of the oldest and most respected companies in the film industry.  No one questioned that they had the best processing systems and materials, and they did an expert job at marketing that concept. Remember “never settle for less than Kodak paper for your precious memories”? But the quality of their photos was irrelevant once digital cameras were invented and no one needed photos anymore.  They may have had a superb marketing campaign for photos, but not recognizing the new social trend rendered their genius marketing useless.

And this is why marketers cannot afford to be experts in marketing, but need to strive to be experts in social trends, testing methods, market shifts, new product development, etc.  Most of us probably would have a hard time citing any technological innovation of our youth that is still hot today.  Imaging cameras in photography, cassette players and 8 track tapes in music, bulky desk top computers in information processing, dial phone in communications, the list goes on and on of these dinosaurs that have disappeared from modern life.  Any marketer who follows only his industry, instead of keeping track of the changes, trends and innovations in that industry is headed for failure. Instead he has to continually reinvent himself as an expert in each new development.

People change, products change and consequently markets change. Marketers have to change with them. 


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