Friday, June 15, 2012

Are you marketing "meatball sundae"?

Meatball Sundae: Is Your Marketing Out of Sync?
Meatball Sundae: Is Your Marketing Out of Sync? (Photo credit: marklarson)
Have you ever ran into a product that you wondered "Who in the world would buy something like that?" Often, the product is a combination of two virtually unrelated products. Seth Godin coined the term for it: a meatball sundae. (For those of you who have not yet understood the reference, Sundae is a type of ice cream, which is sweet. Thus, it would never go with meatball, which is, of course, salty. The two do not go together. )

Seth Godin was referring to marketing, about how a firm's marketing campaign may be completely out of sync from the product and the company's mission. However, the metaphor is applicable to all areas: there are some things there are NEVER meant to go together.

This is applicable to MLM in two ways:

a) Is the product you are marketing a "meatball sundae", i.e. a product where two unrelated items are mixed?

b) Is your marketing plan, i.e. MLM, a meatball sundae, in that it does NOT go with the product?

Is your product a meatball sundae? 

MLM is always pushing some new item that is supposedly good for you, often by a new variation of something, or by mixing something good with something else. However, why "healthy coffee"?

"Healthy Coffee" is supposed to be regular coffee, but infused with good stuff like ginseng and other good herbal stuff. This idea initially sounds good, but presents a LOT of problems for a marketer.

To a "gourmet coffee drinker" (the kind who argues the merits of light roast vs. dark roast), mixing anything with plain coffee is blasphemy, as it changes the flavor of the coffee. If you mix in so little that doesn't affect the taste, you end up with bogus "pixie-dusting".

To "regular coffee drinker", who just want it for the caffeine, they are NOT about to pay double or triple the price of regular coffee (or even Starbucks coffee) just because it has some alleged good stuff.

So who will buy this healthy coffee? IMHO, healthy coffee is a "meatball sundae".

Is Your Marketing Campaign a Meatball Sundae

Does your marketing campaign fit the product?

Avon works because Avon Ladies are out there demo-ing the products to their clients, either individually or in small groups. Same with Tupperware, Pampered Chef, even Nu Skin and such. Some products you have to see and feel and test.

For products with a bit more nebulous claims, such as various "wellness" products like nutritional / nutraceutical supplements, you have a much tougher problem promoting such things. And any properly managed companies have restrictions on what you can say and what you cannot say, as FDA comes down hard on false claims (many people have been sanctioned for making bogus claims).

THEN there are the products which are already commoditized and thus you have a hard time explaining why anybody should buy your version instead of the stuff readily available in stores...

There is no such thing as "one-size-fit-all" marketing. If you got the wrong marketing plan, even if it's some fancy shmancy e-mail newsletter, or Twitter / Social Media, and so on, it's a meatball sundae.


Are you working with a meatball sundae?

Enhanced by Zemanta

No comments:

Post a Comment