October 21, 2013 smz-blog

Marketing: it’s all about Common Ground

Let’s face it: marketing is a pretty simple proposition.  First, you have stuff (products, services, ideas) that you want others to buy. Next, you engage a marketing firm to act as a catalyst in helping facilitate that exchange of money for goods.  Simple enough, right?  “Not so fast,” as ESPN’s resident Game Day college football analyst Lee Corso is fond of saying.

Buyers and shoppers normally have loads of choices, so our role is to help clients differentiate themselves. However, of equal importance is an honest effort to create common ground  between what clients are selling and what consumers are buying.  In our very best moments, folks on our side of the desk mine that middle ground to establish a connection, to engage and actually listen to what the seller’s audience is saying.

That ability to mutually understand, to establish shared interests, is the root cause of nearly any important decisions that reach beyond pure impulse.  Without common ground, Starbucks wouldn’t enjoy premium pricing for a cup of Joe and Netflix might be just another DVD rental outlet versus the next big entertainment juggernaut.  Common ground: it’s that magic place where things work in harmony and the Holy Grail for effective marketing. Simple as that.

Rich Williams, SVP/Strategic Business Development

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