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Marketing principles are not changing, says Dr. Peltier

I believe that marketing is what you do when your product or service sucks.

says Venture Capitalist Fred Wilson. And he’s a pretty successful guy.

A more enlightening quotation from Seth Godin, author of…a bunch of books about marketing:

If someone comes to you with a ‘great’ product that just needs some marketing, the game is probably already over.


When I was a freshman, I had no idea what “marketing” was. When I thought marketing, I thought of telemarketers, pop up ads, and my mailbox full of advertisements for local jewelry stores and pizza specials.

When it came time to decide what I wanted to study, I didn’t even consider Marketing.

Because it was about spamming and scamming people.

The thing is, the parts of marketing we usually notice are the ones we are asked to see by marketers. Out of the 4 P’s, we only get to see the Promotion “P”. If you have any reservations against marketers, it’s probably because you don’t know the whole picture.

I interviewed Dr. Peltier, professor of Marketing at CoBE, and asked him to first define marketing. He says:

Marketing is, you have a product or service, and you do what you can to have satisfied customers, and at the same time make a profit for your organization. It’s all the activities from when a product is first thought of to development all the way to after the product is purchased…

There are plenty of organizations Confusedthat make the same mistake Fred Wilson and I made: They confuse marketing with advertising. These organizations typically make a product, and give it to the marketing department and tell them to sell it.

And the marketing department gets a loudspeaker (a Super Bowl ad or a large database of email addresses) and tell everyone about the product and how amazing it is. And the theory is that a large enough percentage of people will purchase it so the organization makes a profit. This kind of marketing is everywhere.

But a skilled marketer knows that great marketing starts with the design of the product or service.

When Google launched their website, I didn’t get a letter in the mail asking me to give it a try. Or a phone call. Or an email. (Did I have email in ’98?)

The first thing they did was make an amazing product. An idea worth talking about and sharing. If my friend tells me she loves this new Indie Pop band, I’m probably going to give them a listen. Because I trust my friend. If the Proctor & Gamble marketing department tells me to try their new shampoo, I’ll ignore them because it’s their job to tell me about their new shampoo. That’s what social media is all about. It takes the big loudspeaker away from the marketing department and gives little ones to everyone else.

Apple did something similar. They didn’t market a product. They marketed a story. A story of the woman who saw everything differently. People wanted to talk about it and share it with all their friends.

So I learned that marketing isn’t really about selling, it’s about creating and telling stories. It’s about making remarkable products and then allowing the customers to spread the word.

If you look at it that way, the principles of marketing haven’t really changed. But the mediums of marketing have changed. The speed of communication has increased. Dr. Peltier thinks that, other than technology, the marketing industry is moving faster than any other industry in business.

My biggest question then, the million dollar question, is:

Can our University curriculum keep up?

Watch Dr. Peltier answer this and other questions below, and then let me know what you think in the comments below.

About Mehul Kar

Senior majoring in Finance. Leader of the social media movement for CoBE.
This entry was posted in Classroom and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

21 Responses to Marketing principles are not changing, says Dr. Peltier

  1. Joey Nicol says:

    This is a well done article, Mehul. I enjoyed reading it.

    Great piece of information from Dr. Peltier… “Think about those companies that you like doing business with and find out what they do well. All great businesses do that.”

    I’ve always thought of marketing to be like friendships. You’re not going to be friends with someone (a company) who treats you poorly, and like what was discussed in the interview, trust plays a very important part within friendships.

  2. Mehul Kar says:

    That’s a really great point Joey. Thanks for the compliment.

    I think trust is really important in all aspects of business. Especially when there are so many options for consumers. There’s no reason to choose one for any reason other than trust.

  3. Austin Durham says:

    Great post, like Joey said I enjoyed reading it and watching the video.

    I completely agree that telling the truth in business is the way to go. A company has to find out what their brand stands for and deliver their promise. Consistency and honesty are the two big players here. I like what Jimmy said, companies with bad marketing force email subscribers or call people on the “no call list.” If people trust/like the company they will opt into the email service ect. giving more reality to the fact that trust is everything.

  4. Matthew Meske says:

    Around the time segment of 4:30, Dr. Peltier mentions the influx of the Internet and how people thought marketing would slowly vanish. The industry saw the same in print media – a perception that direct mail and catalog effectiveness died with online techniques. However, in my opinion, this perception is false because mail can still deliver a powerful statement to drive consumers to the Web. Furthermore, Dr. Peltier mentions one-to-one marketing which is alive and well today; however, many companies do not fully understand how database marketing could apply to their house file so they fall short in personalization. Keep in mind, there are many factors that are considered when creating personalized material. So, then begins a discussion on data accuracy…

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