Today, I went from being a Russell’s Reserve bourbon drinker to a Jameson’s drinker.
Today, I went from being someone who watches Top Chef and instead watches Gordon Ramsey.
Today, I went from being a Mac user to a Microsoft user (do we still call them PCs?).*
Why? Because that’s what marketing does.
Marketing is a lever called “change” that gets applied as a way to turn non-customers into customers. That’s the only reason marketing exists.
Ad creative, ad placement, brand strategy, box design, retail strategy, name selection, price strategy, all of it is marketing: a means to turn someone who doesn’t want to buy a thing into someone who does.
The gap between the two states might be logical: they don’t know enough about why they should buy a Mini Cooper. The gap might be emotional: they don’t feel like they are the kind of person who would drive a Mini Cooper. The gap might be fear: they worry that if they drove a Mini Cooper they might not have enough space for something. The gap might be about the future: they don’t think buying a Mini Cooper will make them happy.
Marketing closes the gap to create the change.
But creating that change has a foundation: who is changing? Getting a posh Brit to consider buying a Mini cooper is a VERY different gap and journey than getting a Wyoming business owner to buy one. Their gaps are very different. The tools you’d use to close those gaps are different. A campaign that just said, “It’s a great car!” doesn’t address those audiences’ gaps, and thus, by trying to change everyone, you are cursed to change no one.
So until you know who you are trying to change, you can’t create change.