The real question is “should marketing be subjective?” Through years of creating concepts and designs, I have realized when you ask someone their opinion they will give it to you… whether they are qualified or not.

Most people either like something or don’t. It doesn’t matter if it’s a priceless painting like the Mona Lisa or their kid’s artwork hanging on the fridge. So the Mona Lisabottom line is, if people don’t like something there’s nothing that anyone can do to change their mind.

It would seem then,  pretty tough to sell a product with a marketing position or concept that doesn’t resonate with the market. It’s even harder to come up with a marketing and advertising campaign that helps people make decisions on whether they should buy or not.

Marketing is like art

When it comes to marketing concepts, like art, everyone’s a critic. And like art, it’s not always easy to defend when the art you’ve just created is being criticized.  It’s not like mathematics where it’s either right or wrong. 2+2 is 4 no matter which way you look. But marketing is different because it boils down to the way people think and feel.

Is marketing subjective? Is the creation of a marketing campaign purely subjective? Is it really based on the reaction of the client who tells you for the umpteenth time,  ‘so and so doesn’t like it”.

Marketing behind the scenes

Not everyone seems to appreciate what goes on behind the scenes in marketing. Maybe you’ve heard: “Whoever came up with that idea? My kid can do better.” But marketing shouldn’t be evaluated on likeability alone.

Marketing is a critical business function to attract customers. Is it realistic then to leave marketing to chance? It’s true  how we view elements of marketing can be subjective. I like that packaging. I don’t like that commercial. But what many don’t understand, fail to understand, forget, ignore or just don’t care is that marketing  is strategic. It doesn’t matter what you like, your wife likes or your dog likes. A good marketing campaign first requires investigation and research.  A SWOT analysis is key. A  definition of target market is only the first step. We need to learn  about our target market and what makes them tick. We identify what we want to accomplish. We anticipate how the consumer will react to our objective.

And through all this we are cognizant of  the 4ps of marketing.

Marketing is the process of communicating the value of a product to our customers. We do this by positioning our product to find its place and stand out amongst all the noise and babble. We create brand awareness and we sustain that awareness throughout the campaign. In order to create a marketing campaign, we capture marketing insight to determine how best to connect with customers. We build a strong brand and communicate its value. We communicate consistently. We connect with our customers and deliver a message that communicates value. We are conscious to protect our brand. We monitor on a continuous basis. And in the end, our metrics tell us whether we were successful or not in cold, hard numbers.

Those numbers are the facts. They are indisputable.

So maybe, marketing isn’t so subjective after all.