Beware of the Perils of Marketing Me-Opia

The Death of a Terrorist” (c) The New York Times

The Death of a Terrorist” (c) The New York Times

This is an old post from May 2011. Republishing it here because "marketing me-opia" is spreading. And because I love the word blunderous. 

Anyone who has taken Marketing 101 can tell you what marketing myopia is. But there’s marketing me-opia, too: the blunderous belief that everyone thinks like you.

Me-opic marketers frequently make decisions by projecting what they think onto their audiences. (“I’d sure pay $100 for that,” for instance. Or, “I tried that once and didn’t like it.”)

The trouble is that people don’t think alike and “common sense" is getting more uncommon every day.

A new interactive poll in this week’s New York Times demonstrates the point visually, asking readers to plot their feelings about Osama bin Laden’s death, based on two questions:

— Was bin Laden’s death significant in our war against terror?

— Do you have a negative or positive view of the event?

As you can see from the graphic above, most people responded in the upper-right quadrant (significant and positive), but there are a remarkable number of responses in the other quadrants, too.

Reader comments are even more telling, ranging from jubilation to indignation to trepidation.

Marketing me-opia (a phrase I may have just coined, if Google results are an indication) is just as dangerous as myopia. As I remind my students, probably too frequently: Mindset Before Message.