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An Idea A Day by David Thompson

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MARKETING

RESPECT YOUR CONSUMER

Jim Blythe

MARKETERS HAVE A bad habit of talking about “the consumer” as if they are one person. Consumers are in fact all different—they are a lot like people in that respect—and they are in fact us. We all resent being patronized, but many marketers do this with astonishing regularity. People discount advertising statements (in fact in most cases they don’t even read them) and most of us can spot bullshit pretty well. We are all consumers—if we can see through marketers and their cunning ploys, so can everybody else.

The difficulty is always to encapsulate the concept of customer respect in a way that staff ...

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