Marketing manipulation?

I write this on the so-called most romantic of days, Valentine’s Day. I’m not by nature a cynical person, in fact quite the opposite, but I admit to hating being (knowingly) manipulated by corporate marketing dollars.

Most of you will know the story, Valentine’s Day was a marketing strategy by Hallmark cards to increase sales and, geez, what a success it as been. Most marketers can only dream of impacting not only a business’ profit-line so dramatically, but the imaginations of a marketplace.

Even though I know I am being manipulated by a marketing strategy, I always dream of having that romantic Valentine’s Day. And when I realise red roses are unlikely to appear miraculously at my door I quickly re-hate the marketing manipulation of the day. Or should I say my allowance of the marketing strategy defining the day.

But this is where we, as a community, friends, family, tribe of customers, can, and now more often do, take ownership of Hallmark’s marketing strategy and forget the monetary value and focus of the message.

We can re-define the marketing pitch to not being solely exclusive to being a “couple” but as a a day of gratitude to everyone we love.

In fact, from a marketing strategy, this revised message would make Hallmark and other synergetic businesses even more money. Why have such a segmented, niche target market when there are others that what to feel included and join your tribe?

So I ask 3 questions:
1. What marketing strategies does your business have that could be revised to capture another target market?
2. How can you emotionally connect your marketing strategies so other target markets want to be part of your business’ tribe / community?
3. Can any of your marketing strategies be re-defined by your target market/s and negate your business’ core marketing pitch?

No longer does it matter if I receive red roses on Valentine’s Day, because I receive lots of love within my re-defined target market for 14 February.

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2 Comments

  1. Posted February 16, 2013 at 6:45 am | Permalink

    I love the way you think outside the box! What a great idea, to re-brand to an even greater target group, i.e. Everyone! Great thought-provoking questions that has me pondering already…. Thanks Megan!

    • Megan Barrow
      Posted February 16, 2013 at 7:21 am | Permalink

      Oh, thanks so much Marg, it means a lot to know my words resonate.

      It is interesting to think that a marketing strategy can be claimed by a new target market – interesting and scary!

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