By Jim McCarthy May 20, 2010 0 comments

What I Didn’t Get A Chance to Say at the Conference

I had a thought I wanted to share with the group during the panel the other day, but the moment just never came up.  Or if it did, I forgot.

Anyway, it’s this.

Amidst all this talk about optimizing prices (which I obviously find very important), there’s another, far more important issue for marketers to keep top of mind.  In fact, I try to remember it all the time as I go through my day, making decisions about what we should do here at Goldstar.  By far the biggest issue in the live entertainment industry is the one I’m talking about.

And that issue is explained through a joke:

Q: What’s the difference between ignorance and apathy?

A: I don’t know and I don’t care.

The best, most correct assumption to make when you think about the marketplace is that they don’t know about your show/game/whatever and they don’t care.  By and large, this is true, but it’s easy to convince yourself, since you spend all day thinking about issues related to what you’re doing, that you’re the biggest thing in the world.  That everyone knows about your upcoming premiere or feature launch or campaign.

But that’s bologna.  Or baloney.  They don’t know, and even if they have a passing awareness of whatever it is, they probably don’t really care much in the scheme of their lives.

Now, obviously, what I just said isn’t true because some people know and care, otherwise none of us would have a business.  But it’s very easy to assume a high degree of knowledge on the part of the marketplace about your product, your prices, changes that you made and all the rest, when in fact, in the great majority of cases, ‘not knowing and not caring’ is a much more accurate statement of reality.

Don’t take this the wrong way.  It’s not you; it’s them!  Well, it’s us.  We’re all consumers, so put your consumer shoes on and realize that you’ve got a life to manage.  The latest no-doubt fabulous innovations by Goldstar or the newest season announcement from the greatest theatre in the world is just a small blip on the radar screen of getting through your day.

Here’s what I want you to think instead: you’ve got to earn the interest and preference and attention of people every day.  You’ve got to be working hard to stay relevant, interesting, fascinating, important, entertaining and trusted or you slip into the backdrop of a thousand noisy lives.

Preference is perishable.  Just because somebody came to your venue in ’04 means very little.  It’s fair enough to say that person is a customer of yours, but it’s probably more accurate to say that they’re somebody you have a relationship with and that you’d like to renew the relationship with.

So what’s the difference between consumer ignorance and consumer apathy?  They don’t know and they don’t care.

Don’t feel bad about that.  Just do what you’ve got to do to make sure it’s not true.

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