Sony’s Akio Morita, like Apple’s Steve Jobs, was a marketing genius. Morita’s hit parade included such iconic products as the first hand-held transistor radio and the Walkman portable audio cassette player.
Key to Morita’s success was his mastery of the art of the pitch. Morita pushed Sony to create consumer electronics for which no obvious need existed and then generated demand for them.
The best marketing minds know how to create a customer—previously unaware of a problem or an opportunity, she becomes interested in considering the opportunity, and finally acts upon it.
Coca-Cola marketers are but creating a thirst by showing the fizzle a freshly poured glass in Coke ads. “Thirst asks nothing more,” indeed.
The marketing guru Seth Godin has said, “So many people are unhappy … what they have doesn’t make them unhappy. What they want does. And want is created by the marketers.” Recall the old parable,
A sales trainee was trying to explain his failure to close a single deal in his first week. “You know,” he said to his manager, “you can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink.”
“Make him drink?” The manager sputtered. “Your job is to make him thirsty.”
Idea for Impact: Whether you realize this or not, you’re in marketing, as is everybody else. You’re constantly pitching your ideas, skills, time, appeal, charm, and so forth. Study the art of the pitch. Master the art of generating demand for whatever it is you have to offer. Learn to “make ’em thirsty.” Marketing is everything.
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